April 7th, 1933. This was one of the best days in American history, depending on who you ask. Yes, on this day the Cullen-Harrison Act, signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt went into effect, making it legal to buy and sell alcohol in the United States for the first time in 13 years. In 1933 lots of people spent pretty much the entire day hanging out at breweries and bars drinking enough to make up for lost time. This is a tradition that many have continued to this day. April 6th is also celebrated as New Beers Eve to remember all the people who stood in lines in front of breweries beginning the night before alcohol was legalized.
It’s time to raise a toast to National Beer Day! Celebrated each year on April 7th National Beer Day is a day to celebrate one of the oldest beverages. Beer has been made for over 5,000 years. In fact, one of the oldest recipes on record is one for beer. After water and tea, beer is the third most popular drink in the world. So raise a glass, grab your friends, and get ready to celebrate National Beer Day!
History of Beer
The earliest evidence of beer is from 13,000 years ago in which residues of beer from a cave in Israel was found. This beer had more of a gruel consistency and was drunk during rituals. The earliest evidence of beer made from barley dates to about 3500-3100 BC and was found in the mountains of Iran. There has been some evidence that beer production dates back even farther to about 10,000 BC when cereal was farmed for the first time. Beer is heavily featured in the written history of ancient Iraq and ancient Egypt. Many archaeologists believe that beer was an important factor in the establishment of many civilizations. Historians have found that 5,000 years ago the workers in the city of Uruk were paid in beer. The workers who built the pyramids of Giza were given a daily ration of four to five liters of beer. For these workers, beer served as both nutrition and refreshment.
Beer made its way to Europe by Germanic and Celtic tribes in 3000 BC. It was mainly brewed in the homes of many Europeans. The beer that was consumed by Europeans is not what we consider to be beer today. This beer has a similar starch source as well as fruits, honey, plants, spice, and even narcotic herbs. Unlike the beer we drink today, this beer did not feature hops, which weren’t introduced until 822. In 1516, the Duke of Bavaria, William IV, created the purity law known as Reinheitsgebot. This law is one of the oldest food regulation laws and limited the ingredients of beer. At the time, beer only contained water, hops, and barley. After the industrial revolution, beer began to be produced on a larger scale and people stopped making beer in their homes. The invention of hydrometers and thermometers allowed brewers more control over the brewing process and greater knowledge of the results of their hard work.
There was a brief period of time when the selling and purchasing of beer and other alcohol was illegal in the United States known as Prohibition. On April 7, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt ended Prohibition and allowed people to purchase beer for the first time in 13 years. National Beer Day celebrates this historic event and was created by Justin Smith and Mike Connolly. Both men created a Facebook page in 2009 to share their love of beer, word spread and they decided to make a holiday commemorating their shared love of beer. Beer lovers everywhere are forever grateful that they did!