It's an argument one often hears applied to any major scientific advance, usually by some slopey-browed cave dweller who fears the wrath of God (or "Oog," as the first cave dwellers called him) should mankind actually dare further its own understanding of the world.

It's an argument that rises up from the distorted worldview that knowledge can, in and of itself, be evil or immoral.

In short, it's generally a big crock o'poo.

However, much to my dismay, I have found one area in which it applies as a useful maxim:

Just because you can serve draught beer in Montgomery, Alabama, doesn't mean you should.

For years and years (the exact number of which I have no idea, but Google is your friend), Montgomery banned the sale of draught beer within the city limits. Friends and I have tried to comprehend the rationale behind it, and the best we could muster was that brewers would be against it as it costs more to build local storage for refrigerated kegs than it does to tuck a truckload of bottles in the back of a store. Or, perhaps, it was just one more in a series of misguided blue laws that religious types like to foist on the populace.

It isn't as contentious an issue as abortion, but I probably could have made mint by producing t-shirts that said "Don't want a draught beer? Don't have one!" You may think I jest, but we drinkers of good beer are deadly serious.

Anyway, that little bit of limited history is neither here nor there nor anywhere, so let's move along.

So, there I was...IN the jungle Montgomery, Alabama.* I was so looking forward to seeing my former home delighting in the beveragey goodness that is quality draught beer. Of seeing mugs filled with golden, brown, or red nectar sweating happily on bars all across that fair city. Of watching bar patrons carefully reading a menu with copious beer choices, determined to select the perfect fresh beer to complement that bacon cheeseburger in front of them. And then I realized something. Something tragic.

They just don't get it.

If you're going to drink crappy beer, at least drink it on tap. In one particular instance, in one particular bar, serving four particularly crappy beers (and one good beer) on tap, eight of the ten people at the bar were drinking from bottles.** Drinking the same beers available on tap, but from bottles!

I generally like to avoid testicular trauma imagery in my posts, but this is like choosing the needle over the kick. Wrong choice!

On the outside, I might have looked rather stoic (or slightly buzzed) with my pint of Bass in hand, but inside, I was crying like a wee schoolgirl.

Perhaps it's the novelty of the concept. Perhaps it's a lack of exposure to the wider world of beer. Perhaps it's similar to the way democracy in Russia looks a whole lot like totalitarianism with a smile - the people just don't know any other way. Perhaps there is hope for my old hometown.