Athens gets a lot of national attention, but this is one of those times when we probably don't want it.
A recent Chronicle of Higher Education article highlighted Athens—long known as a drinking town with a football problem—as the poster child for binge drinking.
The article tells the story of how Athens came to be drowning in booze through the eyes of University of Georgia Police Chief Jimmy Williamson, former fake ID kingpin William Trosclair (whom Flagpole profiled in February), bar owner Mark Bell, UGA health official Liz Prince, alcohol-free party planner Adam Tenny and tailgater Jason Bening (whose Libation Station was featured in a Flagpole photo gallery last month).
Creature Comforts Brewing Co. launched its can line on Monday and already is planning to expand, CEO Chris Herron told reporters at a media event on Monday.
The downtown Athens brewery plans to expand its capacity from 4,000 barrels to 8,000 barrels annually in February. That's an increase of 1.3 million cans (a barrel is two kegs or 31 gallons).
Herron said the expansion is ahead of schedule. "We knew Athens drank, but we didn't know Athens drank that much," he joked.
Oconee County voters approved by large margins the sale of liquor by the drink in restaurants throughout the county and its cities and continuation of the 1 percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for another six years.
Unofficial results show 65.4 percent of those who cast ballots approving of liquor by the drink, and 65.1 percent approving of SPLOST.
Photo Credit: Porter McLeod
Athens' Creature Comforts Brewing Co. might be brand new on the craft beer scene, but it's already winning awards.
The brewery, which opened in April, took home a bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival in Colorado in the American Style Brett Beer category for Curiosity No. 2, part of its one-off series of unusual or obscure styles.
From Oct. 7, 2008, when the Oconee County Board of Commissioners approved the first beer and wine licenses for restaurants in the county, until Jan. 1 of this year, compliance with two key provisions of the beer and wine ordinance was entirely on the honor system.
The county simply assumed that the percentage of sales from beer and wine by each license holder was not more than 25 percent of total sales in the individual restaurant and that each sale of an alcoholic beverage in the restaurant also included “a reasonable order of a meal or appetizer.”
Starting with renewal applications for this year, license holders were required to fill out a form listing their gross income from total sales, the gross income from the sale of beer and wine, and the resulting percentage of income from beer and wine sales.
Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones
Me, Flagpole music editor Gabe Vodicka, beer writer Jacob Yarbrough and film critic Derek Hill, that is. It went about like you'd expect.
It is dang difficult to write a headline that encapsulates exactly what Sister Louisa's Churchis for those who don't know. Basically, it is a bar, but a far more interesting one than most we have in Athens, run by Grant Henry, a.k.a., Sister Louisa, an Atlanta artist who already has one location (Sister Louisa's CHURCH of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium) on Edgewood Avenue, serving drinks and light eats in an environment one could describe as nouveau Southern rococo.
Henry says he's been looking for space for an Athens location for six months and decided to take over the space at 254 W. Clayton St. that most recently housed Jack's Bar (and was formerly The Mercury Lounge, among various other iterations).
Henry says he is shooting for an opening date of Aug. 15, as he plans extensive renovations.Whether or not he'll offer food—or ping pong—is up in the air as of now Sister Louisa's Church (It's a Glory Hole)—yes, that appears to be the official name—will offer food and ping pong, according to Henry's comment below, and is sure to be a welcome addition to the Athens bar scene.
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