In this world where everything and everyone gets a holiday, here’s one that we can really get behind: National Beer Day.
History of National Beer Day
Now, before you say: “Isn’t EVERY day National Beer Day?” (to which we say “Exactly!”), let’s get to the roots of this most beautiful of holidays and learn a little more about why April 7th is a special and unique day truly worthy of being National Beer Day.
It all started…on Facebook in 2009. Not quite the story you were expecting was it? Well, that’s not the actual genesis, but stick with us. Justin Smith, in an attempt to establish an American beer holiday after hearing about Iceland’s National Beer Day, stumbled upon the idea of New Beer’s Eve. So, what is that?
What is New Beer’s Eve?
We’ll assume that you’re all familiar with Prohibition here in America from 1920 to 1933. Towards the end of Prohibition, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Cullen-Harrison Act into law which allowed people to brew, sell, buy, and drink beer which registered at 3.2% alcohol by weight or under. While it wasn’t the official repeal of, you could consider it a major blow to the Volstead Act.
The night before the Cullen-Harrison Act, was to go into effect, thirsty folks lined up outside breweries so they could legally start making up for lost time at their earliest chance. That night was April 6, 1933. It would come to be known as New Beer’s Eve. The following day, April 7th, the act went into effect and the beer flowed like wine (or beer).
How was National Beer Day established?
Fast forward to 2009 and Justin Smith. After being prodded by friend Mike Connolly (who happens to be English), Smith dug and discovered New Beer’s Eve and the potential of April 7th. Together, Smith and Connolly started a Facebook group to celebrate the day they declared as National Beer Day.
Enlisting their friends and spreading the word to other beer-focused social groups, National Beer Day took root. From there it grew and gained momentum — enough momentum that 8 years later, #NationalBeerDay is a trending hashtag on social media, benefactor of special Untappd badges, and a damn good excuse for everyone to gather together for a beer.
So, there you have it. The birth and meaning of National Beer Day. Not to be confused with International Beer Day or International Stout Day or the buckets of other beer-related days — all deserving of their own respect.
After signing the Cullen-Harrison Act, FDR famously exclaimed “I think this would be a good time for a beer.” Wise words for any day of the year, in particular April 7th — National Beer Day.