Holiday travel last month took me through the Southeast U.S. into Texas. I joked at the time that I was touring the Land Where Gas Is Below Two Dollars. Those states’ gasoline taxes were so much lower than North Carolina’s, we went from paying about $2.15/gal. to $1.86/gal.

But I could just have easily called it a tour of Land of Better Liquor Laws. Here’s a map from the federal Alcohol Policy Information System that shows North Carolina is an island of state-run retail in a sea of licensed sales.

Local distilleries well represented

While in Texas I asked around for what would make a good, Texas-specific gift for a friend. I was given the name of a local whiskey. So I went to a liquor store, a local retailer and entrepreneur. That’s where I found it.

What I found particularly interesting was just how many Texas distilleries were represented in that store. Mind you, I was just looking in the whiskey section in that one store, not elsewhere. I don’t know how many other local distilleries’ products of different kinds were given shelf space in that store — or had found some other retailer who would give them a chance to compete.

Seems like a good thing to consider for a state understandably proud of its craft distillery scene!