Hot Plate Brewery Debuts in Downtown Pittsfield on Thursday

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — With all licensing secured, Hot Plate Brewery will have a soft opening on Thursday.

Owners Sarah Real and Mike Dell'Aquila will debut the micro-brewery to the public with six beers on tap starting at 4 p.m.

The Brooklyn, N.Y., transplants began planning their venture in the Berkshires two years ago, saying that the region seemed underserved from a craft beer perspective.

"Hot Plate" was inspired by the equipment that the couple used to brew beer in the city when they lost heat and hot water for three years because of a code violation.

On Monday, Licensing Board granted Hot Plate a weekday (Monday through Saturday) and Sunday entertainment license. With a local downtown beer and wine alcohol license and a pub brewers license from the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission in hand, they are ready to go.

On the menu will also be wine, cider, hard seltzers, soft drinks, and light fare. In the coming weeks, more beers will be added to the tap list as well.

Attorney Jesse Cook-Dubin told the Licensing Board that the brewery will have televisions, pre-recorded music, and live music within limitations. The music will be "quiet enough to be able to hear people talk," he said.

There was some discussion about the food aspect of Hot Plate at the time of the alcohol license approval, as the downtown licenses focus on restaurants and this is a brewery.

The plan is to offer food prepared by other downtown restaurants as well as some commercial kitchen infrastructure.

Cook-Dubin said there is a microwave right now and brewery is working with the Board of Health to determine what kind of food service permit is needed.

"The hope is to have something that is compliant with the statute, with the ordinance by when we talk in June," he added. "We think it's compliant now but we understand the concern about there needs to be something cohesive there."

As a woman of color, Real found it important to see herself represented in the industry, which the Brewers Association identifies as having less than 1 percent of all craft breweries in the United States owned by women like herself.

She and Dell'Aquila describe their business as a "mission-driven organization" and put inclusivity at the forefront, designing the taproom beyond Americans With Disabilities Act requirements, offering nonalcoholic and gluten-free options, and being a comfortable gathering space for all people.

The city has welcomed a downtown brewery with open arms, last year providing a $140,000 allocation of Pittsfield economic development funds to support the acquisition of equipment.

Tags: new business,   brewery,   

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Construction Grant Changes No Longer Align with Berkshire Atheneum's Goals

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass — The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners has adjusted this round of its construction grant program, no longer aligning with the Berkshire Athenaeum's goals. 
This grant round is really no longer a renovation program, library Director Alex Reczkowski said during a trustees meeting last week.
Interested applicants need at least two locations that they would be interested in pursuing as possible libraries or locations, not just the current library, he said. Acceptance of the award is once every 30 years. 
Although the library has some physical upgrades to the building in its strategic plan, it does not have enough data for a bigger project than that, Reczkowski said. 
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