Sunday marks National American Beer Day, a time for alcohol-lovers to show their appreciation for brews that have been crafted on United States soil. However, laws in the country did not always allow its residents to proudly walk into a bar and order their favorite chilled brew.
Before the inclusion of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1919, a period of “Prohibition” existed in the U.S. during which the manufacture, transportation, and sale of intoxicating liquor were banned. The amendment allowed for the consumption, private possession, or production for one’s own consumption of intoxicating liquids.
However, the obvious flaws with the 18th Amendment became apparent when a 30 percent drop in alcohol consumption and a decline in drunken arrests during the era stood in sharp contrast to the rapid rise in “bootlegging” – the illegal production and sale of alcohol – when such liquors started getting manufactured within the confines of private homes and then smuggled across state lines. Alcohol also started getting sold in businesses like clubs and stores known as “speakeasies.”
After the failure of 18th Amendment, the Congress was forced to approve the 21st Amendment on Dec. 5, 1933, bringing the Prohibition era to a close.
Here are a few facts to know about beer in America:
The most common American style beer is the lager, inspired by beer recipes that were brought to the U.S. by German immigrants, according to Time and Date. Approximately 356,000 LandShark Lager, brewed by Margaritaville Brewing Company, was consumed on an average on National American Beer Day. It is a refreshing, island-style lager which boasts of its own distinct taste and is made of a complex blend of hops. Some of the other style of beers that are famous in the U.S. include American Pale Ale, American style India Pale Ale, Belgian style ale, Cascadian dark ale, steam beer, Pennsylvania porter, cream ale and amber ale.
According to Margaritaville, former President Barack Obama started the tradition of brewing his own beer in the White House. His recipe included honey tapped from the first bee-hive on the South Lawn of the presidential gardens. America’s first and third presidents, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, were also said to have been home brewers of beer.
More than six billion gallons of beer was produced each year by more than 2,500 breweries in the United States, Punchbowl reported. In addition, more than 50 billion pints are consumed annually “enough to fill 1 out of every 25 residential in-ground pools in the US.”
Native American tribes brewed beer using maize before European settlers reached the nation. After mass production of beer started in the U.S. in the 19th century, it rapidly replaced other spirits to become America’s alcoholic beverage of choice.
To celebrate this boozy day, head over to your local bar and sample some American beers. Cheers to National American Beer Day, and do drink responsibly.