Food Articles


New Beer's Eve

April 6, 2013

I thank my lucky stars (and stripes) that I never had to live through prohibition era America. Sure, we know what it's like to endure a nationwide financial crisis, but can you imagine doing it without booze to bolster your spirits? The Americans who lived through the limited liquor supplies of the roaring 20's and faced the thirsty 30's had to endure the bitterness of life without a brisk, hoppy brew. But, in 1933 all that changed. On March 23rd, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Cullen-Harrison Act which went into effect on April 7, 1933. The act increased the maximum percentage of alcohol allowed in a beverage from .5% to 3.2%. It is said that in anticipation of legally getting their hands on an "adult" beverage for the first time in thirteen long years, people in the 20 participating states (in addition to the Cullen-Harrison act, each state also had to pass their own law to allow the sale of alcohol) lined up overnight for a taste of freedom, and beer. From then on, April 6th has been known as New Beer's Eve. Historical rumor has it that 1.5 million gallons of beer were knocked back that night. Granted, the beer being sold was pretty weak, but it was better than nothing. Prohibition would not be completely overturned until the Twenty-First Amendment was passed on December 5, 1933. So, tonight at the stroke of midnight commemorate your freedom the way our ancestors did. Crack open a cold one and celebrate your right to imbibe with a delicious, golden brew. Prefer cooking with beer to drinking it? Check out our recipe slideshow. Photo: Romulo Yanes

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