National Beer Day: A Short Pint of a History Lesson

Prost! Belly up to that bar and grab a new brew because today is National Beer Day!

In March 1933, FDR signed the 21st Amendment to repeal prohibition. The President made it able so that we could all indulge in that wonderful liquid medley of hops and barley that we call beer.

Initially, only low alcohol beer and wine was allowed, it wasn’t until later in that same year that a higher level alcohol of beer and distilled spirits could be legally produced and consumed. For most, the country hopped on the wagon in 1920, but for our fellow Virginians, the state had went dry four years prior. The law closed numerous breweries, distilleries, and saloons.

Saying so, it had unintended negative effects: loss of jobs, organized crime, and poverty.   The mafia gained a financial footprint by expanding into bootlegging, the government intentionally poisoned rubbing alcohol to deter drinking, and higher levels of per capita consumption were all reported during prohibition.

In August 1933, Virginia was the 32nd state to ratify the 21st Amendment to end Prohibition.  However, other than tax revenue, one great side effect was the birth of home brewing which launched today’s revolution of American craft beer.

And if you are still paying attention after this history lesson, finish that glass because you deserve another!

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