New Petaluma brewery shut for lack of permits

A new Petaluma brewery has been shut down for operating without proper permits.

Petaluma Hills Brewing Co. on North McDowell Boulevard opened last month. But city code enforcement officials halted operations this week after learning about an agreement to share the brewery's space with HenHouse Brewing Co.

Petaluma Hills owner JJ Jay was served with a shut-down notice Tuesday. He said he has been going through the city permitting process for almost a year and wasn't purposely flouting the law.

Jay said he brewed several batches of beer to perfect it, then received permission from Alcoholic Beverage Control to sell, so he did.

"I haven't done anything other than over-exuberance," he said Thursday. "It's one of those things where my success caught up with me."

Police Lt. Mike Cook, who oversees the city's code enforcement unit, sympathized with Jay's situation.

"He's trying to get a business off the ground," he said. "But you've got to finish."

Jay said the brewing equipment has been "parked," and is empty and clean.

"I wasn't planning on brewing again," he said. "The first brews were just to make sure I could."

Petaluma fire inspectors were at the site Thursday and Jay said he expects the permits to be approved by the end of next week.

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