Problems brewing for local brewery in Plant City

Plant City, Florida -- Problems are pouring in for a local winery and brewery in Plant City.

The county says the Keel and Curley Winery is not within the proper zoning to operate.

The business has been making wine for the past decade, but in October they added a brewery to the mix and now that's brewing up some controversy.

With more than 25 acres of blueberries in Plant City, Joe Keel stays busy making his popular blueberry wine.

"We started growing blueberries in 1995," says Keel, owner of Keel and Curley Winery and Two Henry's brewing Co.

But six months ago, Keel decided to brew something more.

"It was very well received ... craft beer has grown considerably," says Keel.

But the new brewery isn't fermenting well with everyone.

"We don't want a bar and we don't want a brewery," says Lonnie Oswald, who lives about a mile down the road from the business.

Oswald says the new brewery is only going to brew up problems.

"A lot of young people are out here driving on these roads and we don't need intoxicated drivers as well," says Oswald.

According to the county, they could give Oswald what he wants because Keel's brewery isn't up to code.

"In the planned development, it says we're a winery. Nothing in there about beer, and that's what the zoning problem is about," says Keel.

The county has yet to approve or deny a change of zoning for Keel's brewery, but in the meantime he's collecting support to show the county not everyone disagrees with his new business venture.

This item will go before code enforcement on June 23.


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