Tryon opens door for breweries/distilleries

Published 9:11pm Sunday, September 22, 2013

Back Door Distillery hopes to open in a year

Tryon Town Council has added a new use to its zoning ordinance that will allow breweries and distilleries to open in four zoning districts.

Council met during a special meeting and public hearing Thursday, Sept. 19 and approved amending its zoning ordinance to allow distilleries/breweries in its central business (CB), transitional business (TB), general business (GB) and industrial (I-1) districts.

Restrictions were added to the distillery/brewery use in the CB (downtown) district that the manufacturing area of a distillery or brewery shall not exceed 3,000 square feet.

The public hearing drew only support for the new use in Tryon with council adopting the amendments unanimously. Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples and commissioners George Baker and Roy Miller were the only ones in attendance during the morning meeting.

The amendments stem from John and Jocelyn Davis proposing to open a distillery somewhere in the downtown area with plans to distill spirits, including legal moonshine, vodka, bourbon, rum and whiskey.

Plans are also for the distillery to have an art gallery and tours of the distillery, as well as tastings and charcoal burning events. Charcoal is used as a filter when distilling liquors.

John and Jocelyn Davis say they have worked on the project for about two years and plan to name the distillery Tryon Back Door Distillery.

John Davis said he hopes to have the distillery open in the next year, with the couple currently looking at several properties to purchase in the downtown Tryon area.

John Davis’ sister, Cynthia Davis, spoke during the public hearing and said she travels the country for her work and would really like to see support in Tryon for things that will bring in tourism and tax dollars. She mentioned illegal moonshine’s popularity across the country currently and the fact that two celebrities from the Discovery Channel’s show Moonshiners, live in the area.

John Davis asked council about the restriction of 3,000 square feet in the CB district.

Tryon Town Manager Joey Davis said the restriction is only for the downtown district and is only for the manufacturing area of the building, not the total size of the building.

Council went into closed session following the meeting and spoke with John Davis. Council returned and recessed the meeting until Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the Tryon Fire Department.


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