By Korie Marshall

A licensed patio could be a new addition to 5th Avenue this summer.

A Development Permit to build a patio at the new micro-brewery was passed by Valemount Council Feb. 11. It is only part of the process to open a licensed patio at 1160 5th Avenue, and Council is looking for input from neighbours before making a recommendation to the provincial Liquor Control and Licensing Branch.

Michael Lewis, owner of Three Ranges Brewing Company said his plan has always been to open a patio to serve his locally crafted beer, but it has been a long process. The microbrewery had to pass a number of provincial regulatory steps before opening, but the tasting room opened in December. Residents and visitors can sample each beer and fill glass jugs to take home with them. Three Ranges is also canning beer as well as serving it at local restaurants like the Best Western’s Cranberry Lounge and the Caribou Grill.

Three Ranges Brewing Company has applied for a Brewery Lounge Endorsement that would allow the serving of the company’s beer as well as food and non-alcoholic beverages, both in a lounge area and on the patio. The application is for a maximum of 53 people (maximum of 32 people inside), and minors would be permitted in the licensed area when accompanied by a parent or guardian. The requested hours of operation are seven days a week, from 9 am to 11 pm.

The Village is mailing letters to neighbouring residents and business owners within half a kilometer of the micro-brewery, and will be holding a public hearing on February 25th at 6:30 pm, just before regular Council meeting. According to a report to Council, the public hearing is not necessary to meet requirements of the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch, but it is part of the process agreed on by Village staff in consultation with the Branch.

Council hopes to formalize their resolution at the first Council meeting in March. Following that, the Licensing Branch will make its decision, and if approved, floor plans will then be considered by the Branch. If approved in principle, Lewis can then start on construction and renovation. The final licensing endorsement is not granted until the construction is complete.