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June 6, 2017

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Milton loosens alcohol laws

Measures allow open containers, BYOB, limited tap

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Posted Wednesday, May 24, 2017 12:00 am

COMMENT

Joe Parker

MILTON, Ga. — Responding to local business requests and in an effort to attract new establishments, the Milton City Council has approved changes to its alcohol ordinances.

Sarah LaDart, Milton’s economic development manager, said the measure provides for three new licenses governing the dispensing of alcohol — incidental, BYOB and limited tap.

The incidental license allows businesses to offer complimentary wine or beer provided the business’ alcohol cost is 2 percent or less than its total gross revenue. With an incidental license, beauty salons or other businesses that do not sell food or alcohol would be permitted to offer two glasses of wine or two beers per patron per day.

Businesses can also now apply for the city’s new BYOB license which allows customers of establishments that do not serve alcohol to bring in wine or beer for consumption on the premises.

Local businesses who do not serve alcohol can now also apply for a limited tap license, allowing them to pour up to four types of kegged beer at their establishment.

The license requires kegs be supplied by breweries located within 50 miles of Milton, which LaDart said will support local craft brewers and allow patrons to relax with a beer in a causal atmosphere.

A limited tap license allows each patron up to 48 ounces of beer per day. The establishments will be permitted to pour from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 12:30 – 9 p.m. on Sundays.

Wine merchants are now permitted to pour customers four, two-ounce samples per day. Before this ordinance change, merchants were allowed a single, two-hour wine tasting per week.

“We know that some of the wine shops in town would like to be able to allow patrons to sample wines before they buy them. To limit [tastings] to one, two-hour period was not conducive to them being successful in their business,” LaDart said.

The amount of growler beer for sampling has also been increased.

Restaurant servers who work at establishments that serve alcohol will also get an expense reprieve under the new ordinances.

Up to now, a server was required to have a pouring permit for each establishment they worked at, and the permits were non-transferrable. Under the new ordinance, a server can use a single pouring permit for any establishment within Milton.

Milton’s brown bag law has been updated in response to pouring license holders’ requests.

Previously, Milton’s brown bag laws required the pouring license holders must seal the wine. Within the new alcohol ordinance changes, now any employee with a Milton pouring permit may legally seal the wine.

“We thought it was incredibly fair that anyone who has a pouring permit and understands alcohol consumption should be allowed to seal a bottle of wine,” LaDart said.

The new ordinance also expands open carry to include sections of Deerfield Parkway and Birmingham Crossroads. Open carry was only permitted in certain areas of Downtown Crabapple prior to the update. Patrons will now be able to walk these areas and the surrounding civic spaces with an open container.

Retooling the city’s alcohol ordinances was all in an effort to appease the business community and its patrons, LaDart said.

LaDart said she hopes that the city’s response to requests for updating its alcohol ordinances will show that Milton is willing to work with business owners on solutions to any issues or concerns they may have.

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