The Spirits of ’33

Today is the 75th anniversary of the first beer deliveries that marked the beginning of the end for prohibition. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a great historical perspective:

April 6, 1933. Midnight was approaching. A crowd of perhaps 25,000 milled around the Anheuser-Busch brewery on Pestalozzi Street.

Inside the lobby of the Bevo packaging plant, August A. “Gussie” Busch Jr., grandson of the brewery’s patriarch, stepped up to a KMOX microphone.

“April the seventh is here, and it is a real occasion for thankfulness,” Busch said in his Midwestern growl. “Happy, grateful men are back at work after what seemed an endless idleness.”

At 12:01 a.m., sirens and steam whistles blasted. Dozens of Anheuser-Busch trucks rolled into the streets, carrying their first beer shipments in more than 13 years.

Beer was back. The nation had tired of Prohibition, a grand and failed social experiment, and was on its way to repealing the law.

 Ah, the drama. Clebrations are planned to mark the anniversary, according to The Beer Institute:

— Anheuser-Busch’s flagship brand, Budweiser, will celebrate the milestone with a variety of events, including a re-broadcast of August A. Busch Jr.’s 1933 national radio address, an appearance by the Budweiser Clydesdales and a new historical exhibit on Prohibition at Anheuser-Busch’s St. Louis tour center.

— Miller Brewing Company will play host to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who will present an official Proclamation declaring April 7 “Beer Day” throughout the entire City of Milwaukee. Barrett and Miller Brewing Company will call for Milwaukeeans to make a citywide beer toast celebrating the economic and entrepreneurial success the beer industry created in the city.

 Isn’t every day “Beer Day” in Milwaukee?

And in case you get a chance to raise a frosty mug today, here’s an amusing little prohibition-era beer toast I found at realbeer.com

Mother’s in the kitchen washing out the jugs,
Sister’s in the pantry bottling the suds,
Father’s in the cellar mixin’ up the hops,
Johnny’s on the front porch watchin’ for the cops.

 

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