Temperance Brewery will be able to sell its product in 22-ounce craft beer bottles if the ordinance introduced by City Council on Oct. 13 passes on a second reading next week. The ordinance will not apply to Sketchbook Brewery, however – at least, not yet.
Josh Gilbert of Temperance showed the Administration and Public Works Committee a 22-ounce bottle and compared it to a bottle of wine. A wine bottle contains about 25.2 ounces of wine, he said.
Beer aged for a number of months in barrels, with decorative labels and packaging, is really “treated more like wine” by beer aficionados, Mr. Gilbert said. He estimated that a 22 ounce bottle of beer would cost about $15 as a specialty product.
Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, who also serves as the City’s liquor commissioner, said she was in favor of 22-ounce bottle because “they will not lead to drunk-in-public” incidents. “It’s too expensive for that.”
Evanston ordinances prohibit the sale of individual beer bottles. Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, at first proposed that the beer should be sold at least in a two-pack but backed off her suggestion when she heard the $15 price tag.
Sketchbook, as a P-2 liquor license, produces far less beer than Temperance. As an efficiency matter, City Staff proposed changing their license to add 22-ounce beer sales as well. Objections resulted.
Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, said she had “no issue with Sketchbook, but that’s not the right process. … At the very least, we need to have a neighborhood discussion.” Sketchbook should not be able to piggyback on Temperance’s requested change to the ordinance, no matter how similar the businesses, but must make its own request, she said.
Sketchbook, not completely open yet, will now proceed down the same path Temperance did, its owner said.