“I recommend…the passage of legislation…to legalize the manufacture and sale of beer”—President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all-ages…I hope you’re ready to crack open a cold one, because today marks 80 years since the first New Beer’s Eve.
What is New Beer’s Eve you ask?
Well by golly, let me tell you…
In 1933, Prohibition was on its way out and everyone knew it. President Roosevelt had made it one of his missions to repeal Prohibition and start pumping money back into the economy, because—as it turns out—people really like to drink and they’ll gladly throw their money away to do so.
Although Prohibition wouldn’t be officially repealed until December 5 (my birthday!) of that year, the Cullen-Harrison Act was signed into law by FDR on March 23, 1933. The Cullen-Harrison Act allowed for the legal sale of beer (with a 3.2% or lower alcohol content).
Political red tape being what it is, there was an undoubtedly agonizing 15 day wait between Roosevelt putting paper to pen and the Cullen-Harrison Act going into effect.
That meant that at the stroke of midnight on April 7, 1933 people could legal purchase beer for the first time in 13 years.
Naturally, peeps were pretty stoked about this. In anticipation, people lined up in the streets waiting outside of pubs and breweries and prepared to get their hands on some sweet, sweet watery beer.
As such, the sixth of April has come to be known as New Beer’s Eve.
Once midnight rolled around those people who had been hanging in the streets descended upon their local watering holes and ran most of them dry by noon the next day. Gotta love what people can accomplish when they put their whole heart (and liver) into something.
As it turned out, Roosevelt’s plan to get the money flowing worked out pretty well. By simply making crappy light beer available to the masses he was able to pump $25 million into the economy in 48 hours. It turns out people really like beer.
And I think that’s the morale of today’s story: people really like beer and they should enjoy it!
You don’t need to wait until midnight friends, thanks to FDR, you can have a beer right now (unless you’re underage or have a drinking problem—in which case, you should probably find some different reading material) and I highly recommend that you do!!
Raise a pint, can, bottle, or other beverage vessel of your choosing to President Roosevelt tonight and have a Happy New Beer’s Eve!!