In a stunning electoral turn, Houston
County, Alabama, voters just approved a referendum to legalize the sale
of draft beer for the first time in the County’s history. So instead of
being actually drafted, a far more pleasant opportunity awaits—locals
will soon be heading to their locals for a fresh pint of frosty draft
Many devout residents of this Bible Belt community surely feel that
the path to perdition is not a road paved with good intentions, but
rather an ice-cold river of draft beer.
So why the change?
His Honor Pat Thomas, mayor of Dothan, Houston County’s largest
city, provided the impetus. “We want a minor league baseball team here
in Dothan, and knew we couldn’t get one without being able to sell
draft beer at the games,” he said.
Ahh, baseball, the great consensus-building pastime. Baseball and
draft beer go together like…well, Alabama and Blue Laws. In fact,
although the referendum passed by a 53% to 47% margin, restrictions on
alcohol sales are generally strongly supported here.
A former Floridian with whom I spoke commented, “I’m from Miami
where this sort of thing is no big deal. Here, I can’t even buy a beer
at a supermarket on Sunday. What do you do if you run out of beer
during the Super Bowl?”
I asked Mayor Thomas that question. “The Georgia border’s only miles
14 down the Interstate,” he replied, and that’s as good an excuse for a
Sunday drive as I’ve heard.
So a toast to Houston County…may your landfills be smaller, your
roadsides less littered (especially the ones on the way to Georgia),
and your watering holes even happier places!