Brewpubs and craft breweries receive special exception from city

Published 9:00 pm Saturday, December 23, 2017

A change in the city’s zoning ordinance will allow brewpubs and small craft breweries in Vicksburg.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Friday approved an amendment to the ordinance permitting brewpubs and small craft breweries as special exceptions in the C-3 central business district and C-4 general commercial zones.

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City attorney Nancy Thomas said the Mississippi Legislature has changed the state alcohol beverage laws to allow brewpubs and craft breweries, “And we’ve had some interest in those coming to Vicksburg.” Brewpubs and craft breweries have not been previously included in the city’s ordinances, she said, “And so we’re creating a place where they can go.”

Because the businesses will be allowed by special exception, Thomas said, anyone wanting to put a brewpub or craft brewery in the downtown district or C-4 zone will have to apply for the exception to the planning commission, which can put conditions on use.

Under state law a “small craft brewery” means a person or business with a permit manufacture or brew no more than 60,000 barrels of light wine or beer at all breweries the person or business owns, or has a contract with another business to make the light wine or beer.

A brewpub cannot make more than 75,000 gallons of light wine or beer per calendar year, and the light wine or beer can only be sold in the brewpub. It cannot be sold in package form, that is, it cannot be sold to be taken away from the business.

Two locations have already been proposed for a brewpub and a craft brewery.

Developer Tim Cantwell wants to establish a nano, or small, brewery at the Cottonwood Public House, a proposed craft beer, craft pizza and craft cocktails business near the former 1311 site on Washington Street, which will only be able to sell its beer at retail at the business.

There are also plans for a craft brewery in the re-development of the old Mississippi Hardware building.

The board’s decision on brewpubs and craft breweries comes more than two months after it approved an ordinance establishing a leisure and recreation district allowing customers to buy their favorite alcoholic beverage at a restaurant or club in an area known as the “Washington Street District” and take it with them when they leave, or sit at an outside table at the business to enjoy their libation.

The district went into effect Nov. 2, and is active from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday.

It runs the length of Washington Street from the Klondyke, 100 North Washington St., south to Veto Street and including Mulberry Street and a section of Madison Street.

Besides the Klondyke, the district includes Rusty’s Riverfront Grill, Mousour’s at the Biscuit Company, 10 South, Roca, Jacques and Cocktails 101.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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