A spate of liquor links:
Steve Gordon wonders why the State of Alabama is in the liquor business at all. Why indeed, especially since private liquor stores (called “package stores”) are also allowed to do business in the state? So, we have a system of public (ABC) stores competing against private stores (public stores have lower (subsidized) prices and shorter hours than private stores) and the alleged raison d’etre for the public stores is protection of the public. If private stores are allowed to operate (which they are), then presumably they also protect the public, which makes one wonder why public stores are necessary. Unless, of course, the “protection” refers to protection from high (market) prices. It’s all very confusing to me.
Slate’s Explainer asks: Why is Moonshine illegal? Oh yeah, now I remember:
Because the liquor is worth more to the government than beer or wine. Uncle Sam takes an excise tax of $2.14 for each 750-milliliter bottle of 80-proof spirits, compared with 21 cents for a bottle of wine (of 14 percent alcohol or less) and 5 cents for a can of beer.
(link via Kevin)
Speaking of Moonshine, the History Channel has a pretty good documentary called “Hillbilly: the real story,” that details the history of moonshining in America. Bonus: it’s hosted and narrated by Billy Ray Cyrus. I’ve had real moonshine right out of a mason jar before. It’s actually not bad, or at least not as bad as you’d expect.
Nearly forgot to link to this excellent song.
Addendum: Here’s an interesting blog for all the whisky connoisseurs out there. The author is actually working on a book about whisky. (Link via Shaun)