Craft Beer Blog

6 Fun Facts about the Prohibition of Alcohol in the United States

Posted by Sarah Bedrick on Aug 4, 2012 9:34:00 AM
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Prohibition, also known as the Noble Experiement, was a well-known historical period in the United States dating back to the 1920's and lasted for just under 14 years. The points leading up to prohibition were cited to be the increase in people and amount in which people were drinking. New societies developed and encouraged people to use moderation while drinking, however, the movement began to turn to complete prohibition.

Prohibition was said to be a time in which regular law-abiding citizens would even break the law.

prohibition ends

1. Consumption of alcohol during prohibition was not illegal.


That's right - the consumption is not illegal. However, the manufacturing, sale and transportation were illegal making it very difficult to get your hands on some beer and alcohol.

2. July first is known as the "thirsty first"


The Prohibition Act took effect on June 30th, 1919 - and so July 1st was the first day of a 14 year dry spell. 

3. Speakeasy got their names because one would have to whisper a code word for entry


There were tons of speakeasies all around the US during prohibition. The name was derived because when entering an establishment where alcohol was served, you'd have to whisper the name through a slot in a locked door in order to get admittance.

4. When FDR signed an amendment to the Volstead Act, he was quoted saying "I think this would be a good time for a beer"


This was an epic quote from FDR at a critical point in time. The day after the New Act was signed, Anheuser-Busch sent a group of Clydesdale horses to the White House to deliver a case of Budweiser beers.

5. After prohibition, only half of the breweries previously opened reopened


Prohibition forced many breweries out of business with only 50% of the breweries opening back up. While it took some time for new breweries to pop up, we're now experiencing more breweries than ever before - along with businesses (drink craft beer and beer advocate) dedicated to experiencing delicious craft beers.

6.  Repeal Day hosts recommend enjoying a virgin drink first


December 5th marks repeal day and was when the 21st Amendment was ratified. On Repeal Day many throw parties where the hosts insist the first drink of the day be a non-alcoholic drink to ensure everybody remembers the dry days of prohibition.


Prohibition, a major part of history, helped to shape our country and its history in many ways. If you'd like to learn more, we highly recommend checking out Prohibition, a three-part, five-and-a-half-hour documentary film series telling the story of Prohibition, the Eighteenth Amendment. You can learn more about the series directed by Ken Burns here.


Sources: Wikipedia
Museum of the American Cocktail

Topics: prohibition