In 1933 the darkness was lifted from America when the 21st Amendment to the constitution was ratified. This ended the 13 tumultuous years of Prohibition and beer and liquor could flow once again. Raise your glass high today and celebrate the freedoms you still enjoy!
Prohibition was devastating to the country and especially to the beer industry. Of the over 1300 breweries that were operating before the 13th Amendment less than 200 survived the 13 dry years. The remaining breweries consolidated and altered their product to serve the public’s new desire for a more mild and bland beer. Prohibition had mortally wounded America’s taste for diverse and unique European-style beers, and it would take nearly another 50 years for tastes to come back around.
These words ended the years of speakeasys, bathtub gin, and government-sanctioned poisoning:
SECTION. 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
SECTION. 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or Possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.
SECTION. 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
Prohibition gave rise to organized crime and the American adjunct lager, but in a way it also set the stage for the American craft beer revolution. Softdrinks were born in Prohibition as an alternative to beer, and the taste that consumers developed for the sweet beverages directly influenced the development of the light American lager beer in the post Prohibition years. The homogenization of America’s beer caused a group of pioneers, who had tasted real beer on travel abroad, to develop home-brewing skills to produce more flavorful beer. 35 years later the styles produced by American craft breweries are being co-opted by the giant brewers who nearly killed beer in the first place.
But regardless of the hows and the why, the important part is beer is here, and it is better than it has ever been in America. I’ll drink to that!