Monday, April 7, 2008

Happy Beerversary!

Today marks 75 years since beer was allowed to be sold again after 14 years of prohibition. I had never even heard of this day before until I saw an article on CNN discussing the history of this historic occasion. But alas, today is indeed Beer Day and many people celebrated last night on New Beer's Eve. At 12:01 AM 75 years ago the gates of breweries in the 20 states that allowed beer to be brewed opened and carriages came forth carrying cases and kegs of beer to disperse to a thirsty public. With an alcohol volume of 3.2%, beer was released into the freedom it deserved by a newly elected FDR and his "wet" Congress only a month after his inauguration.

The allowing of brewing of beer help to create 50,000 much-needed jobs during a Great Depression era when jobs and work were sorely needed by the folks of these United States. The beer may have been of poor quality (it is thought that the early beer was more watered down than that beer released after the December 5th signing of the 21st amendment, ending total prohibition), but it was welcomed by the masses with open arms.

Since then, the beer industry has become a flourishing one here in the US and around the world - beer produced almost $295 BILLION in revenue worldwide in 2006. It is a welcomed addition to cookouts, sporting events, parties, and even has inspired a slew of people to host and/or attend beer tastings. People take brewery tours learning about the brewing process and the history of beer constantly throughout the US (there are a number of places you can do that right here in New England). Beer has become a part of our culture even to the point where if you say you drink a certain beer or don't drink beer at all - it may effect what a person thinks of you. No matter what beer you drink, you can be assured that by partaking in the sudsy beverage you are submerging yourself in some aspect of our culture.

Beer is so loved by our society, in fact, that we've even gone about making up a quote and attributing it to one of our favorite American wise men. The quote "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" has often been attributed to.... That's right! Ben Franklin! In actuality, Franklin never said those words and in fact had a lot more to say about wine, water, and drinking responsibly (read more about this here). There are multiple songs about beer - mostly Country, I'm sure - as well as books written about the love and history of beer.

So tonight, order a pizza and some buffalo wings. Buy a case of Bud, 6-pack of your favorite Sammy A's, a draught glass of Guinness or a selection of your favorite microbrews*. Take a trip to a local brewery or pull up some good old Super Bowl commercials on YouTube and celebrate. Give thanks to FDR and the "wet" Congress for allowing us to enjoy a frosty mug of beer whenever we want.

*Danielle encourages her readers to drink responsibly. The suggestion to have a beer is not recommended to recovering alcoholics, pregnant women, underage folks, or those otherwise identified by a medical professional to not drink beer. Don't drink and drive.*

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