Brew Year’s Eve

By Meghan Storey

America’s craft brewers and beer lovers across the country will be celebrating Brew Year’s Eve with a craft beer in-hand on April 7.

Brew Year’s Eve celebrates the eve of the modification of the Volstead Act which raised the legal alcohol percentage of beverages from .05 percent to 3.2 percent, allowing some beers to be legal once again on April 7, 1933. Over 1.5 million barrels of beer was consumed during the first 24-hours after the modification of the act!

Eight months later, the 21st Amendment was ratified, ending Prohibition after nearly 13 years. Only half of America’s breweries survived to see the end of Prohibition, which came on December 5, 1933.

“Prohibition caused a dramatic decline in the number of breweries in the United States, but the number of breweries is now at an all-time high,” said Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association. “With well over 100 new brewery openings in 2010, plus 618 breweries in planning stages, all signs point to continued growth for the industry.”

Remember to raise a glass on April 7 in honor of Brew Year’s Eve.  There has never been a better time to be a craft beer drinker in America!

Important Dates in Beer History

1800′s: Over 1,500 breweries exist across the U.S.

January 16, 1920: The 18th Amendment is ratified and National Prohibition is implemented.

April 7, 1933: The modification of the Volstead Act allows beer to be sold once again.

December 5, 1933: The 21st Amendment is ratified.

1978: Only 42 brewing companies exist in the U.S. due to consolidation.

October 14, 1978: President Jimmy Carter signs a bill that removes the restrictions on homebrewing.

September 1982: First ever Great American Beer Festival℠ is held in Boulder, Colorado.

April 1996: World Beer Cup® makes its debut in Vail, Colorado.

2006: 109th Congress, 2nd Session passes House Resolution 753 commemorating American craft brewers for providing jobs, improving balance of trade, supporting American agriculture and more. The resolution also supported the establishment of American Craft Beer Week.

2010: The Brewers Association reports that the number of operating U.S. breweries has crossed over 1,700 for the first time in over 105 years.

Learn more about the history of craft beer in the beerology section of CraftBeer.com.


Meghan StoreyMeghan Storey, the Brewers Association’s Web Editor, has been lucky enough to work in the world of craft beer for the past three years. She holds a degree in Print Journalism from the University of Mississippi, and has recently relocated to Nashville, TN. She loves to introduce friends to new craft beers and food pairings. Since beginning work on CraftBeer.com she can be found adding beer to just about everything she cooks.

Meghan Storey has been lucky enough to work in the world of craft beer since graduating from the University of Mississippi. Now living in Nashville, TN, with her big yellow dog Wally, she loves introducing friends to new craft beer and food pairings. Since beginning work on CraftBeer.com she can be found adding beer to just about everything she cooks.

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