The protracted — and sometimes bitter — neighborhood fight over the proposed Shooting Creek Farm Brewery on Thomas Farm Road in Southeastern Floyd County is over.  My story in today’s Floyd Press outlines how the two sides came together in a deal that allows the microbrewery to obtain its Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Board licenses and open.

As part of the agreement, the microbrewery will not sell beer to the general public at its Thomas Farm road site. Shooting Creek will ship its product to a wholesaler who will distribute it to area outlets and restaurants that sell beer and wine.  The brewery can hold up to 20 "tastings" a month for customers and friends but will not advertise to the general public for sale of beer for off-site consumption.

The fight was primarily a battle between the owners of the brewery and three neighbors that resulted in a public hearing last summer before the Virginia ABC board in Roanoke and an appeal to the State Board in Richmond when the hearing officers ruled in favor of the brewery.  A hearing on the appeal was delayed last November when the two sides said they wanted to try and work things out on their own.

"They sat down and worked it out," says Floyd attorney Jonathan Rogers. "That’s the way it should be handled."

Rogers is right but too often neighborhood squabbles end up in court or before a government entity like the ABC board. Attend a Thursday court session before General District Court Judge Ed Turner and you will see too many civil actions involving neighbors who just can’t get along.

"It appears to me that in Floyd County nobody gets along with their neighbor," Turner once said in open court.

Sadly, he’s too often right. Thankfully, the neighbors along Thomas Farm Road have learned to get along and it didn’t take a judge or government board to settle the matter.