The Casper City Council on Tuesday approved on first reading a request from a Mills distillery to operate a tasting room in downtown Casper.

The Backwards Distillery tasting room would be located at 214 S. Wolcott.

City Manager Carter Napier said the request for the license comes after the council recently changed its ordinance to allow for tasting rooms.

"We're now at the point that the license can be issued," Napier said. "This would, in effect, be a new business in our community."

The satellite business can sell only what they make.

During the public comment time, Backwards Distillery owners Chad and Bill Pollock, asked council if anyone had any questions.

Council member Mike Huber said he didn't have a question, only a comment. "Welcome to downtown."

The ordinance will need two more votes from the council to be official.

Before council voted, Mayor Charlie Powell said the ordinance and Backwards DIstillery's request for the tasting room highlight a problem with the state's system of distributing alcoholic beverages. The state, through the Wyoming Liquor Commission, has a warehouse in Cheyenne, which is the only source of malt beverages, wine and spirits for bars and restaurants.

"The people at Backwards Distillery create their different products, bottle them, ship them down to Cheyenne, purchase their own product from Cheyenne so they can serve it in their own tasting room in Casper, Wyoming," Powell said.

"Does that make good sense to everyone here," he asked. "That is the system we're living with, and obviously I think there's a problem with that."

In other business, the council:

  • Approved one-year contracts with AAA Landscaping and B&B Sales and Services for the clean-up of weed- and trash-covered properties for code enforcement.
  • Authorized a lease agreement with Boomtown Motocross to operate the Prickly Pear Motocross Facility.
  • Authorized a lease agreement with the Casper Shooters' Club for operation of the Stuckenhoff Sports Shooters' Complex.
  • Authorized a lease agreement with Mike Sedar BMX Parents' Association for the operation of the Mike Sedar BMX Facility.
  • Authorized a professional services agreement with Monson Janitorial Services for custodial maintenance services for city facilities.
  • Authorized an agreement for $110,620.20 with the Installation and Service Company, Inc., to repair the drainage at the George Tani parking lot.
  • Authorized a change order with Caspar Building Systems, Inc. for the Bailer Building/MRF Expansion Project.
  • Approved a contract for professional services with the Casper Area Economic Development Alliance for assistance with grant funding.