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Cheers to the end of Prohibition
The reason you decided to read this blog is because you are a fan of beer. Now try to imagine a world without the beer… horrifying right?
Fortunately for us beer-lovers, a decision made 80 years ago today, is the reason we are able to sit down after a long day and enjoy a pint together.
Today is the 80th anniversary of the Constitution repeal that ended national Prohibition. What does that mean? It means 80-years ago a bunch of our ancestors (who probably really needed a drink) got together and drafted the 21st amendment to the US Constitution, which ended the law that banned alcohol for beverage purposes.
Back in 1917, (long before beer was tasty) several states drafted the 18th Amendment which prohibited the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes.”
Those in favor of the Prohibition assumed making alcohol illegal would encourage fathers to spend more time with their family, eliminate gambling and debt, and reverse negative effects alcohol had on citizens (no more drunken Model-T races!)
However, among other brilliant government decisions, it did the opposite of that.
First it encouraged old-school gangsters like Al Capone and friends to build criminal empires out of illegal distribution efforts. It also completely screwed the federal and state governments out of billions in tax revenue. Imagine if all of the alcohol sales were halted today? The amount the government would lose in taxes would be substantial and devastating.
Lucky for us, the 21st amendment came 14 (long) years after the 18th amendment was passed and nowadays even the President of the US enjoys a brew or two.
Raise a glass to the 21st amendment tonight – we will be right there with you.
– There were 15,000 speakeasies in Detroit
– 10,000 people died of alcohol poisoning during prohibition from bootleg whiskey, tainted gins
– FDR reintroduced alcohol as a way to raise taxes during a time of economic hardship.
– As of 2012, 33 of the 50 states still permit towns and counties to be ‘dry’, or prohibit sale of alcohol within their borders on certain days (Michigan doesn’t allow alcohol sales before 12pm on Sunday)