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New rules for micro-breweries and distilleries among county alcohol changes

At a recent meeting, Forsyth County Commissioners gave local beer and spirits enthusiasts something worth toasting.

At their meeting on Thursday, commissioners approved new changes to the alcohol code to allow micro-breweries and -distilleries and an alcohol license for a new seafood restaurant, along with holding the first of two required public hearings to allow certain open alcohol containers at The Collection at Forsyth.


Big news for small spots

The first change would allow micro-breweries and micro-distilleries – which produce beer and spirits, respectively – to operate in certain commercial and industrial areas. Officials representing future businesses with plans for the new uses spoke at the meeting.

A micro-distillery is planned at The Stables Motor Condos, a proposed high-end auto storage facility on McFarland Parkway west of the intersection with Union Hill Road, which will also include a restaurant with a rooftop bar, a coffee shop, an event venue, a nature preserve with walking trails and kids play area and a park. The development is currently going through permitting.

“The retail village we’re going to have is about nine acres. With that, we’re going to have several businesses,” said Jeff Beal, co-founder of the development. “One of the businesses we would like to have is a micro-distillery.”

Beal said the company would partner with Paula Dezzutti, of Local Choice Spirits, for the micro-distillery. Dezzutti said the company had similar models already in Kentucky and South Carolina.

“It’s a great model to bring here to Forsyth County because we have everything that we need already set up and successful to just introduce the same concept to bring local people together here, let everybody participate in this mixed-use space and bring an experience to the customers,” she said. “Millennials especially are looking for this authentic, genuine, hands-on experience where they can learn about spirits and participate and have fellowship and commitment to their communities.”

Meanwhile, Joe Garcia, with NoFo Brew Co., planned at 6150 Georgia Hwy. 400 north Forsyth, said the business would be about 6,000 square feet for a production facility and tap room and would do direct-to-customer sales.

“Phase 1 of our project also partners with food trucks and local restaurants to offer food to our patrons,” he said. “Phase 2 will involve a restaurant being added in the park where our business is proposed that we would affiliate with.”

Per their website, the micro-brewery is slated to open this summer.

More information about The Stables and Local Choice are located at and Information about the micro-brewery is available at


Shuckin’ Shack supported

Commissioners unanimously approved a permit for Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar at 415 Peachtree Parkway, Ste. 255. Licensee Michael Mitchell said the restaurant was needed after the closing of a popular seafood restaurant in the area.

“The buildout is going on now. We should open in the early part of May,” Mitchell said. “I can’t be more excited for Forsyth County and everybody here because I know Norman’s Landing went out, and ever since then, everybody really wants that, including me.”


Open containers at The Collection

A new rule change would clear the way for alcohol containers that could be carried out of restaurants in certain commercial business district zonings.

The rules are meant to allow The Collection to play by the same rules as similar large developments that have different zonings, notably the upcoming Halcyon Forsyth development.

“We have attempted to capture it based on the acreage footprint of The Collection, as well as the square footage of retail and restaurants of The Collection,” County Attorney Ken Jarrard said.

Jarrard said the county was working with The Collection to hone-in on what qualifications would contain open alcohol containers at the outdoor mall but not smaller developments.

The change would allow customers to carry one drink per person within the development that is 16 ounces or under and purchased from a restaurant. Customers will only be allowed to drink out of paper or plastic cups.

A second public hearing will be held before commissioners in April.