National Beer Day - An Ode to Brews

April 7th, just another #holiday? How many people really know the true story behind National Beer Day?

Let’s wander back in time to 1933… marking the end of the Prohibition era, President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously remarked, “I think now would be a good time for a beer.” After a 13-year dry period running through the 1920’s into the 1930’s, alcohol became illegal to produce, consume, and distribute; drastically affecting the lives of vintners and brewers across the United States. Activists had convinced the public that Prohibition would bring countless benefits to the American people, reducing crime rates, poverty, and domestic abuse, to name a few. At the same time, it was believed to increase productivity and improve the lives of the people suffering from the Great Depression. With that said, let’s be honest, Prohibition destroyed a major industry and government revenue opportunity, by eliminating the taxation of alcoholic beverages.

Looking to repeal such a catastrophe during a time when people were in desperate need of a beer or two; Senator Pat Harrison and Representative Thomas H. Cullen proposed the idea to legalize beverages with a low-alcohol content, permitting beverages with 3.2% ABV to gain revenue by taxation. Together, the Cullen-Harrison Act was enacted April 7th (National Beer Day), after having been signed into law by President Roosevelt on March 22, 1933. The New York Times reported an astonishing 50,000 jobs came from the act and was proved worthy of celebration. 

Regaining momentum, large breweries jumped back into business honing in on the mainstream American Lager. Becoming legal again in 1978, home-brewers eager to stray away from the common light-bodied Lager, started experimenting with the various beer styles from around the world. Inspiring beer enthusiasts to open microbreweries and reintroduce to the public a more flavorful creation, giving birth to what we now call, “craft beer.”

Thinking now might be a good time for a beer?

Ready to sip, the Fortress Russian Imperial Stout is Old Redwood Brewery’s beer of the month. A beer style so rich in history, it has traveled a long journey to find its way into the heart of American craft beer lovers.

Boasting huge roasted coffee, chocolate, and malt tones, with a noticeably higher alcohol content, the Russian Imperial Stout is without a doubt the King of Stouts. Brewed in England circa 18th century, long story short it became a popular demand by Catherine the Great of Russia. Having tried a Stout on her visit to England, she fell in love and wanted to be able to enjoy the Stout back home in Russia. To ensure the beer would survive the long trip, brewers upped the alcohol content and added in some extra hops, creating the honorable Russian Imperial Stout.


With National Beer Day fast approaching, why not plan a beer-cation for you and your fellow beer lovers to Windsor CA for a taste of Old Redwood’s Fortress. And if you fall in love like Catherine the Great of Russia did, bring some bottles home using the VinGardeValise®. A suitcase specially designed to guarantee your beer a safe journey.