Selling pretzels, chips and peanuts in a brewery’s tasting room seems logical, right? Not if you’re in Portland, Maine.
Allagash Brewing Co. has recently been denied the right to sell prepackaged snacks to tasters by the city’s zoning board, according to the Portland Press Herald. Portland’s zoning administrator, Ann Machado, wrote a letter to the appeal board saying that snacks aren’t allowed in the taproom because it’s not an “ancillary use” (read: necessary), seeing that customers will be consuming small amounts of beer and won’t need pretzels to sop anything up. Allagash’s retail manager, Jill Perry, tells the Herald that the company isn’t “trying to expand our business. We’re just trying to be responsible purveyors of alcohol.” Also, bar snacks rule.
Breweries, including those in Maine, often sell shirts and pint glasses, which are also not necessary to the brewing process but don’t seem to be a problem for Portland authorities.
New Jersey breweries are in the same boat as Maine — they’re not allowed to offer food with their beers. Pennsylvania and New York, however, allow food in tasting rooms. North Carolina and Oregon go so far as to encourage breweries to sell or offer free snacks to supply an option for minors who were brought along on tours (and, of course, to promote responsible drinking).