A brewery ready to expand in Athens | News

Athens will soon welcome a brewing company to its community. Old Black Bear Brewing, currently in Madison, is set to expand to Athens.

“It will be the first of its kind here,” said board chairman Chris Seibert.

The business, which recently closed, has begun renovations and hopes to open within the year, according to Bethany Shockney, president of the Limestone County Economic Development Association.

At the May 9 city council meeting, Shockney and council members discussed a tax abatement for the brewery.

“They expect 45 employees over the next three years once it goes into production. Total capital investment of $1.5 million They are asking for a non-school tax abatement for sales and use taxes during construction, as well as property taxes. During construction, they will save about $6,700, but the schools will receive $3,725. The property tax cuts will save them $57,000, but they will pay the schools $47,000 over that 10-year period. We are delighted that they chose Athens for their beer manufacturing expansion, rather than where they currently are,” Shockney said.

The resolution to grant the tax abatement was granted unanimously.

The mission of the Old Black Bear Brewing Company is to make high quality craft beer at a fair price.

“Our decision to start brewing beer and sharing it with the public came from our desire to create great beer that real people can not only enjoy, but relate to. Some beer companies try to market their beer as being capable of bringing you a life of leisure; others may try to convince you that higher alcohol content automatically means better beer; others may simply try to sell you poor quality beer and claim, ‘It’s craft beer.’ People know better than that, and our goal is to make great beer and sell it for a fair price, without using dumb marketing gimmicks,” the company says on its website.

The next city council will take place on June 6, 2022, at 5 p.m.

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