Oldham County residents to vote on liquor sales policy in special election
There are only a handful of places in Oldham County where you can buy packaged alcohol but the Kentucky Artisan Distillery is not one of them. The owner says he's losing money because of it. But he hopes a special election will help turn things around.
CRESTWOOD, Ky.(WDRB) -- The days of driving a long way to buy alcohol could be coming to an end for people in Oldham County -- if voters decide to “go wet.”
There are only a handful of places in Oldham County where you can buy packaged alcohol, but the Kentucky Artisan Distillery is not one of them. The owner says he's losing money because of it, but he hopes a special election will help turn things around.
For a fairly new distillery in Kentucky, building a good reputation is a must.
"I've had people do all the distilleries in the state and they say this is their favorite, but they always leave saying they wish they could get a taste. That's what people expect when they come to a distillery,” said Kentucky Artisan Distillery manager Liz Ratliff.
Oldham County's current alcohol law prohibits the sale of packaged liquor anywhere outside of La Grange.
The Crestwood distillery can't even serve samples.
“It's a little bit embarrassing,” said Ratliff. “We have people where all they want to do is go to a tasting room or buy a bottle and we always have to turn them away.”
He says a change in the law could draw more tourists to the distillery and other businesses in the county.
Voters will be able to decide in a special election if Oldham County will remain dry or go wet.
Some residents are calling it a big mistake.
The founder of BalanceOldhamCounty.Org didn't want to use her name but she wants to get the message out there and encourage people to vote no.
“It will increase DUIs, it will increase bar fights. Why do people move to the county? Is it because they want to be an extension of Jefferson County? I don’t think so,” she said. “Most people move here because it's a quietly amazing community.”
But it’s also a community that could lose a distillery if residents vote no.
“If it doesn't pass, the owner, Steve Thompson, is thinking about moving to another county that is wet,” Ratliff said.
The special election is on Tuesday, Dec. 29.
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