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Warren has approved and Act 250 has issued a proposed permit for a micro-spirit distillery to be built in a renovated horse barn at Cold Springs Farm in Warren.
Cold Springs Farm is located on Cold Springs Farm Road, Warren. The Warren Development Review Board approved the project on September 17. Project applicants are John Egan III and Maura Connolly, of Boston, MA.
At the state level of review, Act 250 issued a proposed permit this month and is accepting comments on that proposed permit until January 2, 2013. The project application will be treated like a minor application unless Act 250 receives notice of a reason for a hearing.
The project was treated as an application seeking conditional use approval for a cottage industry in Warren when it came before the DRB. The craft distillery will produce between 200 and 300 cases (or 1,200 to 1,800 bottles) of spirits per year. The maximum that Egan/Connolly could bottle in the converted barn would be 1,000 cases or 6,000 bottles.
When the Egan/Connolly application was heard by the DRB, the applicants told the board that there are two horse barns on their property, one of which has been renovated and the other which is undergoing renovation. They told the board that they recently bought an additional 200 acres adjoining their farm and started thinking about growing apples.
According to the meeting minutes, Egan told the board that their distillery would be run by he and his wife and that, with state permits, they will be able to sell their product through the Vermont state liquor store system. The spirits under consideration are an apple brandy and maybe a maple-based rum or bourbon.
They are starting small, with a small still, and their byproducts are water and corn mash, which is sought after by farmers as pig feed. The DRB permit was approved unanimously by board members.