It’s National Beer Day!

A double flight ensured we were able to really get a taste for each new brew.

Try something new on National Beer Day. (Photo courtesy of Coney Island Brewing Co.)

It’s National Beer Day.

What does that even mean?

April 7, 1933 marked the first day in 13 years that the manufacturing of low-alcohol beer and wine became legal. In other words, Americans could legally buy, sell, and drink beer. This happened thanks to FDR signing the Cullen-Harrison Act on March 22, 1933, which went into effect 16 days later. The stipulations and facts:

  • Beer could only contain up to 4.05% ABV. (Interestingly, alcohol content was actually measured by weight then – the legislation called for 3.2 alcohol by weight.)
  • States had to enact the law on their own terms. In other words, it was not legal everywhere, but in states that deemed it so (or “wet” states).
  • 1.5 million barrels of beer were consumed that day, which is a fun idea.
  • This is not the day that Prohibition ended. The 18th Amendment and National Prohibition ended later that year, on December 5, 1933, when the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified.

Supposedly, the designation of the “holiday” began in 2009 when Justin Smith, a beer enthusiast in Richmond, Virginia, started a Facebook page to celebrate the day. After that, his page, and the designation of National Beer Day, were recognized by 1) a craft beer blogger in Colorado, Eli Shayotovich; 2) the beer check-in app, Untappd, which made a “badge” for the day in 2011; and 3) Twitter, where the hashtag, #NationalBeerDay has been annually trending since.

What a time to be alive.

All the “days” we endure online and in life are mostly trivial, but this one, we guess we can get behind.  So today, if you’re looking for a reason to make this different from any other day, raise your glasses to FDR, to beer makers in the 1930s, to that guy in Richmond, and to not ever having to live through 13 beer-free years.




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