Wednesday, July 30, 2008

How to Buy Alcohol in a Dry County

Back in 1920 when the United States went on the wagon, alcohol was hard to come by. Now it's almost ubiquitous. But in 17 states, they're still toeing the line. Beer, wine and hard liquor are sold by law only in designated outlets, such as liquor stores, bars, hotels and restaurants. Here's how to quench that thirst and stay on the right side of the law.

Crack open the Yellow Pages and look up "Liquor Stores." Some states confine the purchase of bottles and kegs to these outlets. Some restaurants may also sell six-packs for carry-out.

Head to a bar or pub. Most states allow alcohol to be sold and taken off the premises because of reasonable-access laws.

Fill 'er up. In some semidry states, gas stations or grocers can sell beer, while only liquor stores may sell distilled spirits and wine.

Check out the Clubs of America site ( to find a beer- or wine-of-the-month club that suits your palette. Or order directly from a winery or a distillery. Wine clubs managed by vineyards or other retailers won't send you alcohol if you live in states where its shipment is illegal or questionable, however.

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