Brewery’s Beer Garden Plans Tabled For Now

Brewery’s Beer Garden Plans Tabled For Now
A rendering of the proposed changes to Burley Oak Brewery’s beer garden are shown. Submitted Image

BERLIN — Officials said they needed more information before they could approve a local brewery’s plans to use shipping containers to expand its beer garden.

The Berlin Planning Commission did not make a formal decision regarding a request from Burley Oak Brewery owner Bryan Brushmiller to add shipping containers to the perimeter of the establishment’s beer garden. Members of the commission said they wanted to see elevation measurements and landscape plans for the containers.

“Personally, I like your concept but I think you need to give us a lot more to get there,” commission member Pete Cosby said.

Brushmiller approached the commission Wednesday seeking approval to add five shipping containers around Burley Oak’s outdoor beer garden area. The tops of the containers will be covered in vegetation. Brushmiller said the idea was to add rain shelter for patrons while not increasing impermeable surface at the site.

“We’re busy when it rains…,” he said. “This’ll alleviate some of the pressure on the indoor area.”

Commission members said the proposed changes needed to be reviewed by the fire marshal as well as the board of license commissioners.

“I want to make sure you guys are happy before I go further,” Brushmiller said.

Commission member Barb Stack cautioned Brushmiller to consider the structural integrity of the shipping containers as they were altered to accommodate brewery patrons.

“There’s a whole industry into retrofitting these sea containers,” Brushmiller replied.  “We don’t want anyone to not be safe.”

Stack also asked how Brushmiler would ensure the soil and plantings on top of each container didn’t wash away during a heavy rain. Brushmiller said the plants and soil would slow drainage and added that there would be a ledge to contain them.

Commission member Ron Cascio said he thought the proposal needed additional review by a civil engineer.

“If it does work, we could be a showpiece of Maryland,” Brushmiller said. “There’s no moving parts. I’m not sure what you’re worried about. If it doesn’t work, you’re not losing anything.”

Cascio maintained that someone certified and qualified should review the plan.

“I don’t want to make a mountain out of a molehill,” Brushmiller said. “I didn’t want to cost the town more money.”

Stack told him such review would be at his expense, not the town’s expense. She went on to point out the commission had had stormwater concerns about the brewery property for several years. Cosby agreed and said this would be the ideal time for a stormwater plan for the property.

Brushmiller said he’d be happy to have a plan done.

“What I’m proposing is more than any stormwater consultant would require,” he said. “We came to you with this plan to be good neighbors. To hire a stormwater consultant would be icing on the cake.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.