In the United States, Brewing at home has had a chequered past since the days of prohibition. The Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America came into force in 1920, making illegal the acts of production, transport, and sale of alcohol.
This lead to mass closures of breweries, distilleries, public houses and other alcohol distributors, and decimated the economies of many states that were reliant on either the taxation of alcohol sales, or the agricultural production of products used to make beer, wine and spirits. Farmers, many of them doing it tough through the depression and the Dust Bowl, found demand for their harvest nosedived at the worst possible time.
Widespread political pressure lead to the repeat of the Eighteenth Amendment entirely via the Twenty-First Amendment. Due to taxation laws from the time of prohibition, homebrewing remained outlawed until October 14 1978, when President Carter signed into law bill, H.R. 1337. This law legalized homebrewing at a Federal level, and within months a vibrant homebrewing community was thriving and planting the seeds for the Craft Beer industry we all enjoy today.
February 1st marks the 37th anniversary of the day homebrew legalization passed into law in the USA. If you’re not already a homebrewer, why not celebrate by taking the first steps and planning your very first brew!
If you’ve got a great home brew recipe share it in the comments below!