GERMANTOWN - A couple plans to open a brewery, restaurant and store at their 120-acre Germantown farm as early as this summer, if they get village approval.

In December, Georgene and Scott Sommer proposed opening Old Germantown, a craft brewery, farm-to-table kitchen and sausage production facility, at their farm on Pleasant View Drive, north of Lovers Lane.

The Germantown Plan Commission on Feb. 12 approved a permit for the business. The village board is expected to consider the permit March 5. 

Scott Sommer said his goal with the business is to give visitors a close-up look at farming practices and locally produced food and beer. 

“I think people always get excited to be able to feel that connection to the land and the food they enjoy,” he said.

The Sommers plan to offer classes in food preservation, sausage making, brewing and other farm crafts, according to their business plan. They will also offer agricultural programs for schools and clubs.

The brewery will make small batch sodas, lagers and ales, and the farm-to-table restaurant will serve meals cooked in a smokehouse, woodfire oven and grill. A small shop will sell pasta, grains and preserves. 

Last year, the couple bought the European Homemade Sausage Shop in Milwaukee and plans to continue creating the sausagemaker's recipes at their farm.

The Sommers have requested a conditional-use permit to allow construction of a new 6,000-square-foot barn building for use as a farm kitchen with the sit-down restaurant. The building will also house a small retail shop, sausage production facility and the craft brewery.

The owners also plan to renovate an existing 3,200-square-foot shed for cold storage and produce and grain processing, according to their business plan.

The owners have proposed operating Tuesday through Sunday in the summer and Thursday through Sunday during the colder months. Hours will vary by day but will be between 8 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Scott Sommer said the farm setting will give visitors a unique experience that they can't get anywhere else in the area.

“Part of the excitement is just recognizing that farm experience is possible in the metropolitan area and to be able to appreciate the legacy of Wisconsin farming practices,” he said.

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