From 1920 to 1933, alcohol was illegal in the United States.
Yes, you read that correctly.
It’s no small coincidence perhaps, that Prohibition and The Great Depression overlapped one another. Not only were poor folks unable to find work, but they were also unable to buy an alcoholic beverage in which to drown their sorrows about that fact. To make matters even worse, crime rose a whopping 24% in the first year of Prohibition.
The social climate, and national intoxication levels, changed in 1933, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Cullen-Harrison Act, legalizing beverages with an alcohol content of 3.2% or less - and that meant BEER! The Act went into effect on April 7, a day that some still refer to “New Beers Eve.” Most of us take the widespread availability of beer for granted. But when you’re downing a frothy cold one today, take a moment to pause for the brave, stone-cold sober brethren who came before you, and raise a glass to them on this, (unofficial) National Beer Day.
In honor Beer Day, which falls conveniently close to the weekend, we give you five great songs about the beverage:
“One Bourbon, One Shot, One Beer”
This classic, bluesy drinking song was written in 1953 and popularized years later with cover versions by John Lee Hooker and George Thorogood.
“Warm Beer and Cold Women” – Tom Waits
“Warm beer and cold women, I just don't fit in/every joint I stumbled into tonight/that's just how it's been.” Poor Tom.
“Beer Beer Beer” – Flogging Molly
You’ve gotta love the Irish. How many countries can boast an entire genre of music based just around drinking songs? This ode to Charlie Mops, the fictional inventor of beer, has been used in everything from Molson ads to the Playstation 2 video game A Bard’s Tale
“Beer for Breakfast” - The Replacements
“All I wanna do is drink beer for breakfast/All I wanna eat is them BBQ chips,” sing The Replacements on this 1996 song. It’s hard to argue with such simple desires.
“40 oz. to Freedom” - Sublime
This title track from Sublime’s 1992 debut on Skunk Records boasts its very own drinking game. The rules are:
1. Attach the 40 oz of your choice to each hand using duct tape.
2. Do not remove the bottles until each is finished.
3. This means if you have to break the seal, you have to unzip your pants with 2 40 oz bottles on your hands.