Augusta opens door for small breweries and distilleries downtown

Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic
Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic

AUGUSTA,Ga  (WJBF) In downtown Augusta the welcome mat is for small breweries and distilleries.

“It’s something different you have a lot of beer connoisseurs unfortunately I’m a nondrinker it’s something good something to talk about,” says Commissioner Andrew Jefferson.

“I think it’s time to extend opportunities I would like to see any discussions today but I think it’s a great opportunity for that as long as we do it responsibly,” says Commissioner Sammie Sias.

Commissioners voting unanimously to change the rules to allow the booze business to Broad Street, after months of work by city planners

No longer will these small distilleries have to locate in Industrial areas.

“I think it’s a good thing for downtown for Augusta the growth is happening and I think the more we can have for people to do and enjoy it  better,” says Mayor Pro-Tem Mary Davis.

The Downtown Development Authority applauding the move saying a South Carolina distillery is already looking at a location on Broad Street and another out of state brewery is also interested.

“We’ve got a brewery in Arkansas that’s asked for sites I think this is going to open up and be a great tourist product for downtown Augusta,” said DDA Executive Director Margaret Woodard.

“A distillery and a brewery are already interested?

“The interest has been phenomenal,” said Woodard.

“It sounds like a good tourist attraction it’s a draw we need something to bring in revenue here in Augusta,” said Commissioner Jefferson.

Commissioner Bill Fennoy who represents downtown had questions about odor that can be problems for neighbors of bigger breweries.

But city planners say they looked into the odor issue telling commissioners the operations downtown would be too small to create issues plus they will all be state inspected.

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