New Georgia law brings changes to Valdosta craft brewery

| June 6, 2017

VALDOSTA – A historic Valdosta building is getting a second chance.

In a few short months, the City’s century-old waterworks building will be the new Georgia Beer Company.

It’s the first craft brewery in the area, and the only one within a 50-mile radius.

Co- founders Chris Jones and J. Ryce say it took years of planning and fundraising to open their own brewery.

“Many summer nights and summer days spent in my partner’s garage brewing beer,” says Jones. “It’s 110 degrees, gnats are all over us, and we’re dripping sweat, but we’re making beer and doing what we love.”

That work is now paying off, with a unique location and a new law aimed to help Georgia breweries.

Governor Nathan Deal signed SB 85 into law in May. The legislation allows breweries and distilleries to sell their beer directly to consumers.

“There were a lot of quick texts to each other, high fives, and beer to celebrate,” says Jones.

The law takes effect in September.

Jones and Ryce say customers no longer have to pay for a tour or buy a souvenir glass to enjoy a drink.

It also means the owners expect the business to pick up.

“With the new bill, we hire twice as many people from day one,” says Jones.

Both are ready to see the old building transformed and open for business.

“I don’t know if you could put a definition on it, but the look we’re going for is an old Georgia modern rustic,” says Jones.

They say they hope to have the building finished by October 2017.

(WCTV Eyewitness News)

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