ST. PAUL, Minn. – It seems there is a day for everything.
Friday’s was National Beer Day.
"Another national paint your toe nails orange day,” Joseph Alton with Growler Magazine said with a smile.
But he assures us this day isn’t something that got a hashtag on social media and was instantly born. It got its start in some ways more than 80 years ago.
"National beer day actually has some roots and history,” he said
National Beer Day commemorates the Cullen-Harrison Act enacted April 7th, 1933. President Franken Roosevelt signed it into law a few weeks earlier.
It allowed the sale of 3.2 beer, the weaker stuff. A few months later came the full repeal of prohibition.
“When prohibition was repealed, it wasn’t repealing as one sweeping act,” he said.
A lot has changed since then. Just look at the number of breweries in the United States before and after prohibition, says Alton.
"We have about 4500 breweries before we had no breweries and then it took up until two years ago to get back to that 4400 number,” he said. “New numbers came out last week that said 5,234 breweries are now operating in the United States.”
Yet there are still some remnants of the prohibition era in Minnesota. The most glaring is a ban on Sunday liquor sales, which actually will change in July when the ban is lifted.
“And just a few years ago, the Minnesota State Fair was only allowing 3-2 beer to be purchased at the fair,” he said.
So in the era of days like “Hug a Newsperson Day” or “International Bacon Day”, “National Beer Day” has been bellied up to the bar for longer than people might think.
"It’s an important day in beer history,” he said.