Cochran Mill Brewing Company said its proposed tap house will be in Chattahoochee Hills on land that has been in the family for nine generations.
Photo: Cochran Mill Brewing Company
Photo: Cochran Mill Brewing Company

Tiny Fulton city changes code to let family open farm brewery

Chattahoochee Hills may not have a grocery store or gas station, but the tiny south Fulton city may soon have a brewery.

The City Council voted earlier this month to amend its zoning code to let businesses manufacture and distribute alcohol, said City Manager Robbie Rokowitz. He said the change in the zoning code was spurred by one family’s plan to open metro Atlanta’s first farm brewery, which would be 15 miles west of Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Chattahoochee Hills, one of Fulton County’s smallest and most southern cities, incorporated its 51 miles in 2007. A decade later, the city had an estimated 2,700 residents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The new zoning code, approved March 5, requires manufacturers to grow at least one of the booze ingredients on a minimum one acre of land. Wholesale distribution is barred and the businesses may only be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and one hour longer on Fridays and Saturdays.

The annual limit is 1,500 barrels of malt beverages, which would work out to 372,000 pints of beers a year. The other limits are 500 barrels of distilled spirits and 15,500 gallons of wine.

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Ed Hattaway said Wednesday that he and his 27-year-old son Jett Hattaway plan to open Cochran Mill Brewery, named after the road where it will sit, near their existing bed and breakfast. Hattaway said he’s happy to see his 4 1/2 acre plot, which has been in the family for nine generations, going back to being used for farming.

He said his son worked in solar energy in Georgia for a while before they got into homebrewing together about five years ago.

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The father said their brewery would be unique in the metro Atlanta because they plan to grow their own cascade and centennial hops along with maybe some fruit to flavor brews.

“Some people think of a commercial, industrial-scale mess in their backyard,” he said. ” … That’s not what we want either.”

Hattaway said they plan to brew two lagers, some IPAs, a couple porters and also some specialty types like a Scottish ale or an Irish red.

A comparable operation is Pretoria Fields in Albany, the first farm to glass brewery in Georgia.

Rokowitz said he doesn’t know of other plans in the city for such a project. These days, the city’s main tourist draw is cyclists making use of their relatively empty streets, but a brewery would change that and give the cyclists somewhere to stop for a pint or a growler.

“It’s a lot of activity and very little to do besides that,” he said.

If all goes well and the City Council blesses the proposal at its May meeting, Hattaway said they could be clinking glasses by late summer or early fall.

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In other beer news...

A brewery in Norfolk, Virginia, is releasing a Lucky Charms flavored beer. Smartmouth Brewing Co. calls the beverage Saturday Morning IPA. It's made by tossing marshmallows with tropical, fruity Calypso hops, the brewery says. The beer will have an ABV of 6.6 percent. Is it magically delicious? You'll have to decide for yourself.

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