Beach Bum Distillery Approved - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Beach Bum Distillery Approved

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LEWES, De. - Yet another alcohol manufacturer is on it's way in Sussex County. The Beach Bum Distillery was approved by County Council Tuesday by a vote of 3 to 2. The distillery, which will make rum, was approved for the site located on the corner of Nassau Road and New Road in Lewes.

The distillery, which will sit on a 25,000 square foot plot of land, has been greeted with excitement by some nearby businesses. However others, including some councilmen said they were against the distillery, because they believe more alcohol is the wrong direction for the county.

Councilman George Cole from District 4 was one of the three council members that voted for the approval. He said the decision came down to land-use.

"The location seemed to be appropriate for the use," he said. "And they had ample parking. And it keeps sometimes these older structures viable."

Beyond the land-use issues, he also said that it would be a positive development for the Lewes economy.

"They will hire people," he said. "They will create an economic boost for the area. It will help that little intersection at Nassau. So I just think it's a good fit. And I see nothing wrong with it."

One of the council members who thought otherwise was Vance Phillips. Tuesday was Phillips' last meeting as a council member, and the distillery vote was his last vote in office. He said his vote against the distillery was an admittedly symbolic stand against alcohol and addiction. 

"Alcohol is one of those things," he said. "That if you can handle it, it's fine. But for many people, it creates addiction that destroys lives and destroys families."

The distillery is connected to nearby business Old World Breads. Allyssa Bunting, who works for the shop, said the distillery will mean more visitors and more business.

"If someone stops by specifically to go to the distillery," she said. "And they've never heard of us. And they stop by. We've got a new customer because they heard of the distillery. So we can help each other."

Developers were not at the meeting Tuesday, but an engineer for the project tells WBOC that they expect to have the distillery up and running by sometime in 2015.

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