Today was National Beer Day and in my humble opinion, today should be a national holiday with a day off with pay.
Happy National Beer Day!
National Beer Day falls on April 7 and commemorates the day that beer was once again allowed to be legally manufactured and sold following a long, dry Prohibition. On March 22, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Cullen–Harrison Act into law which moved the U.S. away from Prohibition by allowing the manufacture and sale of beer which was approximately 4% alcohol by volume (just a little less than the average today) and some wines. After he signed, Roosevelt reportedly remarked to his aide, Louis Howe, “I think this would be a good time for a beer.”
Prohibition would officially remain in place for a few more months but the ability to drink beer and wine was worth cheering. Here are a few more facts about beer – and its close relationship to tax – to help you celebrate:
- Egypt was likely the first civilization to tax beer. Queen Cleopatra imposed a tax on beer in order, she claimed, to discourage public drunkenness, though it is widely believed that the tax was actually used to raise money to fund war with Rome.
- Beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage in the United States. As a country, we consume 205.8 million barrels per year, or about 20 gallons per person per year. In 2012, the federal government collected $9.7 billion in revenue from excise taxes on distilled spirits, beer, and wine.
- In 1695, Great Britain raised taxes on beer, making gin the cheapest beverage in England. Gin was taxed at 2d (about 2 pennies) per gallon, while beer was taxed at 4 shillings 9d (about 57 pennies) per gallon. The difference in price is considered the root of a serious drinking problem in the country in the 18th century, especially among the poor.