Small Breweries and Distilleries Approved for Augusta Business Zones
Due to an amendment made by the Augusta Planning Commission, small breweries and distilleries will soon be allowed to operate in downtown business zones, The Augusta Chronicle reported.
The amendment will go into effect next month, the same time that local breweries will start legally selling brews directly to consumers.
“Nano-” and “pico-breweries,” as the commission refers to them, will be allowed to operate in the general downtown business zone, which covers most of downtown. The commission defined “nano-breweries” as those breweries that sell 3,000 or fewer barrels of beer per year.
Augusta’s two breweries, Riverwatch Brewery and Savannah River Brewing Company, had to be built a few blocks away from the center of downtown before they opened in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
Riverwatch owner Brey Sloan said at a commission meeting that her brewery has no issue with the new amendment. SRBC brewmaster Graydon Brown told The Chronicle he had hoped the law would remain the same. There had been talks of creating a “brewery district” in the industrial area where Riverwatch and SRBC are located, on 4th and 5th St.
Regardless of the various stances, one thing is clear: starting Sept. 1, opportunities will abound for breweries (and future ones) in Augusta.