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The “case” compiled against us.

The “case” compiled against us.

One of the most common questions we get in the tasting room is “So, how is it going with your neighbors?” Then I reply, “how much time do you have?”

Not much? Oh, we know the feeling! Please though, read on.

As you are aware, since shortly after we opened, we have been hounded by a small group of vocal neighbors (none of whom can see the brewery directly from their homes) and a one-man, radical anti-development group based in another town. They’ve appealed our agritourism permit now five times, dragging us into Yamhill County Court, County Land Use Board hearings, Newberg City Council meetings, you name it. And every time, we endure negativity the likes of which we never could have imagined amid this effort to evolve Springbrook Farm through the age-old practice of farmhouse brewing. Their latest? Lodging a complaint about an upcoming Yoga class. Yes. Yoga, a near-silent form of stretching. They’ve avowed time and again their desire to end our events and put us entirely out of business. And each time, unanimously, we are backed up by city and county officials, because not only do good laws back us up, and our good record backs us up, the community at large has our back as well. Thank you for all your support thus far!

To date, we have handled this legal burden alonewithout retaining much in the way of paid legal counsel. Our budgets simply cannot allow us to lawyer up every time. I have learned to file Motions to Intervene and poured over statutes. I have consulted with friends and family and stood up in court and passionately defended our rights. Check out the picture below to see the "case" against us they have compiled. It's thicker than a phone book.

So now, the time has come to step up our defense. Next week, we are now compelled to appear at the Land Use Board of Appeals, in Salem, to listen as the same group attempts to unwind our hard-fought and affirmed agritourism rights, which allow us to have a chef of food cart here at the farm for a limited number of weekends per year. This five-year permit was already affirmed then reaffirmed on appeal by the entire Yamhill County Land Use Board and the County Commissioners. A popular, voter-supported objective of the state, agritourism brings the public to farms to share in the goodness, and, sometimes, a meal. But there are those who, oddly enough, vehemently oppose the entire concept, and they habitually tie up the courts.

We have retained a respected local land use lawyer in Portland to argue our case next week, and we need your help to take care of our mounting legal fees.

Yes, we’re hitting you up!

Please, come to the brewery on Tuesday, May 14th for a private gathering starting at 5pm, with light snacks, until 7pm, with beer for purchase. This will follow our hearing in Salem.

At this meeting, I'll report back what I learned there, answer all the questions I can, and listen to your own ideas for innovative fundraisers (I'm all ears).

You won’t be able to deduct your cash, check, or credit card gift as a charitable donation, and we can’t legally give you beer in exchange.

But, we do need your help. If you can make a gift of any amount - $5, $10, $25…  it would help defray some of our mounting legal costs (and note, when we have won, the opposition has never had to pay back any legal bills, and as a non-profit representing themselves, they don't have any of their own).

We would love to offer anyone who makes a donation of, say, $100 a free T-shirt or hat of their choosing (a $22-25 value), and any donation of over $5 earns a nice brewery sticker ($1 in the taproom).

If you can’t come, but would like to donate, please do so by following the link below and know that we are ETERNALLY GRATEFUL!

We have had a remarkable few years in operation. We embarked on the major restoration-in-progress of the national historic registry 1912 barn, planted some exploratory hops, established three bee colonies, and sewed brewing grains which are now growing! We have brewed over 100 recipes, been named to the Oregonian readers’ top ten list, earned local newspaper awards, even garnered national press as one of the best new breweries in America. 

We ardently believe having limited food here on occasion is not only harmless but beneficial to the community. It's more enjoyable for families, safer, and more in keeping with the spirit of a community gathering place. Wineries, cideries, and other businesses on farms do not face this opposition! As one of the state's only functioning farmhouse breweries, we have a lot of important work to do—and a great deal of gratitude for having the chance to do this, here, on Springbrook Farm, our family home. Thank you for your support! See you Tuesday?

Christian DeBenedetti
Founder & Head Brewer