Commission to vote on allowing small breweries and distilleries downtown

Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic
Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic

AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) The idea is to make downtown a destination for those who want to make a little bit of beer or spirits.

“Very important we got to create a more vibrant downtown planning commission spent six months on this issue from water usage to touring facilities to make sure we do it right,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom.

Before commissioners Tuesday is a change in city code that would allow small Nano and Pico breweries and distilleries in commercial business zones like downtown, right now they’re restricted to industrial areas.

“We keep talking about the money we don’t have and what we need to do look at other cities look how they operate if they’re doing it and it’s working it will work in our city,” said Commissioner Marion Williams.

“You’re going to see Nano and Pico breweries on Broad Street and I think it’s going to be a huge addition to downtown Augusta

Last year The Riverwatch Brewery opened at the Farmers Market because it had to locate in an industrial zone.

“Had this law been in place a year ago would you have gone downtown?

“Yes I would have sure it’s a much better location you get foot traffic I only get car traffic,” said Sloan.

But Brey Sloan says she supports the changes and says it will bring new businesses downtown but not overnight.

“You have to have a license and all that stuff I had to go through it’s not like somebody is going to be setting up shop tomorrow probably be a year or so before the first one can come in but I know there are people who are very, very interested in it,” said Sloan.

First Commissioners will have to change the ordinance and approve two readings, this goes before the full board on Tuesday, Commissioner Frantom says he knows of one distillery waiting on the city to act so it locate on Broad Street.

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