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Misfit Craft Brewery gets OK in Oswego

Updated: February 27, 2012 9:48AM

Steve Woertendyke wasn’t sure what happened Tuesday night as Oswego Village Board members swiftly rattled off six yes votes.

“I looked at my lawyer, and he gave me the thumbs up,” the Misfit Craft Brewery co-owner said excitedly. And with that, Woertendyke and his partners were finally welcomed to the neighborhood.

Board members unanimously approved a special use for the property at 59 Main St., the village’s former fire station, to allow Misfit Craft Brewery to set up shop as a small-scale producer, bottler and distributor of alcoholic beverages. But, these won’t just be any alcoholic beverages, the owners said.

“We will not have the beer out there unless it is perfect,” Woertendyke, 36, of Plainfield, said. “We will brew and taste, and brew and taste, until we get it right.”

The venture is a dream come true for friends and business partners Woertendyke; Jason Thalman, 37, of Oswego, and Rafael Gomez, 35, of Plainfield.

“The only time I’ve ever seen him happier is when we had our children,” said Jason Thalman’s wife, Connie Thalman.

On Jan. 10, the board approved a zoning change to allow small-scale bottling operations in community shopping districts with a special use permit. Tuesday’s decision approved that special use for Misfits, and was met with cheers and clapping from craft beer-lovers in the galley of the village board room.

The Misfit Craft Brewery will be allowed to operate under the special conditions that large deliveries be made to the back of the establishment and that all goods be stored indoors.

As a tasting establishment, the brewery will offer 4-ounce glasses of its beers, though full-size drinks will also be sold, and the tasting room will include a sit-down bar. Kegs and growlers will also be sold for off-site consumption.

“Welcome to town,” Village President Brian LeClercq told the men following the quick, unanimous vote. “We’ve had a lot of dialogue about this, and all we ask for is free samples when you get them.”

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