Did you know… that National Beer Day celebrates the end of prohibition?
On March 22, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Cullen-Harrison Act which repealed prohibition for beer. Effective on April 7, 1933 people cold once again buy, sell and consume beer, thus creating the first National Beer Day! The night before was, appropriately enough, called New Beer’s Eve. That night, millions of Americans lined up waiting for the stroke of midnight so that they could once again legally hoist a pint or two.
On that first National Beer Day, thirsty Americans went out and celebrated in huge numbers, consuming 1.5 million barrels of legal beer and ale. So let’s all lift a pint or two in celebration of not only National Beer Day, but also to the evolution and revolution of Ventura County’s amazing beer trail.
The craft-brew revolution – California redefines the meaning of the Golden State
The history of craft beer in California dates back to 1965 when Stanford graduate Fritz Maytag stopped into a local restaurant for a meal and a bottle of his favorite beer. The bartender mentioned that he had better enjoy his bottle of Anchor Steam because it just might be his last. He was told that Anchor Brewing Company, founded in 1896 and the makers of his favorite beer, was soon closing their doors forever. So, Fritz went to the brewery the very next day to see what could be done. His tour led to his buying a controlling interest in this historic little San Francisco brewery — for a few thousand dollars — thus rescuing Anchor from imminent bankruptcy.
Fritz Maytag’s passion for beer kicked off the California microbrew revolution. Maytag decided that he wanted to create authentic, artful beers all while keeping true to old-style brewing and reintroducing lost styles. He proved that Americans were ready for a different kind of beer; beer with flavor, diversity and a touch of history. His hard work paid off. Anchor Brewing became the first craft brewery since prohibition. Slowly, home brewers across the state started popping up as the trend and demand spread for more locally-crafted beer.
From those humble beginnings, small California breweries continued to open, first concentrated in the north and then spreading throughout the state. Today there are over 400 breweries in the state. In 2012, 54 countries entered almost 4,000 beers in 95
separate categories at the Biennial World Beer Cup Competition. California’s craft brewers took home 55 medals! This was more wins than any other country had ever won. California has quickly become one of the top brewing states in the world.
So, why not celebrate National Beer Day, or any day for that matter, with one of Ventura County’s local brews?!