Bryan Carver helped breweries get set up when he worked for Diversified Metal Engineering (DME).
He worked in sales for the P.E.I.-based company, which earned a reputation for its contribution to the craft beer industry before going into receivership in November of last year. The business since been purchased by a Dutch company and re-opened.
However, after last year’s closure, Carver decided to try selling his own craft beer.
“I kind of started pursuing this project to open up a small brewery in Cornwall,” said Carver, who also used to be the head brewer at P.E.I. Brewing Company.
He hopes to rezone the land housing Cornwall Dental Clinic, which is relocating later this month, to allow for a microbrewery. The clinic's new address is 419 Trans Canada Highway, right next door to the old dental clinic.
The market for this kind of space isn’t being serviced in Cornwall, Carver said.
“The location’s great. It’s a nice little building within the community,” he said. “It was a good opportunity to do a really small-scale brewery.”
The operation would be about half the size of Rose Valley’s Barnone brewery and would have about 8-12 small tanks.
Carver is also certified by the Cicerone Certification Program, an internationally-recognized beer education. He said the proposed microbrewery’s name “Village Green” was inspired by pubs across Europe and that he hopes to feature European-inspired beers.
Carver doesn’t plan to sell bottled or canned beer. He won’t sell food either.
“It’s not going with the conventional model where you have your four to five flagship beers.” he said. “This is more to get people in the door to try something different that’s changing up every week.”
Now that the Trans-Canada Highway is going to bypass Cornwall, a microbrewery would bring something good to the town, he said.
“Just a place where neighbours can come together. A community space.”
Carver’s rezoning application was discussed during a public meeting in Cornwall last week. There was little discussion amongst residents who attended the meeting.
Coun. Jill MacIsaac, who chairs the town’s planning committee, considered the meeting a success.
“A lot of times you have a lot more questions and a lot more people against something,” she said. “This is something that’s supported.”
The first step in the process would be to change the zone from public service and institutional to commercial, she said. Step two would be adding “microbrewery” as a special permit use in a commercial zone.
If those steps are approved, the council will then decide whether the application for Village Green should move forward or not.
“Special permit use is very scrutinized,” said MacIsaac, who added that it will likely be the beginning of summer before council would potentially be voting on the application.
The only concern raised was whether rezoning would bring more traffic to the area.
Kevin Sanderson, council chair for West River United Church, said traffic and parking space are the church’s biggest issues.
“That’s an issue I think the community of Cornwall should look into.”
The church is near the proposed microbrewery but any commercial business could cause similar problems for them and Sanderson suggested installing speed bumps along the street and improving street lighting.