Mammoth Brewing Company is moving its tasting room from Berner Street to the former Whiskey Creek, after Mammoth’s Planning and Economic Development Commission (PEDC) determined that a tasting room at the “three-corners” property would be similar to and no more detrimental than a restaurant.
Currently, tasting rooms are not listed as a use in the North Village Specific Plan.
To determine whether a tasting room would be appropriate in the new location, Senior Planner Sandra Moberly explained that staff considered whether the tasting room would be similar to other uses listed within the North Village Specific Plan, such as restaurants, retail, and liquor stores.
Moberly also pointed out that the Draft Zoning Code Update now includes tasting rooms as acceptable uses in commercial zones.
Mammoth Brewing Company’s Berner Street lease expired at the end of last year. The Brewing Company took over the lease at Whiskey Creek in January, and Brewing Company Co-Owner Sean Turner said that he had recently come to an agreement with his Berner Street landlord to be out of the old location by Mar. 31.
Turner aims to open the tasting room at its new location in the first week of April. “We’ll have a goodbye party at Berner and a hello party at Whiskey Creek,” he said.
“We’re very proud of what we have,” said Joyce Turner. “I think [the move to Whiskey] will be a wonderful improvement in both atmosphere and community.”
But Mammoth Fireside residents disagree. A letter from Fireside Owner Tracey Spencer dated Feb. 26 argued that, “With the closure of the Whiskey Creek restaurant, which may or may not have been anticipated, we are left with a full brewing and bottling operation in Fireside’s front yard. This is clearly an industrial use not permitted in the North Village Specific Plan.”
Turner admitted the Brewing Company had work to do in order to diminish the industrial-looking façade of the building, as well as reduce noise generated by the bottling operation. Fireside’s suggested mitigation measures include installing a decorative fence and limiting bottling and delivery hours.
“It has been a busy summer , but Sandra [Moberly] and I are looking into it [meeting Fireside residents’ needs],” said Joyce Turner. “Especially considering we want to have the tasting room in Whiskey Creek, that would be even more important.”
“Fireside, they’ve got to be happy that Wild Wednesdays are gone,” said Sean Turner. “But we want to be as considerate to our neighbors as possible.”
Turner noted that the building needs a lot of work in general, from fixing a roof leak to cleaning the interior. “It’s disgustingly dirty,” he said. “I hate to say that, but … We want to break the mold of pole dancing and Jell-O wrestling to create more of a brew pub feel.”
Mammoth Brewing Company is even considering a future expansion to offer food in addition to beer tasting. “We’re reviewing all of our options,” Turner said. “We want to make the most of that iconic space.”