For National Beer Day, A Brief History of Beer in America

It seems like every day of the year is a different, hashtag-able “holiday” honoring some food, drink, or human habit. And generally, there is no discernible rhyme or reason to the date chosen. National Popcorn Day on January 19? Sure, why not. Relaxation Day on August 15? Okay, I’m in.

But occasionally the cause for celebration is warranted and the date not so random. Take National Beer Day. Held on April 7, it marks the anniversary of the day in 1933 that Americans were permitted by way of the Cullen-Harrison Act to once again buy and sell beer post Prohibition. In response to the lift of the ban, thirsty Americans waited outside bars, taverns, and breweries as early as April 6 to be among the first in line for a taste of beer when clocks struck midnight. 

In honor of National Beer Day and our legal right to throw back a pint at our own, responsible discretion, we’ve put together a not-so-complete but mildly interesting timeline of the history of beer in America. Now, if you’ll excuse me, in the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt after he signed the Cullen-Harrison Act into law, “I think this would be a good time for a beer.”


history of beer timeline

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