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Saturday, April 7, 2007

Repeal: a Lesson Learned, Never to be Forgotten


Today is the 74th anniversary (apologies for getting my math wrong earlier!) of the first fruits of Repeal, when FDR and the new Congress jiggered the Volstead Act to allow sales of 3.2% ABW beer (heh, and light wines, but no one ever remembers that!) after thirteen years of Prohibition, and 20 states (and the District, of course) took them up on it. The 21st Amendment wouldn't be ratified for another eight months, but Americans had their beer back, and we celebrated.

According to Will Anderson's From Beer to Eternity, triumphant throngs surrounded breweries and "cheered themselves hoarse." I woulda been there, better believe it. Anderson quotes that beer was "flowing freely and in great volume" in Philadelphia; the country consumed over 1,000,000 barrels of beer in just that one day.

Victory Brewing, who has used "Resist Prohibition" as a slogan for years (God bless them), brews a beer for occasions just such as this: Throwback Lager, a "pre-Prohibition pilsner," brewed using yeast from the old-school Philadelphia Christian Schmidt brewery and "a small portion of brewer's corn." Throwback to the old days, and 'throwback' because that's what you'll do, throw back another one. Great quaffing beer, and just under my SBP parameters at 5.4% ABV, which is what you need to celebrate a day like this.

On a day like this...remember that beer is a drink of moderation, that most of it is drunk in good health, and that most beer drinkers are solid citizens, not drunken reprobates. Don't let people talk you into being embarrassed to drink beer, don't let people talk you into raising taxes on beer, don't let people talk you into restricting beer. Because we already fought that fight. And today we celebrate the Victory.

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