75 Years of Beer (and Local Celebrations)

“I think this would be a good time for a beer” – Franklin Roosevelt, April 7, 1933

While Prohibition officially ended on December 5, 1933, with the ratification of the 21st Amendment, something that is often overlooked happened earlier that year — newly-elected President Franklin D. Roosevelt took steps to fulfill his campaign promise to end the national ban on alcohol by spurring Congress to modify the Volstead Act to allow the sale of beer (with an ABV below 3.2%) in advance of the Twenty-first Amendment being ratified.

Thus on April 7, 1933, Roosevelt himself received newly legalized beer at the White House to toast what was the beginning of the end for Prohibition. In the 24-hours that followed, more than 1.5 million gallons of beer flowed as Americans celebrated. April 7 marks the date when beer was the only legal libation in the United States. For those of you who don’t want to do the math, that was 75 years years ago this Monday.

“April 7th is a day to recognize the past 75 years of beer and the beer community’s contribution to American’s quality of life. The explosion of creativity and innovation by those who make beer is an American success story,” said Charlie Papazian, President of the Brewers Association.

For all the local readers: On Monday, every pint sold at all three Gritty’s locations (Portland, Freeport & Auburn) will cost only $2 all day. Ed Stebbins, Co-founder and Head Brewer of Gritty McDuff’s, said in the company’s official press release,

“We join with breweries, distributors, importers and beer lovers all over the U.S. to celebrate and say that enjoying beer is a legal privilege. This anniversary has special significance for Gritty’s because we’re Maine’s oldest Brew Pub and the first Brew Pub to open in Maine since the prohibition.”

For more information and a list of brewery celebrations by state please visit: www.75YearsofBeer.org.

And lastly, in other Gritty’s news, be sure and stop by their Portland brewpub a week from Monday (on April 14th) for the tapping of the first ever keg of Gritty’s new Rye.P.A., formulated by Gritty’s brewer Ben Low. Believed to be the only Rye beer to be brewed with the Ringwood yeast, this beer is sure to be a hit.

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