Every year, Americans celebrate National Beer Day on April 7. Why do we do this? I’m glad you asked.
National Beer Day is meant to commemorate April 7, 1933, the day that Cullen-Harrison Act went into effect. President Franklin Roosevelt signed the law on March 22, 1933.
“But what did this law do?” you ask with wide eyed excitement. It allowed for the legal sale of beer with an alcohol content of 3.2% or lower, helping to push forward to the end of Prohibition just a few months later. Roosevelt, who clearly was the Frat Star of his day, famously remarked upon signing the law: “I think this would be a good time for a beer.” The Cullen-Harrison Act ended the country’s 13-year long dry spell and the intoxication that followed likely helped many a lucky young men end their own dry spells, if ya know what I mean. Around 1.5 million barrels of beer were consumed in the nation on that first day.
Fast forward to today and lower-alcohol beer, like the kind that the Cullen-Harrison Act promoted, is the biggest seller in the U.S. market.
“By far the largest segment of beer today is the light beer segment and has an average ABV (alcohol by volume) of about 4.2 percent,” Jim McGreevy of the D.C.-based nonprofit Beer Institute told WTOP.
If you couldn’t tell by those Super Bowl commercials, beer is kind of a big deal around these parts.
“Beer across the country is a $253 billion contributor to the U.S. economy, and the amount of beer sold in the U.S. each year could fill the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool over a thousand times,” McGreevy said.
This passion for brewskies was first parlayed into a holiday back in 2009 when Justin Smith of Richmond, Virginia, started a Facebook page for like-minded beer lovers. The page quickly grew in size and was noticed by Colorado Beer Examiner, Eli Shayotovich. Smith’s promotion of the new holiday via various social media outlets was rewarded when the beer drinking app, “Untappd”, created a badge for National Beer Day that rewarded participants that checked a beer into the app on April 7. National Beer Day has since been trending every year on April 7 using the hashtag #NationalBeerDay.
Even Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe recognized the holiday this year so you know it’s legit.