Distillery plant in Cumming gets city approval

With state OK, Spirits of USA to begin bottling plant

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CUMMING, Ga. — An alcohol distillery received the final piece of approval last week at the city of Cumming’s regular meeting clearing the way to distill vodka and rum.

After changing their alcohol ordinance to allow permits for the manufacture of alcohol within city limits, the Cumming City Council gave Spirits of the USA unanimous approval to move forward with their operations.

Cumming Mayor H. Ford Gravitt said the business owners told him they would give veterans a priority during their hiring process.

“I had a meeting with them and they told me the veterans would be given first choice,” Gravitt said. “I love that part of it.”

Gravitt said the business will not be selling straight to consumers, but will be manufacturing in the city.

“They will start off with bottling for the first year and the second year they will take over the distillation and manufacture as well,” said Scott Burgess, a city employee.

Spirits of the USA is working on a lease-purchase agreement in an industrial area of the city, the old Wheeler Building Supply property at 240 Castleberry Road near the Cumming Fairgrounds, according to city staff.

The operation plans to begin small – about 10 workers at the bottling facility – and then grow to manufacturing. It plans to hire about 60 workers in the next five years.

Earlier this month, the Jacksonville-based business received a county permit for the manufacture of distilled spirits. The company, which manufactures jalapeño-flavored vodka and mango-flavored rum, is still seeking state and federal approval before they can begin their bottling operations.

When asked for their opinion, Forsyth Herald readers on Facebook said they welcome the business.

“If it brings jobs — yes,” said Greg Blitz, of Cumming.