Starting a brewery isn’t easy,
but when the community comes together so much can be accomplished.
***Updated January 25: Sign this petition on Change.org to show your support for Wolves & People! They need 300 more signatures by 5 pm on Thursday, January 26.
LET um EAT Collective members, Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery in Newberg have now been open for over 6 months. Their on-farm brewery is an amazing space to visit, hang out and enjoy fresh local beer – believe us, we’ve done it many times! Over the summer they were granted agritourism rights to have food vendors on site up to 18 weekends a year, but unfortunately that permitting has recently been challenged by a somewhat challenging neighbor. Read the details below. How can you help? Write a letter or email in support of Wolves & People, the incredible gathering space they’ve created and the great beers they’re brewing that we all want to enjoy, alongside tasty local food, for years to come.
Information on where to send you letter of support by this Thursday, January 26, along with some tips on what to include, are below.
From Christian DeBenedetti, owner of Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery, Newberg, OR:
You’ve proven that to us again and again. We have had some great news recently! For one, we were just named to BeerAdvocate’s list of “the class of 2016”, landing us with 33 others out of a whopping 861 breweries that opened in the US last year. What an honor! Local news picked up the story and we’ve met even more of our neighbors since then. With three new beers on draft (a total of 9 right now), and scores on deck, we are working hard to make the best beer in the best place we can.
Alas, things are not always hunky dory. The article below describes a public hearing we were compelled to attend last Thursday. The gist: this summer we were awarded “agri-tourism” rights which allow us to have chefs on site up to 18 weekends a year. A newly-arrived neighbor who built a house nearby and moved in after we opened has taken us to county court. Trust us, we’d rather be brewing. So please read below and we hope you will do your part to support what we do. It’s important and we thank you!
What we are asking for is your note of support referencing the following:
- that we are a safe, clean, well-run, family-friendly establishment with a tranquil atmosphere, welcome in the community, etc.
- that your experience has been or would be significantly enhanced by the presence of local chefs preparing food to go with our beers
- that the quality of our beers is…? (As a reminder, our beers with ingredients off the farm itself include Sebastian Rhubarb, La Truffe, Fig Getit, Field’s Edge, More Aplomb, Postman, Instinctive Travels, and many, many others…)(and of course every single beer uses our untreated well water)
- that Yamhill County and Newberg, Oregon are enhanced by our little farm brewery
- that noise, parking, and traffic is not an issue inside or out, etc. (especially if you are a neighbor)
Your testimony may be mailed to:
Ken Friday, Planning Director – Yamhill County
525 N.E. Fourth St.
McMinnville, OR, 97128
OR e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, referencing docket number E-06-16. Print and sign and date your note and include your address. Notes with illegible signatures are discarded. Your letter must be received by Thursday, January 26 at 5pm. Thank you!
Brewery Appeal Held Open
By Nicole Montesanto, Staff Writer, McMinnville News Register, Friday 1-20-19
The Yamhill County commissioners have continued until Feb. 16 deliberation on a Newberg brewery’s desire to stage up to 18 food and beer tasting events annually.
The planning director authorized the series under the county’s agritourism ordinance, but neighbor David Wall appealed to the commissioners, who held a hearing Thursday.
The planning department will keep the hearing record open for submission of written testimony until 5 p.m. Jan. 26, and rebuttal to that testimony until 5 p.m. Feb. 2. Testimony may be mailed to 525 N.E. Fourth St., McMinnville, OR, 97128, or e-mailed to email@example.com, referencing docket number E-06-16.
The application was submitted by Christian DeBenedetti for a brewery operating in a historic barn on his family farm, located 30203 N.E. Benjamin Road.
DeBenedetti said he has 10 acres of hazelnuts, which are sold at a farm stand and used in the brewery’s farmhouse ale. He said the farm also grows plums and hops for use in the brewing operation, and cultivates “house yeast” from locally grown plums and rose hips.
In the future, he said, he hopes to grow more fruit for use in brewery products. He said that matches the intent of the county’s agritourism ordinance — encouraging and showcasing value-added on-site uses of local farm products.
The opposition was led by Wall, who moved earlier this year from California, and was distressed to find a brewery operating in such a rural, agricultural setting.
In rambling testimony consuming more than 45 minutes, Wall accused county officials of colluding with DeBenedetti, questioned whether his brew was safe to consume, questioned whether his farm was actually engaged in agriculture on a significant scale, suggested his farm might be lying about its hazelnut production, speculated patrons high on alcohol and drugs might crash their cars, called the county’s filing fee for appeals “un-American,” suggested the farm might be violating the Federal Clean Water Act and leveled various other allegations and accusations.
Wall said he intended to be neighborly, and held no malice toward DeBenedetti. But he vowed, “Make no mistake, I’m not going to have a bar across the street. I’m not going to have 250 cars going in and out of the parking lot.”
Two other neighbors also testified in opposition, saying they were concerned primarily about traffic and fire safety. They were joined by a representative of the land use activist group Friends of Yamhill County.
DeBenedetti told commissioners his brewery has had its water tested by a certified laboratory, passed a detailed safety inspection by the state Department of Agriculture, passed inspection by the county Health Department and obtained approval by the state Liquor Control Commission to allow minors on site. It had also been inspected and approved by the fire department, he said.
He said he and his staff have undergone training in alcohol service, and do not serve intoxicated people. He said the access road could use improvement, and he is committed to facilitating that any way he can.