21st Amendment Brewery is thrilled to host The Session in December, and we've chosen a topic that's near and dear to our hearts: the repeal of Prohibition. December 5 is the 75th Anniversary, which brought beer back to the masses.
In 1920, there were thousands of breweries across America making unique, hand-crafted beer. The passage of Prohibition wiped out this great culture. On December 5, 1933, the states ratified the 21st Amendment, repealing the 18th Amendment, thus ending 13 years of Prohibition in America. At the 21st Amendment Brewery, the repeal of Prohibition means we can celebrate the right to brew beer, the freedom to be innovative, and the obligation to have fun.
What does the repeal of Prohibition mean to you? How will you celebrate your right to drink beer?
Here at the 21st Amendment Brewery, the repeal of Prohibition (with the passage of the 21st Amendment) is our national holiday. It is so much more than just the right to brew beer (though we're pretty happy about that part). The repeal of Prohibition was about affirming all that we hold dear as Americans. The right to create, to be entrepreneurial. To be innovative. To choose how to best put to use our own private property. Prohibition, the 18th Amendment, is the only Constitutional Amendment in our nation's history to take away a right of the people.
Before Prohibition, there were breweries operating in neighborhoods across America. They provided jobs, tax revenue and a local artisanal product that was hand-crafted and couldn't be found anywhere else. Many brewers were German immigrants coming to America to fulfill its promise. Brewers were on the cutting edge of innovation, inventing equipment and systems that benefitted many industries. Brewers were the leading citizens of their communities, providing jobs and spending generously on charities. Breweries were gathering places—not just for drinking but for families and social interaction. The German beer gardens of Milwaukee, Chicago, St. Louis and New York, to name a few, were famous for their Sunday after-church gatherings where men would enjoy fresh old-world lager and children would play in the grass. The first Continental Congress met in a Philadelphia pub to draft the U.S. Constitution and Thomas Jefferson is said to have written the Declaration of Independence in a tavern over a pint (or several) of ale. George Washington brewed beer. Samuel Adams and Benjamin Franklin and John Adams and many more of our founding fathers brewed beer.
The brewery embodied everything that America was founded on. Independence, creativity, innovation, the right to be original. And Prohibition killed not just the breweries and the beer, but the spirit of America.
At the 21st Amendment Brewery, we celebrate the America that was embodied by the breweries of old. We dare to brew original beer, not just in its uniqueness, but in its spirit. We represent the post-Prohibition journey back to reclaiming the essence of the neighborhood gathering place.
We will celebrate our right to drink beer by marching through the streets of San Francisco, just as they did 75 years ago today. We will celebrate our right to drink beer with a party at the 21st Amendment all day and all night featuring live jazz, our outdoor beer garden and an authentic "speakeasy". We will celebrate by committing to only drink drinking good, local hand-crafted beer made by people, not machines. Will you join us?