Prohibition’s Other Ending Remembered On April 7
While Prohibition’s repeal came on December 5, 1933, American brewers celebrate the end of that era with “Brew Year’s Eve” on April 7. It seems the country’s brewers were back in business on this earlier date, when Americans enjoyed beer as their first legal drink in 12 years.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s support for repeal helped him win the 1932 presidential election. Shortly after he took office, he worked with Congress to amend the Prohibition law and make beer legal again. The first delivery of legal beer arrived at the White House on April 7 and Americans were able to enjoy beer throughout the year that was required to ratify the 21st Amendment.
Roosevelt’s support for repeal was more than just populist electioneering. He knew that revitalization of the brewing industry would be good for the American economy. This continues to be true today, with 1,400 American brewers creating jobs, paying taxes and contributing to community organizations and causes nationwide.
Not so long ago, Americans would have had to look hard to find an American brewery. In the 1970s, fewer than 70 were in operation. But the craft brewing movement that has blossomed since 1980 has swelled the ranks of brewers, putting small, traditional and independent makers of beer in nearly every community in the country.
As brewers celebrate Brew Year’s Eve this April 7, they commemorate not only the beverage but also the contributions brewers make to their communities. The Brewers Association, the craft brewers’ trade group, estimates that more than 20,000 organizations receive donations or sponsorships from brewers every year. Supported groups range from police and firefighters, to outdoor and environmental organizations, to neighborhood theater and art programs and medical research causes.