Friday, December 5, 2008

The Session #22 The Repeal of Prohibition


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?
 
Dare to BEER original!
 

To participate, pen your post on Friday, December 5, 2008, and leave it as a comment here (for quickest results) or email us a link to your post. Stan Heironymous is already waxing nostalgic about prohibition

Next month's Session #23 will be hosted by Brewmiker

33 comments:

Lew Bryson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Beer Nut said...

Happy Repeal Day!

My post is online here. Thanks for hosting.

Peter said...

Here is my contribution.

http://www.betterbeerblog.com/index.php/2008/12/05/the-session-22-what-does-the-repeal-of-prohibition-mean-to-you/

Ray Merkler said...

Here's my Session post!

http://www.bathtubbrewery.com/2008/12/05/session-22-repeal-day-and-the-failure-of-representative-government/

THOMAS 'Tom' CIZAUSKAS said...

75 years of "Iki Dugno," legally

David said...

My contribution is here.

Thanks for hosting. Great topic!

Al said...

My humble offering:

http://hop-talk.com/2008/12/05/session-22-celebrating-repeal-day/

Stephen Beaumont said...

My grumpy contribution is here: http://www.thatsthespirit.com/en/blog/default.asp?Display=126

Chris said...

Celebrating 75 years of legal drinking at Beer Utopia

sonnett said...

My session post:

Sonnett Beers

e.s. delia said...

Here's my contribution for this month's Session. Thanks for hosting!

Alan said...

Here is my contribution, which is still a work in progress:

http://beerblog.genx40.com/archive/2008/december/thesession22

Rob said...

Here's my modest commentary. Great topic! Thanks for hosting.

Mario (Brewed for Thought) said...

Let's try this again

http://www.brewedforthought.com/?p=819

Jasmine said...

Here's Beer at Joe's contribution:
http://www.beeratjoes.com/?p=129

couchand said...

Here is something of a contribution:

http://haveabeer.wordpress.com/2008/12/05/session-22/

Chipper Dave said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jon said...

My contribution can be found here. Thanks!

marcus said...

Here is my contribution in pics:

FinalGravity.blogspot.com

Drink a GOODBEER.
Cheers!

J said...

Here's mine, now I have to leave if I hope to make it in time for the parade!

http://www.brookstonbeerbulletin.com/session-22-75-years-demonizing-alcohol/

Thanks for hosting this month.

J

olllllo said...

Humbly submitted:

http://beerhacker.blogspot.com/2008/12/happy-75th-repeal-day.html

Captain Hops said...

My post is up. Thanks for hosting.

Cheers!

The Scribe said...

I'm up at the Dram:
http://mixeddram.wordpress.com/2008/12/05/the-session-repeal-this/
Cheers. - The Scribe

- Juan said...

Hello, Juan here, wishing I were at the parade in SF.

Anyway, my post is Here.

Cheers!

Ray said...

Here's my contribution:

http://www.thebarleyblog.com/2008/session-22-repeal-of-prohibition/

Thanks for hosting!

Chipper Dave said...

Tried commenting earlier today but don't think it went through:

Love Beer? - Fight to protect it - Session #22

Here is my entry at Fermentedly Challenged.com.

Dan Conley said...

Prohibition and Buffalo: http://www.beerovision.com/?p=283

Thanks for the topic!

Professor Tom Foolery said...

Cheers for beer! Keep on brewing the good stuff over there. My thoughts below.

Prost!

http://onebrewoverthecuckoosnest.blogspot.com/

Thomas said...

I'm in

http://geistbear.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2008/12/6/4008951.html

Thomas
Geistbearbrewing.com

ps - Hey Sully Rat Pad!

Bob Skilnik said...

"In 1920, there were thousands of breweries across America making unique, hand-crafted beer."

In 1920, brewers had only 15 days to brew beer until National Prohibition became the law of the land on the 16th.

It's extremly pleasing to see that December 5 is getting the recognition it deserves, but I think there's a little bit too much romanticizing of American beer's history, and as a result a tendency to gloss over facts.

Because of federal restrictions, brewers had been forced to resume brewing beer with an alcoholic content of 2.75% since July 1, 1919. This came about after the feds stopped all brewing in the U.S. on December 1, 1918, in essence, their first attempt at prohibition. Earlier, on December 11, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson had exercised his authority to further reduce the amount of permissible food materials used for the manufacture of beer by thirty-percent and limited it's legal alcoholic content to a paltry 2 3/4% by weight.

So during the "good old days," and between the closing and reopening of U.S. breweries, beer was being brewed at a paltry 2.75%...and I'm not talking "session beers." Brewers were trying to adjust to wartime food regulations, really trying to surive. I doubt highly if anyone of them would refer to the pre-Prohibition beers as anything akin to "craft" styled beers. They were weak beers, adjunct-laced and brewed by compromise due to federal regulations.

I've posted a chapter from Beer: A History of Brewing in Chicago at http://www.beerinfood.wordpress.com that is Chicag-centric, but gives a much better picture of what was happening to the national brewing industry than other published sources.

J said...

Hmm, didn't seem to work the first time, let's try again. Here's mine:

http://www.brookstonbeerbulletin.com/session-22-75-years-demonizing-alcohol/

J

Beerme said...

Here is Brewmiker's contribution:
http://beerandfirkins.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

At my age, the only influence noticable from the change in the prohibiton laws came from later laws that made us all able to homebrew. I graduated high school in 1982 and we all got to brew balloon wine in school as part of an Advanced Biology class. We also got to drink the wine we brewed (IN SCHOOL!!) if we were 18 and if not, we had to have a note from our parents. This was science!!!! When I share this experience with younger folks, they are astounded that we brewed and drank wine in class, in school, as part of a class!! This is something they could never do in today's world. I was taught science, the kids today feel they got taught to be sneeky.

Prohibition got the US public to be sneaky, feel "cool" about it, and still does today.

The ignorance and non-education is limiting our understanding of our world;----prohibition was and is a tool.

More awakening is in order!!