Clay County has almost 14,000 residents, around 100 churches and not a single place where you can buy a beer legally.

There’s no Bud Light in the cooler at the corner convenience store and no fine wine for sale at the Piggly Wiggly supermarket.

But bootleggers a few streets away will sell you a can of beer for $1.25.

This scenic but poor county in the hills about 50 miles east of Birmingham harks back to the 1920s, when Prohibition was the law of the land. After a neighboring county recently voted wet, Clay County became the last bone-dry county in Alabama and one of a dwindling number across the nation.

Nestled at the southern tip of the Appalachians and lacking so much as a federal highway to bring in visitors, people here pride themselves on scraping by. To some, prohibiting legal alcohol sales is both a moral issue and part of being off the beaten path.

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