November 10, 2013

Distillery will add to local flavor

The Daily Citizen

— Different ideas and businesses are almost always a positive thing for a community.

That’s why Dalton residents should welcome a venture like a local distillery with open arms.

Last Monday, Dalton City Council voted 4-0 to approve a change in the city’s zoning ordinance to allow brewpubs, microbreweries, microdistilleries and microwineries (which produce less than 10,000 barrels of alcohol per year) in some commercial districts and to allow breweries, distilleries and wineries in manufacturing districts.

The Daily Citizen reported Chuck Butler, a local businessman, intends to open a small distillery in downtown Dalton. That distillery, Dalton Distillers, at 109 E. Morris St., will share its location with Old Moonshiners, a museum and retail store. While the federal government shutdown delayed Butler’s acquiring of proper licenses, he should be able to get state approval soon enough and begin churning out local alcohol. The distillery will make authentic 111-proof (55 percent alcohol) whiskey from a century-old family recipe and also offer other attractions touching on the heritage of moonshining in Georgia.

This sort of idea could provide a different type of entertainment. A tour of the distillery sounds enjoyable and could sway a road-tripping couple off Interstate 75 for a while. The same goes for residents.

The Daily Citizen applauds the council’s decision to change the zoning ordinances and allow this type of business to open in the area. It is another sign of intended progression and outside-the-box thinking that will aid future years of economic growth.