Though Georgia craft brewers have had a tough time changing state laws that would create the same small business climate enjoyed by brewers in 48 other states, both Athens' Creature Comforts and Woodstock's Reformation were recently recognized as "Small Business Rockstars" by the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
Of the 69 nominations submitted, reviewed and vetted by a panel of judges, Creature Comforts and Reformation Brewery were two of only five companies recognized.
"Cherokee County and Woodstock have been excited to have us, promote us, and include us as part of their story," Reformation Brewery CEO and co-founder Spencer Nix said in statement after the announcement.
"The city of Woodstock and Cherokee county have been friends who have stood beside us in our journey, willing to be agile and creative to help us open. The Downtown Development Authority expanded their zone to include us. Downtown Woodstock added us as a stop to their trolley route. Woodstock’s response to our small business was 'yes' and 'let’s make it work' ”
Of course, that begs the question: Will the state of Georgia start offering more help to small breweries, too?
As another step, a resolution creating the House Study Committee on Georgia Craft Brewery and Distillery Competitiveness was introduced this session.
This the word on the resolution from Nancy Palmer of the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild:
This committee, if created, will allow for Georgia's craft alcohol manufacturers explore the competitiveness of Georgia's laws with those of sister states under the guidance of, and along with, members of the House of Representatives. The passage of this resolution is critical for getting the message to our legislators about the tax revenue and jobs that the craft alcohol industry can produce in the modern legal structures of other states.