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Suwanee man proposes brewpub for Flowery Branch
0318brewpub
Paul Coggins of Suwanee is proposing to put a “brewpub,” a restaurant where beer is made on the premises, in the old Flowery Branch Yacht Club. The City Council will consider allowing brewpubs tonight.

0318BREWaud

Listen to Paul Coggins of Suwanee as he talks about his plans for a brewpub in Flowery Branch.

Other business
The Flowery Branch City Council also plans to conduct the following business at its meeting set for 6 tonight at City Hall, 5517 Main St.:

  • Discuss whether to accept a gift of three street lights from Flowery Branch BetterHometown Inc.
  • Talk about options to improve Jones Road, a 12-foot street between Gainesville and Mitchell streets. One option costs $220,000 and the other, $28,000.
  • Consider changing the definition of “permanent resident” in its hotel-motel tax ordinance, so the city can levy the tax on patrons who stay up to 30 days. Until recently, the state permitted governments to charge up to 10 days.
  • Consider contracting with Collision Specialist Inc. to inspect tractor-trailers in the city under the Commercial Vehicle Safety Standards.
Jeff Gill

FLOWERY BRANCH — Paul Coggins wants to serve home-brewed beer and food in downtown Flowery Branch, but he has to clear a few obstacles first.

The city’s alcoholic beverages law doesn’t allow for “brewpubs,” or restaurants where beer is made and served on the premises, and requires license applicants to have lived in Georgia for at least one year.

Coggins lived in Atlanta while attending Georgia Tech and then another six months after graduating. He went on to receive a brewing certificate from the University of California, Davis, and work 1 1/2 years for the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas.

Now living in Suwanee, he has been in Georgia since February. In a March 9 letter to City Council, Coggins said he “was dismayed” to find out about the residency requirement.

City Council, meeting tonight at City Hall, will consider allowing brewpubs, limiting them to making 5,000 barrels per calendar year.

The council also plans to consider requiring only that license applicants must be at least 21, “a resident of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, and a resident of (Georgia).”

A brewpub would be a first for the city, which has several restaurants around town that serve alcoholic beverages, but are fairly common in metro Atlanta.

With no restaurant experience, Coggins wanted to start up the venture with a couple of friends living in the Flowery Branch area.

Coggins is eyeing the Flowery Branch Yacht Club, a former fine dancing restaurant on Main and Church streets, for his business, Toasted & Tapped.

He was struck by the building’s location and quaintness.

“Everything (else) was either a strip mall or a building surrounded ... by a parking lot, and I wanted to have a place that was unique and had character to it,” said Coggins, who earned a civil engineering degree from Georgia Tech but has “always wanted to make beer.”

He envisions an outside “beer garden,” where “people can feel in touch with nature and just relax.”

City Manager Bill Andrew plans to recommend approval of the ordinance changes.

“So as to not impede the potential of Toasted & Tapped, we would like to act with all due speed,” he said in a report to City Council.
If he gets the council’s OK, Coggins said he would have to apply for a federal brewing permit.

Officials “will have to inspect the property and I have to have all the equipment in place,” he said. “I’m going to have to get a state permit for brewing, as well.”

Worst-case scenario “has us opening in September,” Coggins said.

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