Contact: Frank Pinto
Phone: (908) 303-2059
Email: [email protected]
Morris CADB: https://www.morriscountynj.gov/Departments/County-Agriculture-Development-Board
A FARM-BASED BREWERY LIKE BACKER FARM’S PROPOSED BREWERY IS RULED TO BE A PERMITTED USE
On Tuesday, February 22, 2022, farm-based brewery operations was the subject ofa zoning interpretation by the Mendham Township Zoning Board of Adjustment. After four and half hours of testimony and public comments, the zoning board voted 5-2 in favor of breweries being a permitted use and meets the definition of “agriculture” provided that at least 51% of the ingredients are used to produce the beer. Board members Richard Cadmus and Gary Kapner cast the dissenting votes.
While the application made by attorney Ms. Susan Rubright on behalf of her applicants Bernadette and George Koenig, Kimberly Hines Hart and Eric Hart, sought to have the Backer’s proposed brewery matter found to be out of compliance with the Township’s Right to Farm and other ordinances, the Zoning Board had the opposite opinion.
As stated by Fred Backer: “Our farm has evolved since our beginning almost a Century ago. Agriculture is a constantly changing industry. We continue to evolve as the market for our products and services changes over time. Our planned farm-based brewery is just another way we are meeting the demands and addressing the current market trends in agriculture.”
The Morris CADB will be scheduling a public hearing on the Backers Site Specific Agricultural Management Practice (SSAMP) application. For this to happen, a notice will be prepared for all property owners within 200’ of the farm at least 10 days prior to the public hearing. Backer Farm hopes the Morris CADB will soon schedule the public hearing for an upcoming meeting.
This will be the first opportunity for Backer Farm to present its proposal and provide expert testimony. Following the public hearing, the Morris CADB will memorialize its determination by Resolution. If they decide to approve the application, Backer Farm will seek approval of the Limited Brewery License via the Federal and State governments and begin renovation of the dairy barn to make the brewery a reality.
“As members of the Mendham community for nearly 100 years, the Backer family has always cared deeply about the place we call home,” said Fred Backer of Backer Farms. “We’ve taken great care in all aspects of the application process for our farm-based brewery project, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with Mendham and Morris County to ensure our project reflects our multigenerational commitment to our community and neighbors.”
The Backer Family has owned and operated Backer Farm in Mendham for nearly 100 years. We love, respect, and appreciate this extraordinary place, and the ideologies in which it upholds. Our family and staff have put generations of
craftsmanship, sweat, tears, and passion into this land and community. Preserving what Mendham means to our family is not only a priority, it is deep in our roots as citizens and neighbors. For our many supporters, we say thank you, more to come…