BRADENTON -- The Little Giant Brewery moved a step closer to opening after receiving unanimous permit approval Wednesday from the Bradenton Planning Commission.
Michael Wagner, owner of the microbrewery, received a special use permit for light manufacturing and lounge use. He has also requested an alcohol beverage license for the 301 Seventh St. E. brewery location.
Wagner has moved to different locations over the years for various reasons, but he continues brewing because he said it's his passion.
"To me it's kind of a big deal," said Wagner told the commission.
All planning commissioners approved the permits except Adam Buskirk, who recused himself citing conflict of interest.
Wagner said he was please with the approval and is looking forward to the next phase of opening.
The 5,400-square-foot location will feature a beer garden, tasting room, brewing tours and beer education classes. Wagner said he plans to teach flavor perception and analysis of craft beers.
The new microbrewery met with slight opposition from two residents with noise and traffic concerns.
Dale Ward, who came with his wife, said traffic is a serious issue. He said he and his son have had to dodge cars that almost hit them on separate occasions. Ward said he believes they could have been leaving the Tarpon Pointe Grille and Tiki Bar, 801 Riverside Drive E.
Ward said he wanted to make sure city officials considered traffic and noise issues before approving.
"I'm not against the brewery. It's fine," said Dale to the
planning commission. "These are just my concerns."
Jason "J.B." Taylor, chairman of the planning commission, suggested Wagner and the residents exchange contact info so they can work together.
Wagner said his brewery will only have outside music during special events. He vowed to be mindful of his neighbors.
"We don't want to affect the neighborhood in any negative way," said Wagner. "I don't want these people under any duress."
The planning commission's recommendations for the brewery will be heard by the city council at 8:30 a.m, June 12.
JANEY TATE, City of Bradenton and Palmetto Reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041. You can follow her on Twitter at Janey_Tate.