Alcohol Laws in the Bible Belt

Growing up in the Bible Belt, you run in and out of dry counties.  In Oklahoma, beer legally must have less alcohol compared to other states’ beer. Is that true, Blair? Or is that a bunk excuse Ellie and I used when we moved out of Oklahoma and had one too many brews?

Regardless,  my Bible-Belt upbringing has hindered me from being well-versed in “Alcohol Laws.” Also, I live in Texas where some people (you know who you are) believe that prohibition was a good idea.  Here is the proof that I am not well-versed in alcohol laws.

Exhibit A: I have had brunch champagne or white wine in my cart at the grocery store before noon on a Sunday. This is illegal in Texas. You must remove the champagne from your cart in front of everyone in line behind you at Whole Foods. You mumble, “I just came from church … I’m having friends over for a brunch…It’s a baby shower…” and they look at you more judging-ly. This once happened to Husbanks, but replace “champagne” with a “case of Budweiser.” That looked worse.

Exhibit B: Liquor is only at liquor stores in the Bible Belt. When I visited New Mexico for the first time, I was amazed at all the mini liquor bottles at the corner store. They made me uncomfortable. They shouldn’t have – the mini-bottles didn’t say anything rude to me, but they made me nervous because I felt like I was late to the airport. This is what happens when you grow up in the Bible Belt and only see mini-bottles on planes for the first few years of your life.  Sidenote: One time, Kevin hung out with a guy at a party who was only drinking from mini-bottles.

Exhibit C:  Beer and wine and liquor have different curfews in Texas. There are times in the evening when you can buy beer and times when you can buy wine and times when you can buy booze and I can’t tell you any of those times because they confuse me.

Exhibit D: In Louisiana (what up Logerots!), you can get minis at the corner store and the passenger in your moving vehicle can drink them. I hope you are going to an airport, because again, minis remind me of planes.

Exhibit E: Ever been to a restaurant in a dry county and ordered a glass of chardonnay?  You have to “join a club.”   That makes no sense to me, unless it is a “small bottles remind me of planes” club. Then I am running for an officer position.

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  1. #1 by Lacy on November 17, 2009 - 9:50 am

    Mini bottles remind me of my grandmother. She keeps a mini Jack Daniel’s in her makeup case for the occasional cold or upset stomach remedy. She calls them “hot toddy’s.”

  2. #2 by Ellie on November 17, 2009 - 10:34 am

    I remember the first time I went to a Rite Aid here in Louisville and there was a liquor and wine aisle. Convenience, indeed, to be able to get your box of tampons, birthday card, lightbulb and your bottle of Vodka all in one place.

  3. #3 by Husbanks on November 17, 2009 - 11:44 am

    “Dude.” “It’s 12:55. We still have time to make it to Skinny’s to buy some more beer.” “Wait.” “It’s Friday.” “Dang.”

  4. #4 by b on November 17, 2009 - 12:26 pm

    I hate the liquor laws – I’m baffled how they’re still in existence in this day and age. Just this weekend on Sunday, we needed to buy some vodka to cook some Penne ala Vodka, but nope it’s a Sunday which means it’s impossible to buy liquor in Texas. Do people think that if there’s no liquor for sale one day that nobody will get drunk? If that’s the case, then why is beer/wine for sale (after noon)?

    hil – you’re in austin; can you write up a quick bill for the TX legislature getting rid of these silly laws real quick? kthx

  5. #5 by Another HM on November 17, 2009 - 4:43 pm

    In Pennsylvania all of the liquor stores are state owned. You can’t buy beer frm the grocery store, but you can buy a six pack from the bar, distributor, or state owned liquor store. Weird!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania_Liquor_Control_Board

  6. #6 by Beth on November 18, 2009 - 7:54 pm

    On a recent trip back to Oklahoma I suggested to the girlfriend I was visiting that we should pick up a bottle of wine to go with the dinner we were going home to cook. She had to wide-eyed-explain liquor laws to me. In the mere 7 years I’ve been away, my mind had been COMPLETELY wiped of all knowledge of liquor laws ever existing. Just baffling to me. Baffling.

    Learning about liquor laws existing in 2009 made me feel the way I felt when I first suspected that santa might not be real, or that when people say “the birds and the bees” they aren’t talking about real live birds and bees. Baffling…

  7. #7 by Leanne on November 24, 2009 - 9:40 pm

    Ok. I’m late to this thread, but I completely understand your confusion/frustration. In Alabama, you could not purchase alcohol on Sunday. Not from a bar, restaurant, liquor store, etc. Nowhere. You could, however, drive across the state line to Tennessee to buy it there.

    Also, when I went to Myrtle Beach a few years back, they did not serve alcohol from normal size liquor bottles. Everything had to be served from mini bottles. Imagine being a bartender with that rule.

  8. #8 by slogerot on December 7, 2009 - 10:35 pm

    HA. I just took a break from East of Eden to check your blog and saw this post. Yes, this Texas girl was shocked at the amount of liquor you can procure at Louisiana corner stores and Albertson’s. No wonder they know how to party. Have we discussed the drive-through daiquiri shops?

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