A local businessman’s plans to open a distillery in downtown Dalton have been put on hold by the federal shutdown.
“We were supposed to get our federal permit in November. We don’t know if we’ll still get it then or whether it will be delayed,” said Chuck Butler, owner of Dalton Distillers. “We can’t get anyone to answer the phone. We can’t get anyone to respond to our emails. They are all closed because of the shutdown.”
The federal Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has stopped approving permits and licenses since the federal shutdown began 17 days ago.
Butler and partner Starla Landers plan to open a distillery at 109 E. Morris St. that would make authentic 111-proof moonshine as well as a museum and retail store called Old Moonshiners.
They said in September they hoped to have the retail store open by the end of October and the still up and running soon after they had acquired all the permits. But Butler now says they will wait until the have the needed permits.
On Monday, the Dalton City Council voted to change city zoning to allow the company to distill spirits at its Morris Street location.
At press time, Senate leaders said they had reached a plan to end the shutdown and avoid a possible federal default. CNN reported a Senate vote on the plan could come as soon as Wednesday evening and the House of Representatives could vote soon after that.