I started searching beer blogs and news articles and came upon the name "Brew Years Eve," but it had not been formally celebrated in some time. I emailed the Brewers Association of America, who had originally coined the phrase "Brew Years Eve," and asked them why they did not celebrate the holiday anymore and got this reply from Andy Sparhawk:
Now you can google "National Beer Day" and find many many different articles and posts about the holiday. Here is one of our favorites:
National Beer Day
It's impossible to fathom that a mere 77 years ago a person couldn't legally drink beer in this country. But for 13 years - from the moment "The Great (Failed) Experiment" was enacted on January 16, 1920 through 1933 - that was precisely the case. Although the actual repeal of Prohibition occurred on December 5 of that year, beer drinkers got a reprieve a full eight months beforehand. On April 7 then President Franklin D. Roosevelt repealed the Volstead Act (aka the National Prohibition Act), legalizing 3.2% alcohol by weight beer. In the first 24-hours after Roosevelt signed on the dotted line over 1.5 million barrels of beer were consumed. The country was thirsty... for beer!
Over the years there have been a few - rather failed - attempts at recognizing April 7 as the historic day it is. And not just because it ironically happens to also be my day of birth. In 2003 the Brewers' Association (then known as the Brewers' Association of America) announced a national promotion called New Beer's Eve. "People need to be reminded of the single biggest cause of brewery closure," said Daniel Bradford, who was the President of the BAA then (he's now the publisher of the prestigious All About Beer magazine). "Prohibition lead to the demise of thousands of breweries and the creation of a violent criminal element. We need to remember this travesty, because it could happen again." While truer words were never spoken, this campaign never really took off. In 2008 there was a big deal made about 75 Years of Beer, complete with "Celebrate April 7th" posters, but then that got morphed into a "Celebrate December 5th" thing instead, which made it all confusing. A few weeks ago I found something on the new CraftBeer.com website called Brew Years Eve. Personally, I'm not a big fan of that name. It's too kitschy and doesn't really impart the significance of the day.
Then I stumbled onto two guys - one from the United Stated, the other from Europe - who have taken grasp of the aforementioned concepts and turned it something that garners our attention - National Beer Day. Justin Smith from Richmond, Virginia, and Mike Connolly from Liverpool, England have formed a group on Facebook that is over 4,000 fans strong (and growing). This is the description of their endeavor, which for obvious reasons, I endorse completely:
We've decided that we need a day to celebrate the awesomeness that is beer. In 1933 during the prohibition era, the Cullen-Harrison Act was signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt on March 23rd. That law was enacted on April 7th allowing the brewing and sale of beer in the United States again as long as it was < 3.2% (4% ABV). It's said that people waited in line overnight on April 6th outside Milwaukee breweries in order to legally buy beer for the first time in over 13 years. Henceforth April 7th will be known as National Beer Day and April 6th will be called New Beers Eve. So this April, tell all your friends about this glorious new holiday, and raise a glass, bottle, can, or mug to the deliciousness that is beer.
I couldn't have said it any better. Click on over to the Facebook page, become a fan, and let's all put our support into making this a big deal. And if you're a lover of the liquid gold, at some point today be sure to raise a pint in remembrance of this beery special day.