If you love the craft beer scene in Gwinnett County, then this week is made for you.
Explore Gwinnett is in the midst of celebrating it’s first-ever Gwinnett Beer Week. The week, which is being split off from Gwinnett Burger Week, is designed to celebrate the growing number of craft breweries — 12 so far — that call Gwinnett County home.
“Gwinnett Beer Week provides an opportunity to celebrate Gwinnett’s growing craft beer scene,” Explore Gwinnett marketing communications director Victoria Hawkins said. “Local craft breweries add to Gwinnett’s destination appeal for visitors. We want to showcase them and all the events that they are producing.”
Gwinnett Beer Week continues through Saturday, and is part of growing efforts by Explore Gwinnett to highlight the county’s growing brewery scene. It partnered with Southern Beer Tours to launch regular tours of Gwinnett’s breweries in February.
To cap off the inaugural beer week, the county’s tourism leaders and Southern Beer Tours will offer a special Brewery and Baseball Gwinnett Tour on Saturday. The tour includes the regular Lawrenceville Brewery Walking Tour as well as a general admission ticket to a Gwinnett Stripers game and round-trip transportation between Coolray Field and downtown Lawrenceville.
Tickets, which cost $68.99, can be purchased at southernbeertours.com/atlanta-brewery-tours/. The tour includes stops at Exhibit A(le), Ironshield Brewing and Slow Pour Brewing Company before the game. The ticket includes one beer at each stop on the walking tour, a ticket to the game and a gift bag.
But, there are other activities happening to commemorate Gwinnett Beer Week.
Explore Gwinnett, Gwinnett County Humane Society and Anderby Brewing will hold Barks + Brews on Thursday. This event includes free pet portraits done by a professional photographer from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m., and the Humane Society will have adoptable dogs on hand.
Explore Gwinnett will also hand out giveaways at the event, such as “Love, Gwinnett” doggie bandanas and travel water bowls — although they warned that there will be a limited quantity of giveaway items.
Anderby Brewing is located at 110 Technology Parkway, Suite 200, in Peachtree Corners.
The third special activity Explore Gwinnett is promoting as a part of Gwinnett Beer Week is a special 6S Brewing Beer + Chocolate pairing at 6S Brewing Company in downtown Duluth. This is a week-long activity, but 6S is set to celebrate its grand opening on Saturday.
Visitors can get a flight of beers and “perfectly matched” chocolates from another downtown Duluth business, The Chocolaterie, for $15 — although Explore Gwinnett is warning that supplies will be limited.
The address for 6S Brewing Company is 3111 Main Street in Duluth.
Other activities taking place at breweries during Gwinnett Beer Week include:
♦ Trivia Night at Stillfire Brewing, located at 343 Buford Highway in Suwanee
♦ Bingo Night at Slow Pour Brewing Company, located at 407 N. Clayton St. in Lawrenceville
♦ Trivia at Ironshield Brewing, located at 457 N. Chestnut St. in Lawrenceville
♦ New beer release — West Coast POG — at Blackbird Farms Brewery, located at 4098 Lawrenceville Highway in Lilburn
♦ Trivia at Social Fox Brewing, located at 20 Skin Alley in Norcross
♦ Trivia at Slow Pour Brewing
♦ Sound Check Bingo at Stillfire Brewing
♦ Mix Tape Bingo at Social Fox Brewing
♦ Cards Against Humanity Game Night at Indio Brewing, located at 5019 W. Broad St. in Sugar Hill
♦ New beer release at Cultivation Brewing, located at 650 Langford Drive in Norcross, with food trucks and live music.
♦ Live music at Monkey Wrench Brewing, located at 3425 Martin Farm Road in Suwanee, by Sean Harley and food by Yaardie Eats
♦ New beer release at Blackbird Farms Brewery: Xmas in July Cranberry Poerter
♦ Live music and food at Ironshield Brewing
♦ Live music at Stillfire Brewing
♦ Live music at Slow Pour Brewing
♦ Bingo Night at Indio Brewing
♦ 6S Brewing grand opening celebration, with giveaways and live music from noon until 10 p.m.
♦ 2nd Anniversary Party at Indio Brewing from noon until “late”
♦ Mud Donkey Band live performance at Stillfire Brewing
♦ Live music at Monkey Wrench Brewing by Whiskey Dawgs and food by Two Fox Farm
♦ The Johnny Mac Project will be performing at Social Fox
♦ Patio Toga Party at SlowPour Brewing
♦ Beer ♦ Yoga at Monkey Wrench Brewing
♦ Live Music and Food at Ironshield Brewing
Gwinnett County commissioners voted Tuesday to keep the county’s millage rate the same as the 2020 rates.
The county government’s overall millage rate, which determines how much money a property owners owes in property taxes, was set at 14.71 mills. That total millage rate number includes rates for several funds, such as public safety service districts and the county’s general fund, which covers the costs of county services.
The rate set by the commissioners, however, only deals with the portion of property taxes used to fund county government. It is separate from rates set by the various city councils and Gwinnett County Public Schools and Buford City Schools boards of education.
“I just want to thank the staff for pulling everything together in a timely manner and getting this to the point where we can take a vote,” commission Chairwoman Nicole Love Hendrickson told county finance staff.
Earlier this summer, the commissioners were told that keeping the millage rate at the same level used in 2020, it would nearly erase the need to use more than $18 million in reserve funds to balance the county’s 2021 budget.
That is due to the tax digest growing significantly in the last year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. County finance staff told commissioners last month that the tax digest had grown to an estimated $37 billion, which meant that estimate revenues for the county’s general fund were expected to increase to $246.2 million.
The gross total tax digest for this year is estimated to actually be $45.49 billion, but the net digest total drops to $37.07 billion once an estimated $8.42 billion in exemptions is taken out of the gross total.
It is believed that keeping the millage rate the same in light of the growing tax digest means the county would only need to use about $500,000 in reserve funds to balance the county’s budget for this year. By comparison, county staff had conservatively guessed in January, when the budget was adopted, that $18.9 million would have been needed to balance the budget.
Although the county government’s overall millage rate will stay the same, property owners could still end up paying more in property taxes this fall depending on whether the value of their property increased and what kinds of exemptions they have.
Georgia Gwinnett College and local officials have long touted the college’s importance to Gwinnett County and the latest economic impact numbers form the University System of Georgia show just how important the school is.
The college’s impact on the local economy totals up to half-a-billion dollars, or more than $508 million to be exact, according to the university system. GGC officials were highlighting that number Tuesday.
“GGC continues to be a significant contributor to the economy of Gwinnett County and the surrounding region,” GGC President Jann L. Joseph said in a statement. “As the county grows, GGC is excited to be part of that growth.”
The University System of Georgia looks at several factors when determining a school’s economic impact, and the latest economic impact looks at data collected between July 2019 and June 2020. The overall university system had an economic impact of $18.6 billion in Georgia during that time period.
Factors that the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth looks at for the report includes the number of jobs created, both on campus and in the community, by the school’s presence, as well as the number of alumni it has working in the local area.
In GGC’s case, the USG said it has created 3,834 jobs. That includes 799 on campus jobs and another 3,035 jobs in the surrounding community.
GGC also has more than 9,000 alumni who are living, working and serving communities in Gwinnett and elsewhere, according to the university system.
GGC officials said that, when capital outlay for building projects it has undertaken over the years is added in, the college has had a $4.8 billion economic impact over a period spanning more than a decade.
“With each graduating class, GGC’s full impact is expressed in important ways throughout the region and beyond,” Joseph said. “Our alumni are our true legacy.”