Grass Valley officials to consider a brewery at The Union on Tuesday

From the blog of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine:
The City of Grass Valley planning commission will meet on Tuesday, Feb. 21, to consider a brewery, wine tasting room and outdoor beer garden in the empty space where The Union used to print its community newspaper before outsourcing the printing to the Sacramento Bee.

The 1849 Brew Pub at 464 Sutton Way— previously reported here — will include an outdoor beer garden area, a pizza oven, a 20-foot tall grain silo. Soft rock and live music will play inside the pub on weekends, the application said.

The applicant is Grass Valley resident David Krikorian, the project owner is listed as Nevada County Publishing Co., the contractor is listed as Keoni Allen of Sierra Foothills Construction, and the architect is Deer Creek Studio of Nevada City. “The applicant is requesting approval of a use permit to operate a brewpub,” according to the staff memo. “The applicant plans to occupy about 5,387 square feet of the existing building.” Staff recommends that the use permit be approved. The staff report is here.

Krikorian previously has said he would be leasing the new brewery space from the newspaper publisher. His son, Kevin, will be the brewmaster in the 15-barrel brewery. The brewery and taproom plans to offer a wide choice of beers: IPAs, pale ale, light and dark ale, stout and lager beers.

The project is considered exempt from the provisions of CEQA, according to the report. The City said it is not aware of any land use conflicts or environmental impacts associated with brew-pubs and breweries in Nevada City and Auburn.

In 2004, the Grass Valley Planning Commission approved a 5,316 square-foot expansion of the newspaper building at this location — but not a brewery.

“Over the past few years, the paper production of the newspapers has moved to Sacramento, leaving a portion of the building empty,” the staff report said.

Newspapers are outsourcing their printing to larger publications to cut costs. Meanwhile, craft breweries are booming all across America. Grass Valley elected officials have been seeking to bring a brewery to town — noticing the success in Nevada City with ol’ Republic and Three Forks.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

8 thoughts on “Grass Valley officials to consider a brewery at The Union on Tuesday”

  1. Just an FYI, Walmart is pulling out of the Auburn site. I think they may do a Sam’s Club. They have spent millions to buy, clean up and design so I can’t see them walking away.

    Sent via the Samsung GALAXY S® 5, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

  2. I had an interesting conversation about a month ago with a consultant who is working on development of Walmart business strategies and corporate sustainability objectives. She articulated a number of issues that Walmart is struggling with.

    Four main issues surfaced: 1) high market penetration of their own discount stores and expansion of their on-line marketing and delivery services is leading to Walmarts competing against each other in many market segments, 2) legal issues relative to siting, land acquisition and wages are mounting, 3) increasing issues with product quality and recalls, 4) all of these factors contributing to on-going public relations and community relations problems.

    Concomitant with the above issues there is very strong and growing competition amongst discount players for the on-line and delivery markets, with Amazon in particular biting into Walmarts growth potential.

    Historically Walmart has benefitted from local tax incentives as a means of expanding its bricks and mortar stores at a lower cost, meaning they have enjoyed lower overhead costs than other retailers, but due to community relations problems their ability to maintain that advantage has been diminished.

    Finally, uncertainty over US trade policy, and in particular currency exchange rates and potential tariffs on imported goods articulated during the Presidential campaign, is leading to uncertainty over future pricing and the ability of Walmart to maintain its historic roughly 20% pricing advantage over other discount retailers and diminishing its influence over manufacturers.

    I think this is a fascinating issue because although we have no way of really knowing what went into Walmarts decision to bail on Auburn there is growing evidence nationally that bricks and mortar retail is beginning to see the long predicted “winnowing” as a result of the expansion of on-line sales and delivery…a portion of the market that has been growing at 5 times the rate of in store purchases over the last decade.

    This trend could have very interesting ramifications for small town Main Streets and local retail. Increasingly people are segmenting their purchases into a suite of items they purchase on line and items they purchase locally. The implication is that many of our Main Streets will actually be more like entertainment districts, with dining, the arts, activities and community gathering playing a more important role in their identity and retail playing a more supporting role. How that shakes out will dramatically change the face of local retail.

  3. Steve,
    Well said. I remain optimistic about the chances for our small towns, assuming they can maintain their unique identity. In the foothills, it is the theme of the current issue of our magazine. The introduction, “A Sense of Place,” is here:
    Then we write about Auburn, Grass Valley, Nevada City, Sutter Creek and Plymouth in Amador County. In the past, of course, we have featured Truckee in a similar light.

    1. We have been providing the same advice to local communities for 20 years–build on your existing assets, provide a clear identifiable community character, invest in the arts, entertainment, historic preservation and pedestrian amenities, and build local first–we even published a sense of place document in the early 2000’s supporting that message. I read your current issue–it’s very good–and it’s nice to see that we are finally getting there in the Sierra, with renewed focus on re-defnning our downtowns.

  4. At some future point our trinket based economy will become unsustainable, if it is not already. An arts/people based economy is a good alternative. However, with automation etc., the problem becomes how will the non-artists/musicians, restauranteurs, etc. be able to pay for it? The larger problem is, given the fossil fuel cabal that now controls our government, will humanity survive in its current form long enough for the global economy to adapt to a new mode of operation or will the new economy become an ‘everyone for themselves’ survival based system? Mad Max comes to mind.

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