beer distributors to toast prohibition repeal
On Dec. 5, America’s beer distributors will commemorate the 78 years that the United States and its citizens have benefited from a state-based system for the safe production, distribution and sale of alcohol beverages. On Dec. 5, 1933, Prohibition ended in the United States when 36 states (a ¾ majority) ratified the 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution, thereby repealing the 18th Amendment that began Prohibition in 1920.
The American system of alcohol regulation, put in place following ratification of the 21st Amendment, gives each state primary authority to enact and enforce alcohol laws consistent with the desires and needs of its citizens.
“The American system of state-based alcohol regulation balances robust competition with local social norms and community desires, allowing consumers of legal drinking age to have access to nearly 13,000 labels of beer — from small regional craft brews, large multinational labels and imports from around the world — all delivered through a transparent and accountable system,” National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) President & CEO Craig Purser says. “America’s modern system of alcohol distribution works to protect the public and provide consumers with unparalleled choice and value.”
“While the federal, one-size-fits-all ‘solution’ of Prohibition proved to create more problems than it solved — like the growth in organized crime and underground black market for alcohol depicted in the 'Boardwalk Empire' television series on HBO and Ken Burns’ PBS documentary 'Prohibition' — the 21st Amendment recognized that alcohol is a unique product that is best controlled by individual states, and it provided a solution that continues to be effective today,” Purser continues. “America’s 3,300 independent, licensed beer distributors — and the 98,000 men and women working in the industry — are proud to partner with states as part of this effective system.”