Coweta regulates microbreweries, 'brown bagging'

Coweta County’s alcohol ordinance got an update Nov. 19 when commissioners adopted measures for licensing microbreweries, defined “brown bagging” and allowed for out-of-county caterers serving alcohol.

Commissioners voted unanimously to include the definition of a microbrewery to the ordinance. The definition states that a microbrewery is a manufacturer of malt beverages for wholesale sales where less than 15,000 barrels are produced annually. Microbreweries may conduct promotional tours of the facility and offer free samples of malt beverages in accordance with the provisions of state law, the amendment said.

The amendment also clarified the definition of “brown bagging” and “brown bagging establishments.” The definitions were adopted after some discussion by commissioners on the variable meanings of the term brown bagging.

The new definition states that brown bagging is, “The act of a business open to the public or any private club allowing guests, patrons or members to bring in and to consume the guest’s, patron’s or member’s alcoholic beverages on the premises.”

Brown bagging establishment was defined as, “Any place of business open to the public or any private club which allows guests, patrons or members to bring in and to consume the guest's, patron's or member's alcoholic beverages on the premises. This definition includes restaurants with alcohol pouring licenses that allow alcohol to be brought on the premises and may charge a corkage fee.”

The vote to amend brown bagging and brown bagging establishments was unanimous.

The final change in the ordinance, also approved by unanimous vote, related to caterers located outside Coweta County wishing to do business in the county. Until now, those caterers were prohibited from doing business in Coweta.

As with caterers located in Coweta, out-of-county caterers must derive at least 55 percent of annual gross sales from the sale of meals or food prepared on the premises of the caterer. The business must also submit an application for an off-premises event permit. And the caterer may only sell or dispense alcoholic beverages specified in the alcoholic beverage license.

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