CODE WRITTEN BY SHAWN BERGERON
“COME HELL OR
HIGH WATER WE’RE GOING TO HELP YOU ON THE RIDE FROM BUILDING PERMIT APPLICATION TO THE CHERISHED AND OFTEN ELUSIVE
CERTIFICATE of OCCUPANCY” 70
atch distilleries, craft distilleries and distilleries of mystical titles are cropping up at a dizzying pace, and while this trend continues it’s making the heads of building and fire code officials spin. In the building and fire code world your distillery venture is not something people are used to dealing with and therefore it will raise concern. When the code folks get concerned they get conservative and for you, conservative is not good. Most code officials today have dealt with brewpubs or wineries, and unfortunately many don’t recognize the differences between those businesses and your distillery until too far into the game. If I had a dollar for each time I had to correct a local code official talking about the new “brewery” I’d be reclining on a beach somewhere. They jump into your project all-knowing, often heading down the much less code-restrictive brewpub and winery path, until they realize that what you’re talking about is alcohol, really pure alcohol. Suddenly their eyes become wide and you’re faced with frightened and confused individuals that wield significant power. Our goal is to help you to present your distillery project in a way that will assuage their fears by showing them that you understand at least some of their world. Over the next few issues (or as long as it takes) we are going to work to make you code informed so you can better advocate for your business. Come hell or high water we’re going to help you on the ride from building permit application to the
The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.