McAdenville votes for booze biz

MCADENVILLE, NC (WBTV) - McAdenville's claim to fame is its annual light show. Nicknamed Christmastown USA, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more all-American, old-fashioned place.

But the times, they are a-changin'.

"I guess they'll be celebrating their Christmas spirits here now," one man joked on Main Street Wednesday.

And he wasn't talking about the lights.

In a groundbreaking vote, citizens decided Tuesday to allow the sale of alcohol in town. Now, not everyone's happy about it.

"When I say Christmastown USA, I mean, that's peace," says long-time resident Albert Inscoe. "But when alcohol is involved, I don't think there's a whole lot of peace."

What the sale of alcohol could mean, though, is a whole lot of money - a tax boon for government. And, for entrepreneurs, even in tough times, the booze business tends to stay booming.

Todd and Suzie Ford left the corporate world behind to start brewing beer a year ago.

"It's a huge chance," Todd told us then. "Sometimes I forget how much of a chance it is. We're hoping it takes off.

Today, it really has. Their NoDa location is flourishing, and Whole Foods features their product.

"We're very excited. They took the position that they really wanted to put the accent on North Carolina beers," Todd says.

Success stories like that gave 31-year-old Alex Mauney and his twin brother Chris the courage to start their own gin mill in Kings Mountain.

"We started researching recipes from the 1700's," Alex says. And in no time at all, they've racked up international attention, winning several world spirits competitions.

Food and Wine Magazine is even coming down to do a spread on their Cardinal Gin.

But McAdensville resident Jim Ashworth isn't convinced all the hype will do his town much good.

"Nearby towns, Lowell for instance, they passed alcohol and they have no new restaurants. No new grocery stores," Ashworth says.

It's a big change for a small place.

"I just kind of like it the way it is," Ashworth says. "The way it was."