Responding to a May 1 work session, during which District 4 City Councilman Gabriel Sterling noted the popularity of selling craft beers in 2-liter containers, City Assistant Attorney Cecil McClendon said a package of three ordinances will amend the city’s alcoholic beverage law.
“Under our first ordinance, it’s going to control the sale of beer growlers in stores,” McClendon said. “If you do not offer liquor by the bottle or vehicular fuel, you can sell growlers with the appropriate license.”
District 3 City Councilman Chip Collins, an attorney, offered alternative language for the proposed ordinance, including defining a growler as a glass bottle filled with malt beverages from a keg and closed with a tamper-proof seal.
“It’s not often I get to combine my love of law and beer,” he said upon motioning to approve the ordinance.
The second ordinance was copied from the city’s wine-tasting ordinance, McClendon said, including limiting the tasting area to 10 percent or less of a growler store’s floor space.
“It doesn’t become an alternate way to have a bar,” he said. “It’s just the ability to bring people in and talk about tasting beers.”
Customers can taste beers through requesting individual samples and through attending malt beverage appreciation events, McClendon said.
“Basically under two circumstances you can get a sample. One is if someone is considering buying something you can get a sample of what you’re considering to buy,” he said. “Two, if you’re a retailer, you can have a more organized event where you advertise it and do an educational class.”
Such events must have free admission or benefit a nonprofit, McClendon said.
“You can make a contribution to charity but it can’t benefit the seller,” he said.
The third ordinance applies to restaurants.
“As drafted, it will allow a restaurant with a package retail license for malt beverage to sell a growler,” McClendon said. “I can have my consumption-on-the-premises license and I can get a second, package license.”
Mayor Eva Galambos asked what growler stores will be opening in Sandy Springs.
Sterling said there are four applicants “in the pipeline” including Moondog Growlers, which has Marietta and Dunwoody craft microbrew locations.