And It's That Time of Year Again (No, Not "the Holidays." That Other Time)

I gather from my Twitter stream that it's "Repeal Day." Seventy-nine years and counting. And here's what I had to say about it (among other things) on the 75th anniversary.  Oh, and this and this, too. (That last piece was written on the anniversary of the return of legal beer, which was not the same date as the end of Prohibition.)

Please: DO NOT complain that I'm "self-plagiarizing." (How is such a thing even possible?) Jonah Lehrer I'm not, okay? (*1) (*2)


*1: On Jonah Lehrer and the cautionary tale thereof, see this, among many possible pieces.

*2: Yeah, I'm wondering the same thing you are: "Man, is it possible for this woman to get through ANY blog entry without a bunch of footnotes?"

Oh, Please.

This "research" from the World Cancer Research Fund (a British group) (and via the weekly newsletter [subscription only] edited by Pete Reid of Modern Brewery Age).

To which I say: Oh, for fuck's sake. Give it up. How much anyone wanna bet that the World Cancer Research Fund is interested in cancer research in the same way that the Center for Science in the Public Interest is interested in science? (As far as CSPI is concerned, the only "real" science is the stuff that supports its nearly fascist, nanny-state agenda....)

Besides which, this drinking-and-cancer thing has been around for decades and warnings show up, clockwork-like, every decade or so. To say nothing of that fact that humans drink less alcohol now than they have in millennia past, and if cancer were really so lethal and risky, well, the human race would have died out, ya know, millennia ago.

It's a prohibitionist plot, is what it is.....

(Kidding.) (Sort of.)

Prohibition/Repeal Website

Lew Bryson over at Seen Through A Glass alerts readers to this website hosted by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. (Who knew??)

Anyway, the folks at DISCUS (how's that for an acronym?) obviously put a lot of time into the site, so have a look.

By the way, I am not ignoring the repeal anniversary completely: I have two op-ed pieces coming out, one tomorrow (the 4th) and one on Friday the 5th. (*1) I will post links to both as they become available. (This assuming, of course, the world does not collapse between now and then. Which could happen....)

Tip o' the mug to Lew.


*1: Reminder here that last April, I wrote a slew of entries about the April 7th anniversary of the return of legal beer. You can find a link to those entries over in the left-hand index. Click the link titled "return of legal beer."

Seventy-Five Years Ago: The Day Hope Arrived In A Glass

Celebrating April 7, the 75th Anniversary of the Return of Legal Beer

April 7, 1933. Sirens blared. The beer trucks rolled. People danced in the streets and crowded into taverns to raise a glass in honor of legal beer.

It was the day hope arrived in a glass.

I've written a piece about that day. It's in today's Los Angeles Times under the title "The day the beer flowed again."

I hope you'll take a look.

I hope you'll listen to the recording of the speech Gus Busch gave that day.

Perhaps you'll share a beer with your family and friends, or join one of the special events hosted by bars and breweries around the country.

But no matter where you are, or who you're with, take a moment to honor the day hope arrived in a glass.

Thanks for taking time these past few weeks to share this countdown with me.

Now go! Have a beer!

Seventy-Five Years Ago: New Beer Eve

Counting Down to April 7, the Anniversary of the Return of Legal Beer

April 6, 1933: By mid-afternoon, thousands of people surrounded the Anheuser-Busch brewery in St. Louis. A string of 1,500 trucks crawled along Arsenal Street, entering the brewery on 7th Street, where workers loaded each with kegs and crates, and then rolling back out on to Broadway to await the midnight signal.

Up in Wisconsin, the general manager of Fox Head-Waukesha Brewing, who had once worked for Barnum and Bailey Circus, knew something about organizing parades of large objects. Instead of acrobats, he had 40,000 cases of beer; instead of elephants he had dozens of trucks that would haul the beer. The drivers would spend the evening napping in their cabs. At 12:01 a.m. on the 7th, a hired bugler would sound reveille to waken them. (There was no chance the drivers would take off early: they'd turn their ignition keys over to federal inspectors, who would hand them back at midnight.)

And so it went around the country in the towns and cities lucky enough to have functioning breweries. Huge crowds gathering to watch (and hoping for free samples). Trucks lining the streets for a mile or more. Tavern patrons sipping coffee, chatting, and dancing to radio or live music while they waited.

New Beer Eve, some people called it. An adult's version of Christmas, with the Fourth of July and New Year's Eve thrown in for good measure. The moment wouldn't last forever, of course. In another day, maybe two, bartenders would sweep up the confetti and stack the empty bottles. They'd swab down the bar and wheel away drained kegs. Party goers would crawl home to nurse their hangovers and sleep before returning to the grind of daily life: worrying about bills, fixing dinner, changing kids' diapers.

But on April 6th, Americans reveled in the moment -- one sweetened by the knowledge that brewers were hiring workers and paying millions in tax revenues into federal, state, and municipal treasuries. On April 6, help -- and hope -- were on the way.