As we head into the winter holidays, it’s important that we don’t overlook an significant day in history, especially for those of us who enjoy freedom and serious beer.
Now known as Repeal Day, December 5th is a celebration of the exact day when our country repealed the 18th amendment, ending thirteen misguided years of Prohibition, and restoring the right for Americans to purchase and consume alcohol once again.
The 18th Amendment, which was ratified on January 16th 1919, was a miserable idea to begin with. And its prohibition of the manufacture, sale, and transportation of liquor throughout our country, ended up causing countless problems including giving birth to organized crime.
Prohibition was a dark, dark period when our leadership deprived its citizens of all the rich customs associated with drinking, an intrinsic part of our social fabric.
Professions disappeared or went underground…and those who wanted a drink (and undeniably the pleasurable buzz that goes with it) where forced into the shadows just like many who smoke pot today.
To avoid the wrath of the government, those Americans who did choose to continue drinking lived duplicitous lives …Drinking alcohol had in essence become criminalized by the state, and with that a large segments of its citizens were judged criminals.
Eventually the country’s leadership awoke to the widespread problems that Prohibition had created and support for the ill-conceived law began to wane.
Angered citizens and major figures like John D. Rockefeller Jr joined a growing chorus of outraged Americans who championed a counter-movement which eventually led to this atrocious law being overturned.
The 21st Amendment, which spelled the end of Prohibition, was ratified on December 5, 1933 and the world immediately became a more sensible place.
So raise a glass sometime today …
Because December 5th is more than a mere historical marker… Repeal Day celebrates a return to sanity and to our rich traditions of craft fermentation and distillation.
It also marks a return to precious individual freedoms and sacred social customs that should have never been taken away.