Microbrew gets committee’s nod in Geneva

Published: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

GENEVA –  In two votes, Geneva aldermen Monday unanimously approved zoning text amendments to allow production brewing and a tasting room in the city.

The actions were necessary to define production brewing, and to allow packaged brew to be sold, and consumed on site in a tasting room in an area zoned for light industry, officials said.

The Plan Commission already has approved the application following a hearing last month.

Eric Hobbs and Thomas Korder, owners of Penrose Brewing LLC, sought the application to allow for a microbrewery with sales and a tasting room. 

Hobbs said he was happy for the city’s support to establish a microbrew with a tasting room at 509 Stevens St., in a small strip mall near Wheeler Park. 

“I think this all went great,” Hobbs said. “It’s really nice to see the city get behind us in such a nice way. I grew up here; Thomas is looking forward to moving out here. And we couldn’t be happier to be calling Geneva home.”

Michael Olesen, owner of Stockholm’s, 306 W. State St. – also a microbrewery as well as a restaurant – voiced his support for Penrose Brewing. Olesen said he also is a neighbor, living 2.5 blocks away from the strip mall on Stevens.

“I lend my whole-hearted support,” Olesen said. “It would draw in tourism. The craft brewing industry is truly growing. This would be a feather in Geneva’s cap.”

When 4th Ward Alderman Dorothy Flanagan asked if Olesen would allow Penrose’s brew to be sold at Stockholm’s, however, Olesen responded with a resounding, “no.”

Hobbs said once the City Council takes final action on the zoning text amendments that allow the brewery, they plan to open possibly in July or August.