In the United States, today is National Beer Day! Today in 1933, beer became legal again during the tail end of 18th Amendment prohibition of alcoholic beverages.
What’s interesting is that the 21st Amendment, repealing the 18th, was not effective until December 1933, so why is today a day?
On this date, the Cullen-Harrison Act went into effect. The 18th Amendment was functionally enacted by the Volstead Act in 1919, which defined “intoxicating” anything with 0.5% alcohol. Which is just about anything that ever thought about a beer.
The Cullen-Harrison Act, under the authority of the 18th Amendment, changed the definition of “intoxicating” to anything higher than 3.2% alcohol-by-weight so it could be legally sold and consumed under the Federal law, presuming states allowed it. Almost nothing we see in stores today would qualify, but in 1933, 1.5 million barrels were consumed on April 7, 1933 to celebrate.
If you’re one to have a beer every now or then, today isn’t a bad day to raise a glass.
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