Frantom calls to ease state, local restrictions on booze

Augusta Commissioner Sean Frantom wants distilleries and possibly breweries to make their products in downtown Augusta.


Frantom asked the city administrative services committee to look at the city zoning ordinance “to allow for distillery and brew pubs in downtown Augusta.”


Brewpubs that make beer to serve with food are already legal, but state law requires them to make half their revenue through the sale of food.

Georgia laws generally limit how much alcohol a small manufacturer can sell to customers.

Edgefield, S.C., distillery Carolina Moon co-founder David Long said the limit kept him out of downtown Augusta, according to previous reports.

Augusta’s first brewery in many years – Riverwatch Brewery – got its industrial-zoned site on Fifth Street through the development authority, owner Brey Sloan said.

Despite the efforts of the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild, state laws still prohibit Sloan and other craft brewers from selling packaged beer to customers – instead guests are provided samples during tours.

Savannah River Brewing Company, also on Fifth Street, will start brewing soon and is putting the finishing touches on its tap room, said production manager Mike Ellison.

The discussion is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. Monday t. The commission’s committee and closed-door legal meetings were moved from Tuesday to Monday. Other items going for discussion Monday include:

  • Naming city buildings for former commissioner Willie Mays and former assistant Recreation director Robert Howard
  • Discussion of commission appointments to the development authority
  • Approving deeds of dedication, maintenance agreements, road resolutions and water and sewer agreements related to McCoys Creek subdivision sections 1 through 5
  • Issuing general obligation bonds to provide advance funding of $28.5 million for sales tax 7 projects
  • Code amendments implementing new and increased fees included in the 2017 budget
  • Litigation, real estate or personnel matters at an 11 a.m. closed-door session


Reach Susan McCord at (706) 823-3215 or



Fri, 01/19/2018 - 21:23

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