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New Beer’s Eve

April 6, 2011

How do you celebrate the beginning of the end?  (note to self…all answers to all questions is…BEER)!

When the Cullen-Harrison Act was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on March 23, 1933, it signaled the beginning of the end of Prohibition by allowing the return of beer sales on April 7, 1933.   For almost 14 years prior,  the only legal beer available was a watered down “near beer” with an alcohol content of 0.5 percent by weight.  The new law allowed beer to have an alcohol content of less than 3.2% (4% ABV) which was considered too low to produce intoxication.

A very thirsty population waited in lines outside of breweries and taverns on April 6th until the clock struck 12:01 am ET in order to legally buy beer that actually had some alcohol in it.  Since then, April 6th has become known as “New Beer’s Eve” and April 7th is “National Beer Day”.

Was FDR a beer lover? Maybe (see above reference to all answers…).  But in truth, it was a very successful economic shot in the arm.  The brewing industry restored jobs and infused money into beer related industries such as farmers, truckers, glass makers, brewers and pubs.  And, of course, taxes were paid.

So raise a pint, bottle, can, or mug in recognition of this delicious holiday.


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