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Local brewer says hops will unite Forsyth
County still needs to change local law to allow brew pubs

by Aldo Nahed

October 02, 2012

CUMMING, Ga. — There's something new brewing in Forsyth County – Hint: It's made with hops.

A local brew pub seeks Forsyth County's alcohol law approval so it can start serving customers with cold mugs of locally produced beer as well as distribute local brew to a wider Atlanta clientele.

It is called "Cherry Street Brewing Co-operative" next to Rick Tanner's Bar and Grill in the Vickery Village.

"We would like to offer something to Cumming and Forsyth County that they currently do not have. The fine beer stores and growler stores are bringing beer produced in Atlanta and surrounding communities into Forsyth," said Nick Tanner, the brewer who will run the new venture. "We want to bring Forsyth beer into Atlanta and other communities."

Tanner said he hopes to build a sense of community in Forsyth County with his micro brews of Irish Red Eye Jedi Ale, Dylan's Dubbel, West LA Hopaway IPA, Ta Ta Cream Ale (for Breast Cancer Awareness), Friend of the Farmer's Porter, and other seasonals such as the Summer Fling Watermelon Blonde Ale and Coconut Porter.

"We are calling ourselves a co-op because we have a very strong sense of community," said Tanner. "We are here for the community and the community supports us. Co-operative ideals focus on community, education and sustainability."

Brewery tourism is a major draw for a community and is constantly spreading, Tanner said.

"If we can promote Vickery Village regionally and nationally, people will travel to us for new and exciting beers and experiences," Tanner said.

Tanner's has been at the Vickery Village for nearly four years, but have been a staple of Atlanta since 1986. There have been 20 restaurants in 25 years with the name Tanner's.

Nick Tanner picked up brewing beer in college at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo.

Nick Tanner is family friends with New Belgium Brewery, who maker Fat Tire Ale.

"Brewing beer quickly became more of on obsession than a hobby," Tanner said.

After his father, Rick Tanner opened his restaurant at the Vickery Village, Nick moved back to enhance the concept.

After three years of promotion and anticipation, he said he is ready to bring his passion to fruition.

FH 100312

Brewery latest change request for alcohol ordinance

In the past few months, Forsyth County has changed the alcohol law several times, but they still don’t allow for breweries.

“Currently our code is silent on brew pubs,” said Ken Jarrard, the county attorney. “We now have a vendor who wants to do that sort of a model.”

“Just like growlers and wine tastings, we have to come back to you,” Jarrard told commissioners at a work session Tuesday, Sept. 25.

Jarrard said breweries in a pub are permitted under state law but may produce no more than 10,000 barrels of beer per year. They can then sell the beer where it is produced and 5,000 barrels can be distributed wholesale.

One barrel is 31 gallons or the equivalent of two kegs.

Nick Tanner wants to be able to sell his brew batches to a local distributor that would sell to local growler shops or restaurants.

“As we move forward with restaurants and adventures, brewing beer in a tavern or pub-style setting will be our newest concept,” Tanner said. “The craft beer community in the South and especially Atlanta has really taken off lately and is getting stronger.

“We want to be a part of that from the beginning and help keep the craft beer community strong.”