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Brewery wants to be treated like wineries

Stonington - Cottrell Brewing Co. has filed a zoning application that would allow an expansion of its business to include events and retail sales of beer.

The application seeks to let breweries expand their scope of operations on land zoned for manufacturing such as where Cottrell is located on Mechanic Street in Pawcatuck.

The regulation amendment, which will be the subject of a Planning and Zoning Commission public hearing early next year, would allow both wholesale and retail sales of beer and related items, tastings and tours, beer sales by the bottle for off-premises consumption, beer/food events and catered events authorized by the commission.

"These amendments essentially afford breweries operating in a manufacturing zone the same rights, privileges and opportunities afforded to wineries under the current regulations," wrote Cottrell attorney Nick Kepple to the commission.

There are two wineries in town, Stonington Vineyards and Saltwater Farm Vineyards, which both host events.

Kepple wrote that the proposed regulations would strengthen the brewery's relationships with potential customers. He said the proposed changes are in keeping with the town's Plan of Conservation and Development, which recommends the creative reuse of historic mills in the town's villages.

The brewery in the former Harris Graphics building at 100 Mechanic St. has brewed Old Yankee Ale since 1997 and more recently began to produce Mystic Bridge IPA.

Brewery owner Charles C. Buffum Jr. and Kepple did not return calls seeking comment.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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