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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Deliverance from Evil in 'Bama

I'm not sure how many readers of this blog may have seen the old Burt Reynolds movie, Deliverance. It's the story of a wild water canoe trip down a dying river in rural Georgia. The boys from the city wind up in conflict with some rural folks and it gets ugly, to put it mildly.

There's a conflict of a different sort happening down south now and this time it involves beer. Frankly speaking, there are parts of the old Confederacy where they still think Prohibition was a damn good idea, and they're doing everything they can to keep it alive with dreadful, antiquated laws.

One of those places is Alabama, where the state's Alcohol Control Board the other day banned the sale of Dirty Bastard beer, brewed by Founders Brewing Company of Grand Rapids, Mich. Profanity on the label was given as the reason for denying Dirty Bastard a place on store shelves.

Banned in 'Bama
Just to give you some perspective, this is the same state that allows the sale of Fat Bastard wine. And you can also find Raging Bitch beer in select stores, "select" being any store that wants to sell it. No word on Stone's Arrogant Bastard, but it doesn't sound good.

An attorney for the Alabama Alcohol Control Board says he thinks the decision on Dirty Bastard was right...bastard is something the kiddies don't need to see in stores. He defended the decisions on Fat Bastard and Raging Bitch, saying they happened years ago and the beers wouldn't be approved now. Now we're getting somewhere.

Problematic in 'Bama
Free The Hops, an organization that is working to get the state of Alabama to at least move in the direction of sane beer laws, opposes the decision on Dirty Bastard. But they've got an uphill battle. More than a third of the counties in Alabama prohibit the sale of alcohol.

Another Alabama law prevents the sale of beer in containers larger than 16 ounces, effectively keeping many craft beers off store shelves. The "Gourmet Bottle" bill designed to fix this didn't make it out of committee in 2011. Free The Hops has introduced versions of the same bill in the state House and Senate for 2012. You can track their progress on the Free the Hops website.

Prohibition isn't dead in Alabama. It's obvious a good part of the state would bring it back full bore if they had the chance. It makes you wonder if these people are ever going to join the 20th century. Forget 2012.

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