Good Hope paves way for new craft brewery/distillery

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Members of the Good Hope City Council are seen at Monday night’s meeting. (Maggie Darnell for The Cullman Tribune)

GOOD HOPE, Ala. –  The Good Hope City Council on Monday night paved the way for a new craft brewery, restaurant and distillery when it entered into a 772 agreement with Twisted Dixie, LLC. Owners Preston Prewett and Brad Boshell are (tentatively; the location is not finalized) planning to open up in The Cotton Gin Seafood Joint, which will be closing. The Cotton Gin is located at 123 Lindsey Road.

Good Hope Mayor Jerry Bartlett explained the 772 agreement, “To have a 772, what that’s for is you can’t give away taxpayer money. This is money that people of Good Hope pay in, so a 772 has to be used on economic development projects, which this is. So, we are giving him (Preston Prewett) an incentive to come here, cause he could’ve went to other places. He looked at three or four different places, so we wanted him to come here. We get 12% tax off of hard liquor, so we’re giving him back half of that until he pays back the $72,000 that we’re incentifying for him. We’re halving it with him, so we get 6% and he gets 6% every year, no more than five years, or until he pays back the $72,000. It’s just a way that a city can do, can help him with infrastructure, a parking lot, or just operational costs. It’s a lot to get started with a business. He’s having to spend a ton of money on equipment for his brewery and distillery. So, it’s kind of a helping hand from the city to show our appreciation for him being here.”

Continued Bartlett, “He was looking for a place for him to do this, and The Cotton Gin has caught his eye. Because you know, it can be a destination. There’s no places out there like it; you know it’s real unique, and he liked that. So, we were on his list early. He was looking at some other places and we, the council, and (City Planner) Corey (Harbison) and I, we talked about it and we said ‘Look, we were gonna do this to get another business in there; let’s offer the same thing to them (Twisted Dixie, LLC).’ That’s how it came about. We’re just being progressive and proactive and you know, trying to help people get in here. We want them, because this is paid back, we don’t have to share, so it’s all ours.”

Prewett shared, “We are looking at several options to put in a craft brewery, restaurant and distillery here. We’ll be producing all kinds of different craft beers, up-scale bar-type foods, and a barrel program for bourbon and all that in the future. We’ve got several things still to come. I’ve got some work with my partner to do, but we’re hoping to have everything going as soon as possible. Hopefully by the end of summer. It’s what we’re shooting for at least.”

Smiled Prewett, “We’re looking forward to getting started and looking forward to coming to Good Hope. As far as beers go, we will have rotating taps every week. Session beers, hazy IPAs, pastry stouts, fruited sours and Belgians. Unaged spirits from the distillery until we can get barrels built up. Restaurant will be regular brewpub offerings but kicked up a couple of notches. We are really excited. We’ll be the first distillery in Cullman since the early 1900s…so I’ve been told.”

Bartlett echoed Prewett with a smile, “We’re just excited to get it going, you know. We’re ready. Hopefully he’ll be in here before the end of summer. I’ll be one of his first customers to go over there and eat.”

In other business, the council gave $10,000 from the alcohol tax fund to Good Hope Fire & Rescue to replace a rescue truck. The council also adopted Ordinance No. 013-2019 to re-zone the St. Antonio subdivision to R-3.

After adopting the ordinance, the council went into a short executive session, after which Bartlett shared, “There is interest in purchasing some land for parks and recreation purposes, and what I’m asking the council is to allow us to get an appraisal on this property. It does not mean we’re gonna purchase the property, it just means we’re gonna get it appraised and see if it’s a price that we’d be willing to pay.”

The Good Hope City Council meets on the second and fourth Monday of the month. The next meeting will take place Monday, May 13, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.

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Maggie Darnell

maggie@cullmantribune.com