HONESDALE - A local businessman has plans to open a brewery and packaging and distribution center that could employ over a dozen "local people," according to paperwork filed with borough council.
"We can conceivably see employing ten to fifteen local people in the areas of brewing, bottling, packaging, clerical, sales, marketing, marketing material, production and distribution," stated Brian J. Cobb, owner of Irving Cliff Brewery & Bottling.
Council has approved a conditional use permit for Cobb for the proposed brewery at 2 Chapel Street, a 50-by-150 two-story structure.
Council's vote was unanimous and President James Brennan said he is in favor of the business coming to Honesdale and employing local workers and boosting the economy.
It would be the first brewery in Honesdale since Prohibition, according to Cobb.
The timeline of the work was unclear on Thursday.
Cobb is converting part of a T-shirt printing plant into a brewery.
The plan has been approved by the borough planning commission.
The businessman plans to brew small batches of craft beers using locally-produced and distributed products and services.
The business would offer "training and education in many new and exciting fields."
The brewery would have four to five flagship beers available throughout the year.
The products would promote Honesdale with craft brew names such as "Winter Wonderland Porter," "Stourbridge Lion Ale," "Maple City Lager," "Irving Cliff Brewery & Bottling," "Maple City Lager," "Dyberry Creek IPA," "Indian Orchard Cider" and "Headless Horseman's Pumpkin Stout" in honor of Washington Irving's character, Cobb stated in outline papers to council.
Cobb further stated, "Our business would create a new tourism attraction for downtown Honesdale" and would offer educational brewing tours.
Also, "the holiday season will bring a new tradition to Honesdale with the release of 'Winter Wonderland Porter.'"
The craft brew industry provides over 110,000 jobs in the U.S. with a growth of over 18 percent last year, Cobb stated in paperwork to council.
Craft beer revenue was estimated at 14.3 billion in 2013, all of which benefited local communities, according to Cobb's paperwork.
Cobb said he wants to create a business that will invest in the local community.
Cobb has operated Mountain Growler, a company that designs and prints custom bottles and growlers for craft breweries.
"This small business plan got me in the door of many craft breweries where I learned about the brewery industry," Cobb stated.
Cobb spent two years collaborating with craft brewers, attending conferences and studying techniques.
The businessman also said Irving Cliff would use local companies for services and supplies including plumbers, electricians and construction companies.
Cobb noted that small communities with breweries have become landmarks due to popular beers like Yuengling, Stegmaier and Pabst.
"Small towns thrived with the success of their breweries," Cobb stated.
He added, "Local breweries are bringing back recognition to the community as well as financial gains."