Draft beer proposal gains momentum

Published 11:00 pm Friday, February 7, 2014

Lyndsay Taylor hears the same question every week. Out-of-towners ask the co-owner of Sips on the Square for draft beer.

“People coming in from out of town, they don’t comprehend that Troy doesn’t do draft beer,” she said. “It’s embarrassing.”

She and her husband Jamie have been told the only reason Troy doesn’t sell beer by the draft is because no one has ever pursued the issue. They plan to change that. The Taylors will be attending Troy City Council’s work session Tuesday afternoon.

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“We’re really just trying to figure out what our options are and to know if it’s worth pursuing,” Lyndsay Taylor said.

Without the support of the council, Lyndsay said they would not pursue the issue.

The restaurateurs started campaigning for draft beer weeks ago. They spoke to city councilmen and county commissioners. So far, they have been met with very little opposition.

“While none would come out with a clear answer on what they thought the chance of passage was, the ones we have spoken to have all been extremely receptive,” Jamie Taylor said.

The greatest concern the Taylors have heard from officials has been underage access to kegs. The Taylors are asking for on-premise draft beer service, which means kegs would not be available for retail purchase.

There are a number of reasons the Taylors want to offer draft beers at their downtown eatery.

“It would mean more revenue. Bottles are more expensive to purchase. There’s also the recycling issue. Kegs are better for the environment,” Lyndsay said. “We have an interest in brewing beer. Obviously, you can’t brew beer unless you have draft.”

She said the restaurant would offer a wider variety of beers if the list included drafts.

The Taylors will come to Tuesday’s meeting armed with a petition. Within two days of starting it, they had collected more than 350 signatures.

“Now, a petition was not necessary and probably won’t impact a thing but has been a really good way to get more people involved,” Jamie Taylor said.

Obtaining the city council’s support for draft beer service is one step in what could be a long road to selling draft beer in Troy. Once approved, a local government has to ask its legislator to introduce a bill in the state Legislature.