A plan to install one of the state’s smallest beer breweries in Neptune City is causing some concern among nearby residents but the brewery owner said residents have little to worry about.
Gretchen Schmidhausler, who lives in Lake Como, plans to create a small beer brewery in a 1,600-square-foot at the intersection of Steiner and Fourth Avenues.
A meeting on the application will be held on Tues., Sept. 24 at 7 p.m.
The business, GretchenBrew LLC, which has a variance application before the borough’s Land Use Board, will sell as the Little Dog Brewing Company.
Schmidhausler was a former brewmaster at Basil T’s in Red Bank for 12 years and has been brewing professionally for 20 years.
“So this is a dream come true for me. It’s a game plan I’ve been thinking about for years,” she said.
The company, which will be one of the smallest breweries in New Jersey, does not plan to have much of an impact on the neighborhood, she said.
Homeowners living near the proposed brewery, at 141 Steiner Avenue, are worried over parking issues and odors coming from the brewery.
Robert Price, who has lived at 34 Fourth Avenue for five years, said he received a zoning board notice about the brewery application because he lives within 200 feet of the project.
He said his two primary concerns about the brewery application are parking and air quality.
“Where are these people going to park, during events like tastings, probably on my street,” he said.
Price said there are at least four other businesses in the same area, along with a nearby 50-unit condominium project, that have very limited on-site parking.
Price also said he is concerned about odors often associated with the brewing process.
“When you brew beer you have gas smells, like vinegar and rotten eggs. I certainly don’t want that in our neighborhood. It’s an environmental issue, without a doubt,” he said.
And Schmidhausler agrees with Price about odors given off during the brewing process.
“There is an odor with brewing that comes from the hops. But my kettles are fitted with condensers that prevent odors from being released. Normally odors would be sent out through the roof but we do not vent outside at all. So odors coming from the building should not be a concern for neighbors at all,” she said.
As for parking, Schmidhausler said that people need to understand that her operation is a very small brewery.
“We are a boutique brewery, meaning we are very small,” she said.
The brewery will have only four, 31-gallon barrels to make beer, which will produce about 120 gallons per batch.
“I will be working there a lot but we will not always be open to the public. We are very small and there will be no evening hours,” she said.
Schmidhausler said she is providing four on-site parking spaces.
“But my primary purpose is to brew beer. I really don’t have any tasting parties planned but we will have a tasting room where people can sample the beer should they visit,” she said.