On Wednesday, a House subcommittee will hear a bill that would allow the manufacture of liquor, such as Chattanooga Whiskey, in parts of Hamilton Countythat already allowoperating liquor stores and liquor-by-the-drink sales.
In November, members of the Hamilton County Commission signed a letter to send to state legislators asking them to approve the measure.
Chattanooga Whiskey leaders expect lawmakers to vote on whether the bill should continue to move through the Legislature.
“This vote would place the bill one step closer in the approval process to becoming law,” Chattanooga Whiskey leaders said on their website.
The local leaders asked area residents to contact state leaders and voice their support for the legislation’s approval.
A little more than a year ago, Joe Ledbetter and Tim Piersant founded the Chattanooga Whiskey Company.
Their product is sold in both Tennessee and Georgia, and the product has drawn strong local support that area residents voice, in part, via social media, according to Nooga.com archives.
But-even though the product bears a local name-it must be produced inLawrenceburg, Ind., because it’s currently illegal to make it in Hamilton County.
A 2009 law allows Tennessee counties where there are both operating liquor stores and liquor-by-the-drink sales to produce liquor.
And although Hamilton County meets both those requirements, at the time state leaders passed the law, officials decided to opt out and continue to prevent liquor manufacture in this area.
Updated @ 12:17 p.m.on 2/27/13 to correct a factual error: Chattanooga Whiskey is only available in two states, not more than a dozen, as originally reported.