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Distillery looks to state as county denies liquor request

A planned gin distillery will have to get approval from the Mississippi Department of Revenue to operate after a local government rejected it.

Posted: Dec. 26, 2017 12:32 PM

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — A planned gin distillery will have to get approval from the Mississippi Department of Revenue to operate after a local government rejected it.

The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors declined to recommend resort status for the project, which would have allowed for it to serve alcohol in an area where sales are otherwise banned, the Oxford Eagle reported .

Owners Rob Forster and Tom Alexander said they plan to serve quarter-ounce samples of gin to guests taking tours.

"We're interested in being distillers," Forster said.

The newspaper reports that state law states that a restaurant or other establishments can only sell alcohol if they are within the city limits. Those establishments could apply for a "resort status" from the Department of Revenue to serve alcohol if they are looking to cater to tourists.

Supervisors have declined to support a number of resort status applications since 2008. However, the state Department of Revenue may choose to ignore supervisors' decision if a business gathers 100 signatures from neighbors and submits a petition.

The state has granted at least four resort status overrides in Lafayette County.

The Ravine, Goose Creek Clubhouse, The Jefferson and Plein Air were forced to go through the state tax commission to be granted their resort status.

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