Voters to decide on sale of alcohol by the package

Cumming Beverage Mart owner Mike Yi doesn’t think the alcohol sales on Sunday will really help his business.

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — The Forsyth County Commission altered select stipulations related to alcohol pouring licenses and approved a distillery and brewery license for one of the area’s most eclectic businesses at its Feb. 18 meeting.

The new alcohol pouring license regulations, which will go into effect March 20, extends the pouring license renewal period from one to two years. Along with the doubled timeframe comes a higher cost. Permits will now cost restaurant waitstaff and others who pour alcohol $50, up from $25.

Another update puts Forsyth County more in line with its neighbors in regard to who can receive a pouring license.

Forsyth County will now issue alcohol pouring permits to those with a prior felony conviction provided at least five years has passed since the conviction. It is the same approach used by some of the county’s neighbors, including Dawson and Gwinnett counties.

Previously, Forsyth County prohibited anyone who with a felony conviction from receiving a permit.

Speaking at a Board of Commissioners work session in November, Maj. Tom Patton with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office told commissioners he is not sure when the ban was put into the county’s codes, and he doesn’t know the reasoning behind its severity.

He said the provision seemed “a little harsh.”

Those applying for an alcohol sales permit would still be disqualified under current regulations if they have two or more convictions for DUI in five years, three or more alcohol-related convictions or had their permit denied by another jurisdiction. Anyone convicted of a misdemeanor outlined in Forsyth County’s criminal code in the prior year of their permit request would also be disqualified.

At the same meeting, commissioners approved a request by a local company to add brewing and distilling manufacturing to its long list of offerings.

The request was made by Freedom Brew and Shine, tied to the Freedom Mill business at 2730 Spot Road at Ga. 9. The diverse company, which offers a gun range, arcade, axe-throwing, boutique shopping and Bible sales can now add brewery/distillery to its offerings with the board’s approval of the two licenses.

The board also approved a license that will allow for a new, larger hub for Forte International Spirits, an alcohol wholesale company based off Union Center Drive.

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