Town approves festival pickle beer sales

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Sale of pickle beer in a designated beer garden during the North Carolina Pickle Festival next month was approved by the Mount Olive Town Board of Commissioners, but not before concerns surfaced.

The yes vote for the sale of pickle beer was four to one.

At-large Commissioner Steve Wiggins cast the dissenting vote.

He had concerns about consumption and control because it marks the first time the sale of alcohol has been allowed in the public part of the downtown area.

The sale request was from festival co-chair Lynn Williams and local brewery operator Ryan Roberts of R & R Brewing.

Roberts assured members of the town board the planned ar-eas near the Main Stage for live entertainment beside Southern Bank will be cordoned off, closely monitored, and strictly operated under ABC laws.

Roberts has come up with a special pickle beer for this year’s festival.

His brewery is located at 541 NW Center Street.

Festival co-chair Ms. Williams, in a letter to town author-ities, said R & R Brewing is serving as a Zesty Kosher Dill sponsor for this year’s festival.

She said the business will serve as the official festival Welcome Center, and will allow its NW Center Street location to also serve as a shuttle stop for those parking on the campus at the University of Mount Olive.

She said the brewing firm will have the capability to oper-ate a vendor booth on Saturday, April 13. The firm’s sponsor-ship, she said, allows R & R to have three spaces (up to 45 feet), which is large3 enough to sell craft beer and set up a cor-doned off area for patrons top enjoy.

Ms. Williams said those drinking beer will have to con-sume it in the cordoned off area and will not be allowed to leave with open containers of beer.

“We envision setting R & R up in the vicinity of the Main Stage, likely on the railroad track side of Center Street, near Southern Bank, where patrons can enjoy both the beer and the music,” she said.

Ms. Williams added, “We think R & R’s brewing engagement will add an exciting dimension to the festival’s offerings, and we are dill-lighted to promote a new local business that is gaining great attention from Mount Olive residents and visitors alike.”

The motion to approve the beer sale request was made by Commissioner Barbara Kornegay and seconded by Commis-sioner Dennis Draper. Commissioner Harlie Carmichael and Vicky Darden joined Ms. Kornegay and Mr. Draper in approving the quest.

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