The Fairhope ABC store opened its doors at 9 Monday morning. That’s a full hour earlier than usual. By that time the 60+ people waiting outside were lined up in orderly fashion instead of the liesurley hangout that had developed over the last 18 hours. Folks were let in 10 at a time to buy what they wanted, or what was left and they went on their way.
“I feel like I got the golden ticket,” said Pointe Clear’s Elizabeth Martinez with an enthusiastic laugh. Many who got a bottle camped out overnight for a spot in line. For them, it was well worth the wait.
“Very satisfying, been here until about noon yesterday so I’m pretty happy about that,” said Rob Downey.
The poorly lit parking lot where the Fairhope ABC Beverages Store sits hides the long line of people waiting to get their hands on some exclusive bourbon. Pappy Van Winkle goes on sale Monday morning in just six spots in Alabama. The only gulf coast location is here in Baldwin County. Some said they had been waiting in line since Sunday morning.
The company put out a news release earlier this year saying they produced even less in 2015 than last year. That’s either real scarcity or scarcity cooked up by the PR department. Either way dozens of people were waiting in the cold drizzle for a bottle of warming liquor.
“I think it’s great, we’re all nuts,” said John Rousso with a laugh. There’s been some talk that there are speculators here. People who would rather buy the bottle as an investment and sell it later for a profit. As far as I can tell everyone’s here to get their bottle for special occasions, not a quick buck.
“This is personal stock this will not be for sale at the Bier Garten but we have other bourbons, unfortunately, Pappy will not be on the list,” said the owner of Mobile’s Loda Bier Garten Matthew Golden.