FiftyFifty owners retract application for new Truckee brewery |

FiftyFifty owners retract application for new Truckee brewery

Josh Staab

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TRUCKEE, Calif. — While he may have retracted his application for a new craft beer brewery along West River Street, FiftyFifty Brewing Company co-owner Andy Barr will still move forward with business expansion plans.

Barr and his wife, FiftyFifty co-owner and Truckee Mayor Alicia Barr, have rescinded their application to build an 18,500-square-foot brewery based on the time constraints they would face building a facility to meet growing business demands.

“What really happened here is we originally came into this with a couple of projects,” Andy Barr said. “And the Arnold property is a fairly big parcel that deserves good planning and a pretty sizable development.”

The projects, Barr explained, were originally aligned with “the pressing need FiftyFifty has for expansion.”

With FiftyFifty distributing in seven countries and in 17 states, Barr said there was a “ton” of demand-driven requests he and his company have been unable to meet.

The expansion was probably two years overdue, he said, something he blames on how difficult expanding the award winning company can be within Truckee.

“There is just not a lot of big buildings lying around,” he said.

The idea was to go in with a streamlined timeframe that would ensure the West River facility’s construction would be underway well in advance of future FiftyFifty projects, Barr said.

“It became clear that we were going to hit our time needs for the brewery, so we were stuck with a hard situation,” Barr said.

When an application is withdrawn, it is closed and no further action takes place on the request, said John McLaughlin, Truckee community development director.

“We collect any fees that may be due, or we refund any deposits that may remain,” McLaughlin said. “Should the applicant wish to have the project considered in the future, a new application would need to be filed.”

There is no action taken by Truckee Town Council or the Planning Commission once the application is withdrawn, McLaughlin added, and since the Barrs had paid all of their fees that exceeded the initial deposit, the application is officially considered closed and completed.

Town Council approved the new FiftyFifty brewing facility on June 23, on the condition the applicants could bring into code compliance a number of businesses operating on the property the Barrs had purchased for the new facility, commonly known as the Arnold property.

“It’s a complicated process,” Barr said. “I think we were ambitious to think we could get it in the timeframe we wanted to.”

Because of the timing constraints, the Barrs will begin work remodeling an existing 12,000-square-foot building along River Park Place, which shares a parcel line with the Arnold property.

“It will satisfy our expansion for the very short term,” Barr said. “But it gets us where we need to go.”

Emphasis on the “short,” too, as Barr notes the process to move the necessary equipment into the new facility has already begun.

Though the River Park Place property will not be as large as that of its Arnold property counterpart, Barr said it would be able to produce about 30 times what his current facility is capable.

This, Barr said, will allow the FiftyFifty to provide its product to Truckee customers first and foremost, then to other distributors across the West Coast.

The new building will still be subject to permitting, and Barr expects to file permit applications soon, he said.

“I expect to begin the application and use permit process with the town within the next month,” Barr said, which could put the facility in operation as early as within the next six to eight months.

Once that facility is up and operational, Barr said he and the rest of his planning team can then return to making updated plans for the Arnold property.

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