Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Package Store

Ah, . . . the package store! Young people today, reared on buying their beer at supermarkets and convenience stores, have been denied the classic beer drinking experience of the packie. Historically, the packie is a direct result of the 21st Amendment, which while repealing Prohibition, also allowed for all sorts of local regulation. And so, the package store was born. Created specifically to sell alcoholic beverages, they were usually located apart from general shopping districts and relegated to the less desirable areas of town. They were called package stores because the display of labels of beverages containing alcohol was not permitted in public, so these stores would "package" your wine, spirits, or beer, in accordance with local laws.

The packaging laws created in the 1930s have evolved, but they are still very much with us. Nearly all of the laws today regarding drinking in public are not concerned with the alcohol in the bottle but with the label on it. And that's why, people to this day, have been left to drinking out of paper bags.

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