The 21st Amendment, which rolled back Prohibition in the United States, was ratified on December 5, 1933. Although many states and counties continued to block the sale of alcohol — for years and even decades — most Americans rejoiced over a cold one. Former breweries that had bided their time selling ”near beer,” soda, and […]
Temperance maps are among America’s most curious creative legacies. Missionaries, sobriety activists, and similarly minded reformers used cartography to promote teetotalism in the 19th century, 100 years prior to nationwide Prohibition. An unsubtly proselytizing precursor to infographics, these elaborately imagined maps visualized the benefits of abstinence from alcohol. Among their architects was Rev.
It’s easy for people to feel like the government is after them. Whether it has to do with Monsanto, Avril Lavigne, or vaccines, there’s always a conspiracy group trying to make a case and prove their point (sometimes on large conspiracy cruise ships). But the truth is out there, and sometimes what sounds like a […]
We Americans have a complicated history with alcohol. It’s one that’s been deeply influenced by immigration, but also by xenophobia. For 13 years we didn’t allow the sale of alcohol at all, which lead to bootlegging priests and bootlegging rabbis. And then Prohibition was repealed and the real party started. The sale of beer officially became […]
An Italian accent, a suit, and a Tommy gun — it’s the classic stereotype of the classic Prohibition bootlegger that’s been glorified in popular culture for decades. But there was actually another, larger group of people who had more influence on where people got their illegal drinks: the Jews. It’s impossible to know the exact number of […]
Catholic churches need wine. It’s written in the Code of Canon Law that uncorrupted grape wine be served during communion. But sacramental wine is more than just fermented juice; it’s a stand-in for the blood of Christ and his sacrifice. And in America, the history of this sacred wine, and the destiny of those who make it, was ironically shaped […]
In 2012, Americans were surprised to see the first legalization of recreational marijuana use in Colorado and Washington. In the years that followed, a handful of states followed suit, including Alaska and Oregon, in 2014. And on Nov. 8, California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts all voted in favor of legalized use, sale, and consumption of […]
Winston Churchill was famous for his love affair with booze. He reportedly drank Champagne at every meal and enjoyed scotch throughout the day followed by nightcaps of brandy. Suffice it to say, this was a man who would not react well to forced abstinence.
If you see an old lady running at your tavern with an ax, your instincts might stall, overwhelmed by too many questions. Is that an old lady? Yes. Running toward me? Yes. With…an ax? Yes. That seems unlikely. Except it’s not. By the time she’s reached you, half your bar has been hacked through, your liquor […]