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Potsdam home-brewer takes step toward opening business

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POTSDAM — A local home-brewer has taken the first step toward realizing his dream of opening a micro-brewery.

The village Planning Board voted last week to grant a site-plan approval to Dr. Jason D. Lorenc’s proposed Good Medicine Brewing Co. at 43 Maple St., the location of the former Angelo’s Fresh Seafood & Takeout restaurant.

Dr. Lorenc, who is chairman of the emergency medicine department at Canton-Potsdam Hospital, doesn’t expect his brewing company to come to fruition for another three to four years because he will need the time to renovate the building and to perfect his beer recipes.

“This is going to take my hobby out of my basement and put it on the street,” Dr. Lorenc said.

He said he has no plans to sell the beer to other retailers or to allow consumption, aside from tasting, inside the store. The micro-brewery will sell its beers for take-home consumption and may try to sell to some bars and restaurants, he said.

This caused some confusion among board members as to how to classify the proposed business.

“It’s not a restaurant or bar,” village Planning and Development Director Frederick J. Hanss said. “It might come closest to a light industrial operation.”

Brooks A. Washburn, the architect for the project, noted that it would be similar to bakeries and supermarkets, which make culinary products for off-location consumption.

Dr. Lorenc said his proposed brewery will not cause any noise or odor disturbances. He likened the smell of brewing beer to that of baking bread.

The board also pointed out that code requires a customer parking space for every 200 square feet of building space. With 2,400 square feet, the proposed brewery would need 12 spaces, and the site currently has only eight. However, the board decided a lack of parking would be unlikely because most customers would spend less time in the brewery than they would in a restaurant or department store.

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