Happy birthday, dear Guinness ...

Arthur Guinness
Pssst. See that guy over there on the right? He's responsible for the Irish government's major income stream, something more important than ever now that the economic chaos that has roiled around the world has hit Ireland a rollicking good thwack.

Today is the 252nd anniversary of the founding of the iconic Guinness Brewery at St. James's Gate in Dublin by that fella, a man by the name of Arthur Guinness. At one time, it was the largest brewery in the world.

Guinness Brewery (Travelpod photo)
Guinness leased the property for a term of up to 9,000 (no kidding) years at an annual rent of £45 per year. That means the lease will come up for renewal in the year 10759 A.D.

The adjacent Guinness Storehouse is Dublin's No. 1 tourist attraction. The converted brewing factory is a seven-story Guinness museum, the topmost of which is home to the Gravity Bar, where visitors can get a free pint of "the black stuff," as the dark Guinness stout is known.

The Official Guinness Site
Touring Dublin
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Sacramento board encouraging wine tourism

• From Eat, Drink, Explore

SACRAMENTO, CA -- The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors have voted to adopt new zoning code amendments designed to encourage local wine tourism.

The amendments set development standards for wineries that will grant smaller-scale grape producers the right to produce and bottle their own wine.

“We feel this is an important step to encourage economic growth, job creation and keep tourism dollars in our County,” said Don Nottoli, Supervisor for District 5. “By reducing regulatory obstacles, we can help Sacramento County become an important part of the wine tourism industry.”

In a press release, the supervisors said the streamlined codes can save business both money and time. They board also pointed to the "grow local, buy local" movement saying the amendments will "help keep agricultural entities viable in Sacramento County."

Details of the Draft Zoning Code Amendments:
  • Allows some agri-tourism uses by right in certain zones and allow others through the use permit process.
  • Creates specific parking and signage development standards for wineries, farm stands and farm stay operations.
  • Outlines additional permitting requirements from other County departments.
  • Provides four classifications for premises that sell produce that would be permitted by right in agricultural zones if the sales areas do not exceed 1,500 square feet.
  • Allows small wineries by right in agricultural zones provided they have tasting rooms under 1,500 square feet.
  • Allows small wineries to host special events without a conditional use permit, with the size of events dependent on the size of the property.
  • Allows Farm Stays (similar to Bed and Breakfast Inns with focus on farming activities) with five or fewer rooms in agricultural zones by right.

Sacramento: Discover Gold
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