A True #BeerLover Tells The Ales (And More) Tale
This Thursday is National Beer Day. It’s on the same date every year, April 7th.
But why do we need a special day to celebrate beer? When I tell some people about National Beer Day, I often have them flippantly respond with: “Isn’t every day National Beer Day?” It’s true that there are plenty of random “holidays” in the U.S., that were created to around beer, but unlike most unofficial beer holidays, this one has historical significance.
On March 23, 1933, FDR signed into law the Cullen-Harrison Act. That all-important act went into effect on April 7th later that year. While this didn’t officially end prohibition in the US (that didn’t happen until the ratification of the 21st amendment on December 5, 1933), it did is redefine an “intoxicating beverage” under the Volstead Act allowing people to buy sell and drink beer for the first time in 13 years as long as it was under 4% ABV.
Because wine was never completely outlawed during prohibition (due to individual families being able to make up to 200 gallons per year for personal use), and because liquor can’t be made under 4%, April 7th is a very beer-specific holiday.
When I started National Beer Day back in 2009, I was surprised to find out that this important date in US history wasn’t already recognized.
When my buddy Mike Connolly (who interestingly enough isn’t even from the U.S., he’s from Liverpool England) suggested that we start National Beer Day, I brushed him off; I was convinced that if there was a reason to celebrate beer in the U.S., it would already be well known by now.
But Mike kept insisting that there should be a U.S. National Beer Day. I finally relented and told him that I would do some research into American history and that if I could find a date worth recognition, we would start a Facebook group or something. Well, here we are, seven years later and that Facebook group that we started turned into a nationally recognized holiday (albeit “unofficial,” but we’re still working on that part).
So is “every day National Beer Day”?
No, but just because there is a National Beer Day doesn’t mean we shouldn’t enjoy beer year-round. I like to compare it to Independence Day in that while we have a specific day to celebrate our country and our freedoms as Americans, we don’t have to wait until July 4th to be thankful for them.
National Beer Day is the day that we celebrate the ability to drink that other 364 days a year. For everyone that has used beer to celebrate a special day, we now have a special day to celebrate beer.