The Noble Experiment, Prohibition. AKA the Dark Times. The Volstead Act did so much damage to the American brewing culture, it has taken decades to fix.
Today is big day in beer history. Leading up to today, The Cullen-Harrison Act was signed on March 22, 1933. This act was a major step in repealing Prohibition. It allowed for the sale of low-alcohol beer (4% ABV). Cullen-Harrison took effect on April 7, 1933. On this day, beer could flow again. April 6th is referred to as “New Beers Eve,” which saw throngs of people waiting in line until the first beer could flow at 12:01 AM on the 7th.
12:01 AM. Beer trucks left the gates of breweries, headed for bars and shops. According to the Brewer’s Association, nearly 1.5 million barrels of beer were sold the first 24 hours alone. America was thirsty, and in need of hope in the form of a tall, cold one. Nearly 50,000 jobs were immediately created (and needed during the Great Depression) thanks to beer becoming legal again.
Washington’s Abner Drury Brewery sent one of the first legal trucks of beer to the White House with a sign: PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT, THE FIRST BEER IS FOR YOU.
Here in 2013, the brewing industry is thriving again. Today, celebrate like your grandparents and great-grandparents did. Drink a beer.