Today marks the 75 anniversary of the ratification of the 21st Amendment which officially ended prohibition. I'm going to celebrate by going to a beer tasting at one of my favorite establishments in San Francisco, The Jug Shop.
The process began with Michigan on April 10th, 1933 and was completed on December 5th later that same year when Ohio, Pennsylvania, and [I'll bet the slightly reluctant] Utah joined in.
This was in the email I received from The Jug Shop and thought it was so interesting, I would relay it here:
"Christmas beers, also known as Winter Warmers, are a tradition dating back at least 2,000 years, with the ancients making highly intoxicating brews to celebrate winter's Saturnalia. This brewmaking evolved into a holiday celebration when medieval monks, the world's first professional brewers, pulled out their finest ingredients to produce soul-warming styles for the occasion.
Today brewers continue the custom, either with centuries-old recipes or newfangled concoctions with spices and herbs, enabling thirsty beer fans to put aside their everyday favorites each winter and deck the halls with the world's most flavorful ales and lagers, brewed especially for the holidays." from Don Russell's Christmas Beer: The Cheeriest, Tastiest, and Most Unusual Holiday Brews"
I find it especially poignant that some historians have pointed out that it took a year of sobriety to grant women suffrage. Prohibition began with the 18th Amendment in 1919. The 20th Amendment granted women the right to vote in 1920; and 13 years later the 21st ended the nation's teetotalling.
So let's all thank the temperance movement for spurring Congress into action, finally allowing our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, cousins, and daughters the right to be heard.
While we're at it, here's an interesting read. Alcoholica Esoterica: A Collection of Useful and Useless Information As It Relates to the History andConsumption of All Manner of Booze. Although I have not read it [yet], I heard an interview with the author and it looks sounds perfect for a toilet book. Here are some of the excerpts (from Amazon).
Did you know...
• that the word bar is short for barrier? Yes, that’s right—to keep the customers from getting at all the booze.
• that Winston Churchill’s mother supposedly invented the Manhattan?
• that the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock because the sailors on the Mayflower were running low on beer and were tired of sharing?
• that you have a higher chance of being killed by a flying Champagne cork than by a poisonous spider?
• that the Code of Hammurabi mandated that brewers of low-quality beer be drowned in it?
• that beer was so popular with medieval priests and monks that in the thirteenth century they stopped baptizing babies with holy water and started using beer?