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Unity eyes permit for Four Seasons microbrewery

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Two Latrobe-area men are edging closer to their dream of opening a microbrewery in Unity Township, moving from a home-based site to a full-fledged business.

Four Seasons Brewing Co. Inc. of Latrobe is seeking approval from Unity officials to open a microbrewery to brew its brand of craft beers in a 4,000-square-foot building at 745 Lloyd Ave. Ext.

Mark Pavlik of Latrobe, the brewer and co-owner of Four Seasons, told Unity supervisors during a recent hearing that he hopes to open the business this summer. He was at the hearing to request a conditional-use permit to operate a microbrewery in property zoned for manufacturing.

The township planning commission recommended approval of the site plans. Supervisors could vote on the requests during their meeting on Thursday.

Customers would not be permitted to drink beer at the site, based on state liquor laws, but they would be permitted to sample a few ounces. Beer would be sold in 64-ounce growlers­ — a beer drinker's personal container — to take from the site, Pavlik said.

Pavlik has been brewing beer in his home and offering it at taste-testing events because he is not permitted to sell it.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board website does not list a brewing license for Four Seasons Brewing. The company has used Pavlik's Latrobe address as its offices, according to state Corporation Bureau records.

While brew kettles would be vented outside, Pavlik assured township supervisors that odors from the brewing would not be as strong as those from a large brewery such as the City Brewing Co. plant in nearby Latrobe.

The Lloyd Avenue building has more than enough parking spaces to meet township regulations, with eight spaces for customers and four for employees.

If the microbrewery is successful, Pavlik said, he and his partner, Christian Simmons of Unity, want to expand to a brew pub, which would allow them to sell food and drink on the premises. To do that, the owners would have to return to the township for approval of site plans for that additional use, supervisors said.

Pavlik said he has experience in working with brew masters at All Saints Brewing Co. in Hempfield and Full Pint Brewing Co. in North Huntingdon.

The two men tried to start their business last fall by raising $30,000 through an Internet fundraising platform, KickStarter.com, but their efforts fell short.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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