A gaggle of do-gooders came to my door the other day to solicit support for their efforts to block the Shooting Creek Brewery, a brew pub not far from our home.
Conversation went something like this:
Hi, did you know there is an effort to start a brew pub that will brew and serve beer?
Isn’t that what they do at brew pubs?
Yes, but we don’t think brew pubs belong in Floyd County.
Because drinking is a sin.
It is? Didn’t Christ serve wine to his disciples?
That’s not the point. We don’t need a brew pub in Floyd County.
Again, I ask: Why not?
Because it will corrupt our children.
Last time I checked, the minimum age for drinking in the Commonwealth of Virginia is 21. There are a several places in Floyd County that sell and serve beer, wine and — in one case — mixed drinks. Seems like the kids have survived that.
Well, we want it stopped.
You came to the wrong house for support. Don’t come back or I’ll call the sheriff and charge you with trespassing. Good day.
Aftter they left, I wondered: When did prohibition return to Floyd County? We have wineries, a cider house, grocery stores and convenience stores that sell beer and wine and a number of restaurants that have licenses to sell alcohol. Why the sudden desire to stop a enterprising group of people who want to open a brew pub?
I’ve always found it fascinating how fundamentalist ministers yank out the Bible and start waving it around to preach against the dangers of demon rum (or beer or wine or whatever). The only sin that refers to the intake of nourishment or beverages is gluttony. In other words, it’s not against the preachings of God to drink a beer. It may be one to chug-a-lug a keg but that’s an argument for another day.
As regular readers of this site know, I’m a recovering alcoholic who has been sober 14 years, two months and two days. I serve as Floyd County’s representative on the New River Valley Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP) advisory board and am a volunteer counselor for an alcoholism treatment program. However, I cannot — and will not — stand by and watch a bunch of self-anointed guardians of morality try and stifle free-enterprise in this county and force their narrow focus view of the world on the rest of the county. Floyd is not a dry county, nor should it be one. Our wineries draw tourists and bring in business and provide employment to a county where the unemployment rate is higher than the rest of Virginia. The Shooting Creek Brewery should be allowed to become an important part of the growing tourism-based economic engine of the area.
Three Baptist ministers are behind the effort get the residents of the Thomas Road area of Floyd County (just off the Parkway) to rise up in self-righteous indignation and stop the Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Board from issuing a license for the Shooting Creek Brewery. Perhaps it is time for others to rise up and put a stop to efforts of a few to impose their idea of "morality" on the majority. A public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 13 at 10 a.m. in the ABC office in Roanoke.
See you there.