By: Keegan Cantrell
National Beer Day is (today) April 7th and yes it’s a real holiday.
Although it’s mostly just one more excuse to celebrate one of those favorite of all frothy beverages.
People love their alcoholic imbibe-ables and there was probably no more evident time of that love than during prohibition.
People were very much “not ok” having their alcohol taken away from them.
People don’t like anything taken away from them but when things like speakeasy’s, Nascar and moonshine running, organized crime, and a host of other fascinating implications cropped up all over the U.S. in response to the banning of alcohol it became obvious it wasn’t an isolated group of people effected.
National Beer Day is a celebration of the day that the Cullen–Harrison Act was signed into law by Franklin D Roosevelt on March 22, 1933.
The legislation was a land mark part of the reversal of prohibition and allowed people to buy sell and drink beer containing up to 3.2% alcohol once again in states where they had already begun allowing sales again.
During the legislation FDR himself famously said “I think this would be a good time for a beer.”
National beer day is a celebration of this event, but wasn’t publicly recognized until 2009.
National Beer Day was first created in 2009 by Justin Smith of Richmond, VA. Smith started a Facebook page that was noticed by Colorado Beer Examiner, Eli Shayotovich. Smith's promoting of the new holiday via various social media outlets was rewarded when the beer drinking app, ``Untappd``, created a badge for National Beer Day that rewarded participants that checked a beer into the app on April 7. National Beer Day has since been trending every year on April 7 using the hashtag #NationalBeerDay
It should be noted that prohibition didn’t officially end until December 5th of the same year when the 21st amendment was ratified.
Beer has made some incredible contributions to humanity and is worth noting.
Egypt ran on beer and beer was responsible for the nutrition and currency that built the pyramids. A gallon of beer a day was the going daily wage for the average construction worker. In addition the Egyptians had over 100 medical prescriptions that called for “beer.” Some Egyptian children were even baptized in beer!
Fermentation saved millions in the medieval Europe, by making beer cleaner than water at the time. People didn’t know why it worked, but they knew that beer certainly didn’t make you sick. (Unless you drank too much.)
In the 1600’s midwives would use particularly strong beers to help ease the pain of childbirth.
America has a particularly strong historical tie to beer. 4 of the founding fathers; George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, and Ben Franklin were all brewers and huge fans of beer.
It was the Green Dragon Tavern in 12/16/1773 where they famously decided to start a revolution, after what was likely a lot of merry beer drinking.
In 1850, Louis Pasteur studied beer and discovered that it was in fact alive. This led him to inventing the process of pasteurization and discovering the existence of bacteria, which would soon bring about treatments for smallpox, polio and cause doctors to begin washing their hands.
By the 19 century beer was also responsible for commercial refrigeration, automatic bottling, and railroad distribution.
If you want to learn more about beers contributions to humanity I highly recommend watching
“How Beer Saved The World” a discovery channel documentary on the history of beer.
Now lets take a moment to admire this king of drinks.