Today marks the 80th anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition in the United States! On December 5th 1933, Utah (ironic enough) was the final state to ratify the 21st Amendment, fulfilling the 1/3 majority vote needed for its passage. And thus, the 18th Amendment – banning the sale and manufacturing of alcohol – was repealed!
The 21st Amendment
Ratified December 5, 1933
Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
Section 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use there in of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.
Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
A little over 100 years ago there were over 3,000 breweries in the United States, but then along came Prohibition. But the American brewing spirit persevered. 5 years after its repeal there were several hundred breweries producing beer. (source: Dr. Bill Sysak, Stone Brewing Co.)
Today in America, there are over 2,136 breweries — a number which is rapidly increasing, according the Brewers Association.
US Breweries Operating as of July 1, 2012
|Regional Craft Breweries||81|
|Total US Craft Breweries||2075
|Large Non-Craft Breweries||22|
|Other Non-Craft Breweries||29|
|Total US Breweries||2126|
Although today is a very happy day in the history of the U.S. (for alcohol lovers), the effects of Prohibition still live on 79 years later. Nearly half of Mississippi’s counties are dry. Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Virginia and Texas all boast a high percentage of dry counties. Alaska has nearly 129 dry towns. And then, there are the hundreds of, often contradictory, state alcohol laws across the country that regulate the manufacturing and sale of alcohol. Here are some examples of these laws.
But, at the end of the day, even with how annoying some state laws might be, we can still be eternally grateful that we are not, in fact, experiencing a complete Prohibition (although, some regions might feel like they are).
In celebration of the 21st Amendment and support of the craft beer revolution, I thought it was only appropriate to share with the world a video that I, personally, believe truly encompasses the craft beer mentality and the passion of its biggest advocates.
“We must educate the average beer drinker. We must illuminate the possibilities. We must help and support our local breweries. We must spread the message. Introduce, educate, and illuminate the choices. Spread the message and declare with conviction:
I AM A CRAFT BEER DRINKER.”