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Monday, April 07, 2008

Beer's 75th Re-Birthday

Fun fact: Seventy-five years ago today, April 7, 1933, marked the beginning of the end of Prohibition in the United States. New to office, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt pushed for legislation to loosen the definition of "intoxicating liquor," defined as any beverage containing more than 0.5% alcohol by weight (ABW). By late March, Congress had signed the Cullen-Harrison Act to allow the production and consumption of beverages up to 3.2% ABW (or about 4.0% ABV). When the law changed at 12:01 a.m. on April 7, beer flowed legally from taps for the first time in 14 years. These low-alcohol brews would tide the nation over for the next seven months until Prohibition was altogether repealed on December 5. Some states still have 3.2% alcohol content beer laws on the books today, including Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma and Utah.

While most craft beers on the market today have more than 3.2% ABV, today's historical significance will be celebrated around the U.S., with one of America's oldest breweries, Anheuser-Busch, celebrating complete with Clydesdales and the opening of an exhibit containing rare Prohibition-era photos, press and other items (you can listen to August Busch Jr.'s April 7 radio broadcast here).


robyn said...

I didn't know there was another meaningful day before the December date. Amazing to think of how things were at that point; tough times indeed!