Stowe's Development Review Board offered a toast Monday to plans for a new brewery at Trapp Family Lodge.
The board voted 6-1 to allow the resort to build a new 50,000-barrel-capacity brewery and Austrian-style restaurant near the intersection of Luce Hill and Trapp Hill roads.
The approval will not be final until the board meets in a private deliberative session — likely by email — to review a final ruling. Vermont law allows development review boards to make decisions behind closed doors, because they are quasi-judicial.
After a decision is made, it does become public, said Town Zoning Administrator Rich Baker.
When plans were submitted to the town government last month, the von Trapp family, which own the resort, declined to disclose many details about the brewery.
It now appears the resort's Trapp Lager brand will be packaged — a “packaging” area is noted in the brewery's design — and sold in retail stores, with some shipments going out-of-state.
Currently, the resort ships beer in kegs to restaurants and bars, and sells bottles on-site.
The existing brewery, which opened in 2010, can produce 2,000 barrels of beer a year, about 62,000 gallons.
The new brewery would produce up to 50,000 barrels per year, about 1.5 million gallons.
The beer is now brewed in four varieties: Golden Helles, Vienna Amber, Dunkel Lager and a rotating seasonal lager.
The brewery would be built in late 2012, and the restaurant would be built in 2014 or 2015.
The restaurant would seat 150 people indoors, with outdoor seating for 140, according to the plans.
Neighbors brought up a number of concerns Monday about potential traffic, noise and odors from the new brewery.
Tim Ziegler of Luce Hill Road worried about delivery trucks leaving the property.
“It's more risk for pedestrians and people who use bicycles there — it's an extremely narrow road,” he said. “Every time you add more traffic to that threat level, you're adding to the risk for anybody on that road.”
Nichole Ziegler worried about noise from the delivery trucks.
“Are they going to be going back downhill using their (engine) brakes at night?” she asked.
Board member Peter Collatta voted against approving the Trapps proposal. He thinks the brewery will cause traffic problems, because it can be reached only through Moscow via Barrows Road, or at the intersection of Mountain and Luce Hill roads.
“It seems to be a terrible choice in either case,” he said.
Trapps did agree to a number of conditions to assuage neighbors' concerns:
• No ongoing brewery odor at the property line for the site.
“I can't guarantee there won't be a whiff every now and then,” Johannes von Trapp said.
• No audible music at the property line — the restaurant may feature music.
• Warning signs for oncoming traffic at the entrance to the brewery.
• No shipping or receiving between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
“I can assure you we will not be having a factory whistle at the beginning and end of every day,” von Trapp said.