Brewing Company At St. Elmo Shut Down By Fire Officials

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Moccasin Bend Brewing Company in St. Elmo was abruptly shut down on Friday for alleged fire code violations.

A company official said on Facebook, "We have been shut down by the city. We are now out of business."

He said he would be meeting on Monday with city officials.

The business owners are asking District 7 residents to contact Councilman Chris Anderson and other city officials in their behalf.

Councilman Anderson sent this Facebook response, "No need for residents to contact me and make the case. I am a supporter and had a couple of Sour Neds there Monday night. I have no idea why you have been shut down. Owners, please send me more details and I will do what I can to help."

The owners said, "We will do everything within our power and financial means to meet the city of chattanooga's requirements. We love our city and the St. Elmo neighborhood. Torward that end we will be seeking interested investors, potential tasting room relocation, and other iniatives to kick our construction project and code compliance into high gear.

"We have spent $10,000 for permits and architects to bring our building to fire code and building code. We submitted a plan to the city inspectors office, and were told we had approval - pending fire marshal's inspection That put us on the regulatory radar. We believed we were allowed to sell samples based on 2011 Tennessee beer law revision - traditional city beer permitting was based on construction completion. We were told we were in violation of fire code. 

"A city inspector's office, a city zoning offical, the city fire marshal and other members of the Chattanooga Fire Department and Police Department arrived to utilize fire code, zoning ordinance, or beer board ordinance to close our doors. Whether this initiative came from one of the offices, was based on neighbor complaints or was a combination of the two is a mystery to us. We have made no mystery of the fact that high wholesale taxation rates and the realities of small volume production force us to rely on tasting room revenue - that revenue allowed us to begin the expensive re-permitting and re-zoning process. Overcrowding due to Friday's concert provided the perfect storm to close the brewery, but make no mistake, our official visitation was a planned event. The bottom line is what the bottom line always is - MONEY."

It is located at 4015 Tennessee Ave. near Forest Hills Cemetery.

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