Newnan may Abide a nano-brewery

by Celia Shortt

Newnan City Council is one step closer to an ordinance change that would allow for brewery establishments, and three Cowetans are anxiously awaiting the outcome.

Philip Leonard, Evan Scanlan and Matt Kapusta are friends who started home brewing beer as a hobby a few years ago. Their hobby soon became a passion, and they quickly decided to take their passion a step further and start a nano-brewery called Abide Brewing Company.

“We have talked about Abide for a year,” said Leonard.

“How cool would it be to manufacture it so people can enjoy it out in the public,” he added.

For Leonard, Scanlan, and Kapusta, being able to operate Abide in Coweta would be beneficial as they all live here and are part of the community.

“It will be nice to be close to home,” said Leonard.

They plan on starting small and not taking out big loans or buying lots of equipment. Instead, they will create smaller batches of beer and focus on the community.

“‘Abide’ means to accept without objection,” said Leonard. “We want people to accept without objection, craft beer and local beer. We want to become this area’s flagship beer. Every bar in Newnan should have Abide on tap.”

Another key element to Abide is customer feedback. Under the rules for operating a brewery, they will not be able to sell directly to the customers. They can, however, give samples on a tour of their facility.

“We will have two flagship beers (on tap in area bars), but we will have lots of different kinds on the tours,” said Leonard. “We will get their feedback and they will vote on what comes out next.”

“It will give people a reason to keep coming back to the brewery,” he added. “We’d be excited for other breweries to come around … (but) we want to be the first.”

Other goals for Abide are to educate the public on beer and the brewing process and to build revenue in the community.

Leonard said he, Scanlan and Kasputa have already been out in the community getting verbal commitments from popular Newnan establishments to carry Abide once the brewery is allowed to operate.

Once approved, they will move forward with finding a commercial place, bringing everything in it up to code and getting their county and state licenses. Until then, Leonard, Scanlan, and Kasputa will continue home brewing and working on recipe creations.

In its meeting on Tuesday, the Newnan City Council referred the proposed change to the city planning commission. The proposed change to the alcohol ordinance would allow microbreweries within the city limits. The planning commission will begin the regulatory revision process of the ordinance.

Newnan takes a “deliberate, conservative and cautious approach to drafting ordinances that will provide a balance of economic opportunity for new business ventures and striving to promote responsible business development that is compatible with the goals and mission of the city,” according to city officials.

In August, Newnan approved a change to its alcohol ordinance, allowing for the sale of packaged growlers — refillable bottles for sale of beer.

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