Draft Beer Sales Help Boost Local Business

By: Tim Elliott Email
By: Tim Elliott Email

Four years ago, Dothan city commissioners approved to authorize the sale of draft beer for on or off premise consumption within city limits.

It's a move that some bar owners believe was a big boost to their business.

Draft beer is illegal in Alabama unless the county has passed a special law allowing its sale.

That happened back in 2006 and some area bar owners say it's definitely been a positive for their business.

Pouring a draft beer is a relatively new practice here in Dothan.

“Starting off, we were able to expand our selection and variety of what we could offer our customers,” said Jim Flowers, owner of Plan B Sports Pub and Grille in Dothan.

In July of 2006, bars and restaurants in Dothan starting tapping into a new clientele.

“It was a curiosity factor and I think when they came in and tried it a lot of them decided they liked the stoutness and the flavor and they stuck with it,” said Flowers.

Flowers says adding draft beer gave his business a boost.

“We doubled our inventory and saved a lot of space in doing so,”

“I myself have always enjoyed draft beer,”

Brandon Bushaw is a bartender in Dothan. He says the more options customers have; the better.

“The more choices that are at a club or bar it is more likely that you're going to please the majority of the customers that come in and the more likely that they will come back,”

“I’ve heard no complaints, just a survey when I go into restaurants and that have bars and it appears that a lot of people are choosing to drink draft beer,”

Dothan City Manager Mike West believes making draft beer available was the right move.

“I think it's positive, if you look at it in a lot of ways there's no difference in having a draft beer than there is having it in a bottle or a can,” said West.

However, Flowers says there may be one drawback.

“A little more clean up than bottled beers. A 12 ounce bottle is a lot easier to control then a 100 pound keg,” laughed Flowers.

The general manager at one Dothan restaurant says 95% of his beer sales are draft beer.

But City Manager West says he doesn't think the introduction of draft beer has meant more money for the city.

He says beer drinkers will have a drink whether it's in a can, bottle, or glass.

Coffee and Geneva are two of 26 counties in the state that do not allow alcohol sales of any kind.

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