Today is National Beer Day but it doesn’t celebrate the end of federal Prohibition, which took place on December 5, 1933. (If you just read our post about New Beer’s Eve, stick around; we’ve got new stuff!)
National Beer Day commemorates a step in that direction. Under the Volstead Act, so-called “near beer” was allowed to have up to .5% alcohol because it couldn’t cause intoxication. Any higher percentage was considered liquor and forbidden.
The Cullen-Harrison Act, named for the Congressmen who sponsored it, revised that legal threshold upward to 3.2%. President Franklin D. Roosevelt then made the decision to sell it the responsibility of state legislators. There was much rejoicing in the land.
It took a bit longer to draft the 21st amendment to the Constitution, which repealed the 18th amendment. It remains the only amendment in U.S. history that nullifies an earlier one. Some residents of Kansas, Utah, Minnesota, Colorado and Oklahoma might wish that Roosevelt had aimed higher. Stores in those states must still abide by the 3.2% limit.
Whether you choose to imbibe or stay sober as a judge, we hope you have a 100% happy National Beer Day!