A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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jesskidden -

re: 0.5% beer on April 7, 1933.

The "cereal beverage" -the official term for "near beer"- brewers that were still in business in 1933 (near beer sales plummented during Prohibition, tho' malt syrup, "liquid malt" [canned wort] and hops sales did well) were licensed and monitored by Prohibition officials since they didn't "brew" "1/2 of 1%" beer, they brewed "regular" strength beer, aged it and *then* "de-alcoholized" it. Thus, the Federal agents often came around to make sure that none of it "missed" the dealcoholizing process.

From what I've read (in the contemporary press of the time), the near beer brewers after the election were already anticipating "legal beer" and those first barrels were probably often just their "near beer" which skipped the removal process. Yet, from newspaper reports at the time and other sources, they began brewing what they hoped would be sold as "real" beer in the winter/spring of '33, before the bill was signed, with "advance permits" from the Feds.

I agree with Bob Skilnick that the beer, even with alcohol, probably wasn't up to pre-Pro standards regarding taste or abv/abw. Numerous reports at the time noted that all the tested samples came in well below 3.2 limit- which was, after all, debated at length before the Cullen-Harrison Bill, with some wanting a 2.75% limit to begin with (similar to Wilson's WWI limit).

Alan -

Shuck - I like my made up story far better. <p>But, if the brewers lobbied for a period of weak beer, maybe the reason was to actually ensure stocks in reserve were able to be sold? That would make commercial sense and would be a better reason for imposing crap on the 19 states that allowed it to be sold.

Alan -

One other point is worth making. As long as it is "3.2% Day" that is being celebrated, it is inclusive of and safe for macro-brewers as they can have no problem with a celebration of dull weak mass produced beer. Come December, they may have other issues as what was allowed on that day 75 years ago was the opening up of many more opportunities for regional, local and personal expression that led to craft brewing via the 1960s UK and 1970s US lifting on the restrictions of homebrewing.

Paul of Kingston -

I'll be drinking mine from a dirty glass, surrounded by hundreds of little porcelain thingies from Red Rose tea boxes - just like me old Gran.

Justin Smith -

Happy National Beer Day!!!