Growler samples allowed, changes to containers approved

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FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — At their meeting on June 6, the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners adopted amendments to the Forsyth County alcohol ordinance to implement regulations regarding tastings of malt beverages sold in establishments where “growlers” are sold.

A growler is a 64-ounce glass jug designed to be filled with beer fresh from the tap and taken home for later consumption.

The law change means growler shops regulated by the county could begin serving samples of their products.

In changing the law, Forsyth’s County Attorney Ken Jarrard said a separate tasting room would be required to allow for samples.

Samples would be of two ounces, and no more than eight ounces per person, per day is allowed.

The changes to the growler ordinance also allow for materials used as containers.

Another major change in the Forsyth County law will be to accommodate for the sale of stainless steel, ceramic or plastic growlers. Only glass was allowed before this change.

BREWERIES FIRST HEARING HELD

Also at the June 6 meeting, commissioners held a first public hearing on issuing an independent license for brewers or the manufacture of malt beverages exclusively for wholesalers, meaning not directly to retailers and consumers.

Before the state of Georgia licenses brewers, they want the local governments to license brewers as well.

The annual fee to licenses would be $1,000. The second public hearing takes place July 2 and would become allowable immediately.

Nilanjan Datta, who wants to open the county’s first craft microbrewery, addressed the commissioners, saying the food and beverage industry has been transformed by the recent beer revival.

“Being Forsyth County’s first is not only going to give us a lot of leverage, but it will also help us build a food and beverage scene here in Forsyth County,” Datta said. “There will be jobs creation from the brewery as well as collateral jobs when the brewery becomes successful. This will make Forsyth more of a destination.”