Tree House Brewing in Deerfield OK’d to triple occupancy limit to 1,500

By CHRIS LARABEE

Staff Writer

Published: 04-14-2023 12:33 PM

DEERFIELD — The Tree House Brewing Co. has won approval from the town to triple its occupancy for outdoor concerts and other special events to 1,500 people.

The brewery, located off Routes 5 and 10, has 10 concerts tentatively scheduled for this spring and summer. The business has been operating for more than a year with a 500-patron occupancy limit.

After taking a week to review Tree House’s plans, the Select Board this week approved an amendment to the company’s farmer series brewing permit.

While the Select Board signaled its approval for the occupancy increase at its previous meeting, members said they wanted to do their due diligence in looking over the business’ proposed emergency action, security and parking plans. During ticketed events, the brewery will be closed to the general public.

“To be clear, the taproom during a performance ... would be available to people who are attending the concert,” said Tree House attorney Mark Borenstein. “The taproom will not be open the public.”

Among the security and safety details the company agreed to adhere to were ensuring there is enough space for large emergency vehicles to turn around in, holding a pre-event security meeting with staff and the Deerfield police officer, and the prohibition of tailgating. Tree House is still working with the building inspector to determine maximum occupancy of its warehouse if people need to be moved due to severe weather.

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Parking will be handled at Tree House’s 282 parking spaces on site, with overflow parking available at the Yankee Candle flagship store’s 500-plus parking spots. Shuttle services will be provided by Tree House for folks parking in the overflow lot. Brewery staff will park at Yankee Candle’s corporate offices and events will be scheduled to not interfere with Yankee Candle’s hours of operation.

Tree House will also work with the Deerfield Police Department to coordinate traffic details at its entrance and the Yankee Candle store parking lot.

“We are in constant contact with the Police Department,” added Tree House Regulatory Specialist Allison Masley.

The board also approved extending Tree House’s operating hours from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. to accommodate brunch hours and concerts running past the typical closing time of 8 p.m.

Select Board member Carolyn Shores Ness requested Tree House provide a debriefing on its concert season at the end of the summer to see how things went because “more conversation is better.” Borenstein, however, suggested the brewery provide consistent communication with the town to ensure things run as smoothly as possible.

“A debrief later on is great, but constant communication is helpful,” Borenstein said. “If you see something that Tree House might not realize is an issue for you folks, please let us know, then we’ll correct it.”

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