Draft Beer's Future in Houston County

By: Deborah Tuff
By: Deborah Tuff

Voters have decided; Houston County businesses will soon be allowed to serve draft beer and will be joining cities like Auburn, Montgomery, Birmingham, and Huntsville.

The draft beer sales issue in Houston County has been hotly-debated for years. Regardless, residents cast their vote and nearly 9600 said 'yes' to draft beer sales.

The Mellow Mushroom owner Mark Howell said, “We'll get a standard steel face, put our kegs in our coolers back here.”

Howell plans to put eight tap keg coolers in his Mellow Mushroom pizza restaurant in Dothan. He says he's always wanted draft beer at his restaurant but the law just wouldn't permit it.

However, a referendum passed on June 6, allows the sale of draft beer in Houston County.

“I think there's not a better natural couple than pizza and draft beer,” said Howell.

A local pastor however who says he and other pastor's around the Wiregrass disagree; they feel it's a big mistake.

“It will create a problem because it will open up the door for Sunday alcohol sales and we know that we already have a problem with drunk driving,” said Rev. Brandon K. Marshall.

Still, officials with the Dothan area convention and Visitor's Bureau say draft beer gives consumers more choices.

They say it will also bring more visitors willing to spend big bucks.

“It sure will help us attract more meetings and conventions, so maybe someone wanted a keg at their meeting, or convention they can have it,” said Bob Hendrix.

But exactly how supportive the community will be is still up in the air. That'll be determined on July when draft beer sales are opening to everyone.

Howell says he plans to offer Purple Haze, Guinness, Bass and Belgium Whites with his pizza.


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