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New law allows breweries, wineries in Medina

MEDINA – A local law unanimously passed Monday by the Medina Village Board allows for wineries, breweries, cideries and even meaderies to start looking at the Orleans County location as a potential place of business.

One already has, and was present during the public hearing on the law Monday night.

Bryan Degraw is the owner of 810 Meadworks. The business will brew a variety of honey-based wine in Medina’s downtown. Its tentative opening date is later this year. Degraw said the business has already started the federal and state permit process for his establishment.

“The hope is that we bring people to Medina to visit us, but we also hope they see other businesses downtown and visit them as well,” Degraw said.

Marty Busch, the village code enforcement officer, said the village law is a streamlined local process for the businesses in question. “It provides a clearer, direct path to allow uses not allowed by zoning class by right,” he said, adding that such a measure makes the village “proactive” given Medina’s location on the Niagara Wine Trail.

There were some questions regarding the storage and manufacturing space necessary for such businesses, but Busch said that would be determined by both the size of their respective location and, depending on the business, state law governing just how much product can be created.

Another issue raised was whether parking in downtown would become an issue, but Busch said that would “be a great problem to have.” He mentioned that several municipal lots currently are “underutilized” and that if new businesses are created under this law, “attitudes will adjust.”

“If people want to get somewhere, they will, and the impact with that is that they’ll go by other businesses to do so,” Busch said.

Cindy Robinson, president of the Medina Business Association, also chimed in on the parking question.

“We seldom hear complaints during our events,” she said, mentioning the annual Ale in Autumn, Wine About Winter, and Olde Tyme Christmas celebrations. The former two bring several hundred people downtown twice a year, while the latter brings thousands.

Turning her attention back to Degraw’s incoming business, she added “We’re really thrilled to have something new and exciting here.”

Along with 810 Meadworks, there has also been some talk of trying to attract a microbrewery and distillery to the basement of Bent’s Opera House, a downtown landmark.