Cazenovia The Empire Brewing Company is one step closer to building its proposed farmstead brewery complex in Cazenovia after the village board unanimously voted last week to approve annexation of nearly 22 acres of the company’s land into the village.
The approval, given by the board at its Jan. 7 meeting after completing an environmental assessment of the project, will allow the proposed brewery be added to the village water system, which brewery owner David Katleski has said is essential to the project’s success.
“Annexation is important for the brewery because we will need access to village water. Annexation was granted last Monday and I am grateful,” Katleski said.
Empire’s proposed project is to build a “farmstead brewery” on Route 13 just across the village line in Cazenovia that would not only have the finished beer product but also would showcase the entire beer-making process from how the hops and malt are grown and harvested to how the beer is produced. The new location will brew 60,000 barrels per year, and is intended to take pressure off Empire’s current brewing operations in Syracuse and Brooklyn, which are now running at full capacity.
Katleski, a Cazenovia resident, presented the business’s future plans to village and town officials and petitioned for village annexation last July. Since then, Katleski has been moving forward with architectural and engineering plans for the project and has completed the State Environmental Quality Review Act assessment form, which was reviewed by the village board at its Jan. 7 meeting. The SEQR is a state-mandated assessment to gauge environmental impacts of a development project on the land.
According to the Empire Brewery’s statements on the SEQR form, of the total 21.683 acres of land in the lot, 2.6 acres will be developed for the brewery building with 19.083 remaining undeveloped or used for agriculture. The building itself will measure 45 feet in height, 83 feet in width and 185 feet in length.