Commission considers allowing beer samples


It’s where the Convention and Visitors Bureau wants to wow tourists they call it Augusta and Company. 

“Augusta and company is a retail store that feels like a community hub, and it’s a chance for us to work with partners to tell Augusta’s story,” said Jennifer Bowen of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

To help tell  that story there will be a tasting bar, where the CVB will offer free samples of local products including  products from city’s craft beer and distilleries.

“We have some they’re great we want to give away they’re product to encourage visitors and locals to go and check them out,” said Bowen. 

At River Watch Brewery they had not yet heard of the proposal yet  but had no problems with the CVB offering  their brews. 

 “Oh God no, not at all the more people that try my beer the more they’re going to love it the more their going to come out here and drink it or go to other bars around town and drink it,” said Anne Sloan of Riverwatch Brewery. 

But before any samples are given out the city says the CVB is going to need a liquor license, but the CVB says a traditional license doesn’t work with their tourist business.

 “That would mean we would have to be open to 21 and older, and closed on Sunday that simple won’t work for us we need to be open for people of all ages and we need to be open seven days a week,” said Bowen. 

So the CVB is before commissioners looking for a change in the alcohol ordinance to allow the free samples of  beer and spirits.

  “We don’t think they’re will be any problems but as I was saying with all codes will be challenge with it when  somebody comes up with a new idea and we may have to tweak it,” said Rob Sherman Augusta Planning Director. 

 A commission committee gave the go-ahead to begin work amending the ordinance but  city leaders want  to hear from the CVB on the size of the  samples, what products will be offered and the policy to keep people from  over sampling. 

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