SOLANO COUNTY (CBS13) — A popular local craft brewer is blasting Solano County officials for allowing bureaucracy to close down his business.
It’s a brewer’s oasis now in crisis.
“We pour a lot of heart and soul in it,” said J-E Paino. “We’re in the grind of the bureaucracy, which is a lawyer-driven enterprise.”
Customers at the Ruhstaller brewery farm and yard are now being turned away over permit problems.
Paino is part of the team that revived the historic Ruhstaller label from Sacramento’s Gold Rush era. Using a Solano hop farm for the beer’s locally sourced ingredients, he helped turn the ag land into a rustic attraction. But this week, Solano County declared the handcrafted hangout dangerous. They shut off power last week.
“I said we’ve been in contact with you guys; you know we’re here; we haven’t been hiding,” Paino said. “We’re 300 feet from the freeway.
Paino says he feels blindsided, and he’s had to let nine employees go.
County director of resource planning Bill Emblem issued a statement saying the goal is to get Ruhstaller into compliance adding, “We hope to get his power up and running as soon as possible.”
“What the hell does ‘as soon as possible’ mean?” Paino said. “Does that mean today? Does that mean tomorrow, does that mean next month?”
He calls it a case of craft brewing versus county bureaucracy.
“We’re in the grind of the bureaucracy, which is a lawyer-driven enterprise,” he said.
The county says what is at issue is power cords and shipping containers not being up to compliance. There’s no timetable for when it all could be cleared up, but Ruhstaller is concerned that it might take long enough for them to be forced to close their business.