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Annexation talks begin

Empire Brewing Company moves forward with plan for Cazenovia location

Owner of Empire Brewing Company David Katleski, far left, presents his plans for development of a farm brewery on Route 13 in Cazenovia to the village and town boards during a joint public hearing July 31 in the Municipal Building.

Owner of Empire Brewing Company David Katleski, far left, presents his plans for development of a farm brewery on Route 13 in Cazenovia to the village and town boards during a joint public hearing July 31 in the Municipal Building. Photo by Pierce Smith.

Empire Brewing Company’s petition for annexation of 22 acres off of Route 13 in Cazenovia was officially received and acknowledged during the village and town joint public hearing on July 31 in the Municipal Building.

David Katleski, a Cazenovia resident and owner of the popular Syracuse-based brewery, presented the business’s future plans to both village trustees and town councilors, providing aerial maps of the parcel and a cardboard mock up of the proposed farm brewery. For the past two years, the business has been brewing its unique beers at Green Point Beer Works in Brooklyn, as well as at their headquarters in Syracuse. Katleski said the popularity of the products has pushed production to full capacity at both locations.

“I founded Empire Brewing Company in 1994 and the business has grown in many ways,” Katleski said. “Our growth has been incredible, and we are now at capacity in Syracuse and Brooklyn ... We’ve decided we would like to build a manufacturing plant [in Cazenovia]. It will be a little different than a typical brewery; we’d like to build something that’s world-class, with international appeal. We chose Cazenovia because my wife Karen and I live here with our family, and we love it here.”

The Cazenovia-based farm brewery Katleski has in mind for Empire Brewing Company would allow the business to continue its current level of operation and distribution, but also grow, much like the hops and herbs he plans to cultivate on the land.

“We would like to keep the brewery and ‘green’ as possible. We’re very concerned with the agricultural component of this. Because it’s a farm brewery, we want the public to understand … how beer is made. Instead of just manufacturing it and sending visitors to the tasting room, we want them to get a feel for what hops, barley and wheat look like,” Katleski said. “The property itself doesn’t have any sewage or water [systems], so we need to utilize the village sewage and water. In doing so, we would like to be annexed into the village itself. Right now, the parcel is on the town line.”

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