Bay Area Brewing

Making Rockport Brewtiful!

Brewing Success in Rockport, Texas: Navigating Zoning Challenges and Community Support

July 17 – Sept 14, 2023
Diedra Amaya

So, we want to open a brewery in our own hometown, Rockport, Texas! Where do we start? We
began by reaching out to the appropriate channels, including Rockport’s City Planner, Carey
Dietrich, to coordinate a Pre-Development Meeting with the Building & Development
Department and a representative from other involved departments. We prepared a brief
presentation outlining our intentions regarding size, operating hours, offerings, and goals for
review beforehand. We also provided several hard copies of our business plan for the
approximately 12 representatives at the meeting to review. During the meeting, we discussed a
few properties we were considering and received valuable feedback from local experts to guide
our search for a suitable brewery location. We also delved into specific information related to
recent challenges and estimated costs for plumbing, sewer, water installation, parking, and
various permits.

It was determined by the city that our brewery would fall under the “light industrial, L-1” zoning
category. This posed a significant challenge for us as there were limited properties available
with this zoning designation that met our minimum requirements. While we explored options in
Fulton, which had more favorable zoning for our purpose, our loyalty as Rockport residents and
our commitment to our slogan, “Make Rockport Brewtiful,” led us to pursue opening our brewery
within the city limits of Rockport.

Still exploring our options, we raised the possibility of the heritage district. The city reminded me
that we would not be able to obtain zoning approval for this area. A Brewery is considered to be
g, therefore we would need to be covered light industrial. In this context, we also inquired about
Dog’gon Brewery’s permitting approval process. It struck me as interesting that the city hadn’t
considered the existing brewery or that they were surprised we had a comparison business?

We also want to take this opportunity to mention the camaraderie between craft breweries to our
Bay Area Brewing Company (TX BABCO) followers. We hope to share our passion without
competing against other breweries. We will have many opportunities to collaborate. Now, back
to our primary concern: location. The city assured us that they would look into the permitting
approvals for Dog’gon Brewery in the heritage district, and we left the meeting with a wealth of
knowledge and a list of contacts who were enthusiastic about our vision.

After a few weeks, we followed up with the city multiple times to inquire about permitting for the
brewery in the heritage district. We came across a couple of recent articles that related to our
situation in other small Texas communities, where those cities had expanded zoning to B1
Commercial for breweries. We mentioned a couple of new locations we was negotiating with
property owners to lease and incorporated some information from these articles. We waited
anxiously for a response.

Then, on Thursday, September 14, we received a determination: The City of Rockport is
working with us! I am immensely grateful for having asked the right questions, as the city
listened and diligently carried out their responsibilities. Everyone, can you say “Winning!”
Now we have so many options! What is out there that we don’t even know about? Location,
location, location…

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Bay Area Brewing Co: A veteran-owned brewpub uniting fresh experiences, community, and craft beverages.


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