Tree House Brewing gets pouring, entertainment licenses approved in South Deerfield

  • Greenfield resident Jon Bassett picks up his order of Tree House Brewing beers from employee Jennifer Gerace of Leyden at the new South Deerfield location, where customers can order online and pick up their orders curbside. The Deerfield Selectboard approved both an alcohol pouring license and entertainment license for the venue on Tuesday. Staff File Photo/Paul Franz

  • A selection of beers from Tree House Brewing in South Deerfield. The Deerfield Selectboard approved both an alcohol pouring license and entertainment license for the venue on Tuesday. Staff File Photo/Paul Franz

  • Tree House Brewing off of Routes 5 and 10 in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/CHRIS LARABEE

Staff Writer
Published: 7/29/2021 4:54:07 PM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — In the first of a series of public hearings for Tree House Brewing, the Selectboard approved both an alcohol pouring license and entertainment license for the venue on Wednesday.

Charlton-based Tree House Brewing applied for a farming series pouring permit, which allows the company to sell beverages for consumption on the premises. The entertainment license was approved by the Selectboard for both indoor and outdoor music and performances, but the Zoning Board of Appeals may set conditions on that permit at next week’s meeting. In another meeting, the Planning Board will review proposed modifications to the building.

Both permits state the venue, located in the former Channing Bete Co. building off of Routes 5 and 10, has an inside seating capacity of 293 and a total capacity of about 500 patrons.

Mark Borenstein, an attorney from the Bowditch and Dewey law firm representing Tree House Brewing, said the company plans to open a restaurant inside the building while also creating a patio space for outdoor dining.

“We’re really excited to welcome you and the town to this space,” Borenstein said. “It’s going to be a great source of pride for the town and definitely make Deerfield a more attractive place.”

Borenstein added the improvements to the building include installing ramps and lifts to increase accessibility.

“A lot of the improvements that are going to be in front of the Planning Board next week pertain to enhanced accessibility,” Borenstein explained. “The building was built in the late ’70s, early ’80s, obviously they had different standards back then, so Tree House is putting in a lot of effort to make sure that this venue is accessible to everyone, regardless of their ability.”

The proposed hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and noon to 11 p.m. on Sundays. Tree House Brewing is requesting, however, that the town allow it to open earlier on Sundays.

The restaurant will serve beer brewed on-site and will be “slinging pizzas” baked in a new oven.

The entertainment license will have “two primary uses,” according to Borenstein. The first is having solo artists or small bands perform inside the restaurant or on the patio to complement the dining experience while the second is having small concerts on the south lawn. He said the company may apply to host larger shows in the future.

“The total occupancy would be 500. That’s what we’re really seeking in this phase of Tree House operations,” Borenstein explained. “Likely in the future we might seek an expansion of that concert use, but for now we’re seeking 500 patrons.”

Tree House Brewing hired a sound engineer to perform a noise-level test, which found the ambient noise level to be at 85 decibels because of traffic on Routes 5 and 10. Borenstein, who added he is not a sound expert, said the noise measurement went up to 90 decibels when music was played.

“There’s a lot more science to it, so I might be oversimplifying it, but we’re working with the sound engineer to produce documentation before the ZBA hearing in order to present that to the town,” Borenstein said. “Generally, the noise levels were very minor, especially when compared to other standards listed in the zoning ordinance.”

Borenstein said there will not be concerts every night and the business will be coordinating with the Deerfield Police Department when there are shows.

“We can provide entertainment without impacting the neighbors, which is a win-win,” Borenstein said.

Selectboard member Trevor McDaniel said noise is the biggest concern, but he is excited to have Tree House Brewing in Deerfield.

“The main thing, which you’re aware of, making sure you’re respectful of the neighbors and make sure it’s not AC/DC night at 11 on a Sunday,” McDaniel said. “It’s going to be a great addition to our community.”

Fellow Selectboard member David Wolfram agreed with McDaniel, saying the venue provides a chance to reinvigorate Deerfield.

“We’re looking forward to bringing the town back alive,” Wolfram said.

Tree House Brewing will present to the Planning Board on Monday, Aug. 2, at 7 p.m. and to the Zoning Board of Appeals on Thursday, Aug. 5, at 6 p.m.

Chris Larabee can be reached at or 413-930-4081.


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