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Jonesborough approves Tennessee Hills for beer sales with a catch

JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) – Roughly one year after Tennessee Hills Distillery applied for an on-premise beer permit for its flagship Jonesborough location, town leaders have made a ruling.

On Friday morning, the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Alderman (BMA) and Beer Board met and discussed Tennessee Hills’ matters on the agenda. Tennessee Hills, which already serves cocktails and liquor in Jonesborough, was seeking a permit to sell craft beer at its location.

Jonesborough leadership approved a manufacturing license for Tennessee Hills, but the on-premise beer license was denied.

As a result, Tennessee Hills will be able to serve beer at the Jonesborough location, but that beer must be brewed at that site and not brought in from other company locations, like the Tennessee Hills Brewstillery in Johnson City.

Tennessee Hills legal representation told News Channel 11 that the ruling will not allow the distillery on Fox Street to keep up demand and will also prevent Tennessee Hills from selling beer during the upcoming Jonesborough Days festival.

“Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be very proactive or pro-business within Jonesborough, which is again very, very disappointing to us,” said Clark Jordan, chief legal officer for Rugged American Spirits.

Tennessee Hills owner Stephen Callahan spoke with News Channel 11 earlier in June ahead of the meeting. He said it would be “a little ironic” if Tennessee Hills beer products were sold at other Jonesborough locations but were not available at the distillery. Callahan also said he believes offering beer at the distillery provides a safer, less alcoholic option for patrons.

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