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.

Why not?

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.


  1. Oh, great! Another bunch of Theocrats who want to cram their idea of “religion” down our (actually “your” – I don’t live in Floyd) throats via the law. Isn’t this why the settlers came to America in the first place?

    If you don’t want to go to the new brew pub, here’s a novel idea: Don’t go! Live and let live. But no, that would be too darn simple!

    And, just as the old stereotype would suggest, they claim to be working “for the children”. I’m disappointed they didn’t haul out the other well-worn standbys: “increased traffic” and “declining property values”. If things are done in Floyd like they’re done here in Danville, those 2 excuses will eventually be used by those who don’t choose to hide behind the cloak of Christianity, but still wish to impede progress.

    George Carlin nailed it when he said the following (paraphrased): we are still a very Puritanical society and as such, we are mightily concerend with what our neighbors are doing.

    I look forward to eventually visiting the new brew pub in Floyd!


  2. Extraordinary! A bespoke small brewery is attempting to make beer for a discerning palate and is offering the opportunity to learn to differentiate the subtleties that 10,000 years of beer-making has gifted us. No doubt at a ‘less than bargain-box’ price structure. Good things are worth paying for!

    And from this, some ignorant God botherers who almost certainly know less about about their faith than they want to know about their neighbour’s naughty nocturnal habits think that the youth of the county will forgo the affordable and more available carbonated donkey micturate produced by the giant industrial fermenters to buy a limited edition micro-brew?

    If only God could sue the numbskulls that waste His/Her/Its time.

  3. On the subject of the Brewery. I think it is pitiful that they are under such attack. I have heard mixed reasons for the opposition. Here are my feelings on such reasons.
    (1)Traffic: This brewery is located at an existing business that is seasonally open to the public. I am under the impression the brewery will operate in the same manner. It has not been a problem in the past and I don’t foresee this as being a problem or even an issue in the future. I’m a neighbor and this is of no concern to me.
    (2)Religion: Oh please!! I’m a Christian and don’t feel I need to even comment on the subject, but I will say: There is nothing they are doing that is sacrilegious in any way, shape, or form. You people that are using your “Religion” as a basis for your argument are simple, idiotic, and ignorant.
    (3)Corruption of our Children: I know some of these people that are raising so much hell and my response on this issue is…I have three children and can tell you with much certainty, the people your children become is a direct reflection of you as parents and not the brewery across the street. If you are the parent you portray to the public (and you know who you are) then your children will know the risks of drinking, and will respect your wishes to wait until they are of legal age. Furthermore, how do you plan to explain to your children your other extracurricular and illegal activities? Get off your “high-horse” and mind you and yours!! Take responsibility for yourself.

Comments are closed.