Wilmington Tells Brew-Pub Community It Is Now Open For Business, Ready To Reclaim Its “Hop Town” Nickname

Below is a press release from the Wilmington Economic Development Committee:

WILMINGTON, MA – At its annual Town Meeting held on May 1, 2021, the voters of the town of Wilmington, MA unanimously approved a measure that will accommodate Brew Pubs as a business type to the community.

The open town meeting, Wilmington’s form of local government, is where zoning changes like this one are presented, debated, and ultimately voted on by resident attendees.

Article 46 on the meeting’s warrant addressed the fact that the existing zoning by-laws did not specifically callout Brew-Pubs as an acceptable use in Mixed Use and Business Districts. Additionally, the article provided a definition of “Brew-Pub” as: Restaurants, licensed under the relevant state and federal statutes, to produce and sell beer and/or ale at the location and whose primary business is the sale and preparation of food to be consumed on the premises. Malt beverages including beers, ales and hard ciders produced on the premises may be sold to consumers for take-away or to other establishments, but such sales shall not exceed 25 percent of the brew pub’s production capacity.

This article came from the efforts of the Town’s Economic Development Committee, working as the proactive arm of the Town of Wilmington, in collaboration with the town’s Planning Board to help promote an atmosphere conducive to smart economic growth, by identifying and targeting key business sectors that complement the fabric of the community, are beneficial to the residents, and create jobs.

Recognizing the growth of the on-site micro-brewing industry and reacting to resident feedback from surveys requesting this type of business, the Committee saw the opportunity to update the zoning bylaws to make Wilmington a more attractive destination for would-be Brew-Pub businesses.

With its tremendous assets as a community, including being located along Interstate 93 and close to Interstates 95 and 495, It is hoped, by making this simple change, and getting the word out, that existing brew-pubs looking to expand with new locations, or new ones will see that the people of Wilmington want them, and the local government is excited to work with them.

The Economic Development Committee continues its work to identify business sectors, retail, food-service, experiential & entertainment and other commercial enterprises that will reinforce Wilmington as a great place to live, work, and visit.

Did you know that Wilmington was once known as “HOP TOWN”?

According to the town’s historical records, about 200 years ago, Wilmington was the leading producer of hops in the young United States of America. After the Revolutionary War, Middlesex County was a prime hop-growing area, and Wilmington led the county in hop cultivation. Transporting this rich crop along the famous Middlesex Canal, the hops made their way into Charlestown where some would find their way into local brewers while most of them would be loaded to small ships to make the trip around New England to New York and ultimately up the Hudson River to Albany to major brewers there at the time.

With this zoning change, Wilmington is ready and excited to reclaim this honorable title!

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