Paso Robles News|Monday, October 23, 2017
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Molly Pitcher expands offerings to wine 

MollyPitcher_0400Brewery stopped serving cider to comply with rules

Molly Pitcher Brewing Company, 6760 El Camino Real in Atascadero, will now offer wine and will once again serve cider. The brewing company pulled cider from its menu when a customer told the owners the cider is sometimes classified as a wine, which was not part of their beer-only license.

“We wanted to comply with the [rules],” one of the owners Rachel Bryson said. “Our compliance officer said we’d probably be fine because it’s Angry Orchard. Better be safe than sorry.”

With the expansion of the license to include wine, Bryson said Molly Pitcher will start including one white and one red wine on its menu. She said Castor Cellars will most be likely the wine of choice. She said the brewery will also likely start to offer ciders produced locally in addition to Angry Orchard. She said that Angry Orchard, unlike other ciders, is right on the line between being classified as a beer or wine because of the way it’s produced.

Bryson said that the only change, they’re looking for is to add wine, which does not require the business to offer more than the snacks it already has for sale because it’s a strictly 21 and over establishment. While she said business has remained steady, the owners have noticed that groups will leave because there are no options for one person.

While the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control is the issuing agency of the license, the local governing body — the city of Atascadero — is required to determine whether or not the license will “serve public convenience or necessity,” which is only required when there is an “undue concentration” of liquor licenses within the area. Molly Pitcher is located within an area that allows for 12 ABC licenses and there are currently 20 licenses. Per state law, the city council must review the issue before an additional license is issued.

According to the staff report, the brewery is more than 500 feet from its closest two public schools — Atascadero Junior High School and Atascadero High School.

The Atascadero City Council approved the request 5-0 as part of the consent calendar of the agenda, which is made up of items that city staff consider to be “routine and non-controversial.”

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