Taking Strong Drink

Author William Faulkner sipped his fair share of mint juleps, but never (legally) in his birthplace of New Albany, Mississippi. The town only made the sale of beer and “light wine” legal in 2010. Even then, they declared that beer would not be sold cold, by the single bottle, or on Sunday. From Hemingway and Bailey’s Bartending Guide to Great American Writers, by Edward Hemingway. © 2006 by Mark Bailey and Edward Hemingway. Reprinted by permission of Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. All rights reserved.

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Taking Strong Drink

by Bill Koon
Southern Cultures, Vol. 20, No. 2: Summer 2014

"Some devout Baptists complained that there was too much booze in a mini bottle for one drink; the rest of us complained that there wasn't enough."

William Faulkner must have smiled down from heaven back in 2010 when his birthplace, New Albany, Mississippi, went wet—or at least damp—by making the sale of beer and “light wine” legal. The New York Times broke the news and chuckled at the irony of a long-dry town whose favorite son was a well-known drinker. The citizens had quite a battle over the issue, and the losers were not good sports. They immediately got their aldermen—most of them prohibitionists, if not teetotalers—to declare that beer would not be sold cold, by the single bottle, or on Sunday. And so it seems that folks in New Albany are going to be stuck with six-packs, cases, or maybe even kegs of warm beer, six days a week.