Near cheers: Cobb could soon have more breweries and distilleries

The city council has final say at its Sept. 17 meeting.
The city council has final say at its Sept. 17 meeting.

There are plenty of places to grab a drink in a growing city of more than 55,000 people. But you can’t get fresh booze in Smyrna — for now.

The city’s planning and zoning commission unanimously voted Monday to change city code and give a framework for the production of beer and spirits.

This would allow for breweries, distilleries, brewpubs (at least 50 percent of gross sales come from food) in the city’s 15 square miles.

The city council has final say at its Sept. 17 meeting.

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There were 21 craft breweries in Georgia during 2011, according to the Brewers Association. In 2017, that had grown to 69.

Still, according to the Brewers Association, that puts Georgia dead last in the nation for breweries per capita, counting only those 21 and older.

In its recommendation to the commission, Smyrna's community development department said the city has been approached by numerous brewers and breweries wanting to come to the Jonquil City.

But there was a problem.

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“The city’s zoning ordinance is silent on breweries, brewpubs and distilleries,” according to the memo.

So the city planners looked at how Cobb County, Duluth, Kennesaw and Marietta set up their rules around hooch.

There are six breweries in Cobb, according to an interactive tool from the county. And then there's one place each making distilled spirits, cider and mead.

Get The AJC's latest beer and brewery news here.

No commissioners had questions after Rusty Martin, a senior planner with the city, gave his presentation at the Monday meeting.

The sole resident question was about wineries, cideries and meaderies.

Martin responded by saying: “We hadn’t really gotten any request for that.” A commissioner added that they might look at those next.

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Here are the proposed changes to the city code.

Cheap dates to take in Atlanta In love with a beer connoisseur? Take him or her on a tour of the Sweetwater Brewery for about $16. Like to laugh? You and your love can enjoy an evening at the Whole World Improv Theatre for $10 or less on Thursday nights. Enjoy a drive-in movie for two at Starlight for $18. Take your bae for tacos on Tuesdays at Mother Bar & Restaurant for less than $20. On selects dates, you and your date can enjoy the view at High Museum of Art for free.