Neighbors concerned about smell from brewery; ZBA eyeing issue

MILFORD – Neighbors to a proposed craft brewery on South Street are worried about potential odors from beer making.

William Ogert, of Nashua, plans to manufacture and sell bottles and kegs and have a tasting room, and he needs a special exception. A brewery is considered manufacturing, and 12 South St. is in a commercial district.

At the May 2 zoning board of adjustment meeting attorney Tom Quinn, representing Buttermilk Falls LLC, the company building a restaurant next door, told the board his client is concerned about the potential for odors, especially since the restaurant will have an open deck directly across the alley.

And Aaron Kaplan, who owns the building at 19 Nashua St., adjacent to the proposed brewery, told the board “if we get noxious odors pouring out of the vents, that’s quite a problem … Some people say it smells like baking bread, but some say it’s more like rotten eggs.”

Quinn suggested Ogert have the brewery’s systems designed by an engineer, but board members said that seemed too costly considering the small operation.

Another concern is the storage of waste products. Ogert said he would work with farmers, who could pick up the spent grain and use it as animal feed or compost.

Board members decided to continue their review on May 16 to give them time to look through all the material submitted by abutters and to have the applicant prepare more detailed plans for waste storage.

Ogert’s plan is to produce two to four barrels a week in the nanobrewery, called Ogie Brewing LLC, defined as one that produces no more than 2,000 barrel a year.

In the comments section of his application, Ogert wrote that the tasting room will provide one four-ounce sample of each label and one 16-ounce pour, per day, per person, with direct distribution to bars, restaurants and other sellers.

“Samples are intended to encourage visitors to purchase product to take home,” he said. “Craft breweries tend to become a town pride, whether it’s for a local ‘hidden gem,’ or for a highly recognized label … and “craft beer connoisseurs tend to seek out and visit new breweries.”

Tasting room hours for Ogie Brewing would be for Fridays and Saturdays until 10 p.m. and Sundays until 6 p.m. The lease for the building has a 10 p.m. curfew.

In April, the Milford Planning Board approved Ogert’s change of use for the building, which was recently home to Marcus Ps, and before that Bravo Pizza.

Kathy Cleveland may be reached at 673-3100 or kcleveland@cabinet.com.