For the casual observer, or even the frequent taster, the terminology can seem difficult to distinguish. What is the difference between a brewpub and a brewery, or even a brewpub restaurant?
The distinctions do matter, but not as much as how they have been proving to be significant attractions. Southington and Wallingford have had success in drawing them, and now Meriden has taken steps to do the same.
First, the distinctions, which can sound like a mouthful:
A brewpub is a place where beer is made, stored, bottled, sold at wholesale or at retail in sealed bottles or other sealed containers for consumption off premises or sold to be consumed on the premises in a room that is ancillary to the production of beer with or without the sale of food.
A brewery is a place where beer is made, stored, bottled and sold wholesale or retail in sealed containers for consumption off premises or offered for on-premises tastings.
A brewpub restaurant is a restaurant where beer is made, stored, bottled and sold to be consumed on the premises.
Because they’re popular, any of the three would serve as a significant contribution to the vitality that city officials, residents and business interests have long sought in the downtown area of Meriden. So it was significant when the City Council recently included brew-oriented establishments in a number of items that were approved before the new council takes over.
A text amendment was unanimously passed that all three brew-oriented enterprises would be allowed in the city’s transit-oriented district, otherwise known as the TOD zone. Breweries and brewpubs will now be allowed in industrial and commercial zones, and brewpub restaurants will be allowed in commercial zones.
This opens the door. We can now look forward to an entrepreneurial spirit walking through that opening. It could add up to a significant bolstering for Meriden’s downtown.