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Alpharettans May Get to Take Growlers of Beer Home

If an amendment to the alcohol ordinance passes, a beer license will be required to sell growlers, but you can't sell liquor in the same store.

The popularity of craft beers has expanded to the opening of growler stores, where customers can get 64-ounce glass bottles filled from the tap and sealed up to take home. Alpharetta looks to be joining communities such as , Athens and .

On April 10 at , City Council passed the first reading of an ordinance allowing the sale of growlers, traditionally glass bottles.

You won't be able to buy or fill up your growlers at restaurants or liquor stores. State law prohibits that.

"You cannot sell growlers at establishments licensed to sell distilled spirits or liquor," City Attorney Sam Thomas said.

Growler stores will be able to provide samples, but not enough that anybody could fall under the influence. As the ordinanace is written, customers are limited to three one-ounce tastes within a 24-hour period.

David Sheets of Johns Creek told City Council he's already got the cooler and taps ready to open his growler store in downtown Alpharetta, which would be named Blind Murphy Craft Beer Market. He has his eye on a few locations.

Sheets said several startup breweries in Georgia don't have the means to bottle their product, so growlers help get it into homes.

After hearing Sheets and another hopeful entrepreneur talk about their plans, Councilman Donald Mitchell said he brought the ordinance amendement to council because a third businessman, who already operates a growler store in Decatur, approached him.

"I think we know now that we will have a healthy growing environment in Alpharetta should this be passed," Mitchell said.

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