In 1933, the 18th amendment which had brought in Prohibition across all states was gradually rolled back. In April 1933, 3.2% alcohol by weight was deemed non-intoxicating and could therefore be brewed and sold. Within 24 hours of legalisation it is estimated that 1.5 million barrels of beer were sold. All references in the constitution were repealed in December 1933, however many individual counties and states remained ‘dry’. The last state to repeal prohibition was Mississippi in 1966. The number of breweries in the United States went from over 3000 in the nineteenth century to 1500 in 1915 as more states enacted prohibition. In 1933 there were 34 and by the end of 1934 756 breweries were in operation. Initially all operating brewers were required to include their permit number, the u permit, and the words ‘Tax Paid at the rate prescribed by Internal Revenue law’ later shortened to ‘Internal Revenue Tax Paid’. This requirement was removed in 1950 which provided a dating milestone for collectors. Many only collect labels from before this date.
Things to look out for:
The German influence was still strong in the brewing industry.
There was still some benefit in advertising a British connection.
The number of goats which accompanied Bock beers.
The requirement to include the bottle or cask contents is clear. However what do you make of the contents of the Maier label?
Labels for export beers were withdrawn from the requirement to pay the Internal Revenue Tax. The label had to state this. Acme for example.
The number of native Americans used to advertise beers.
The Mexican influence in California.
The dire warning on the Hawaii label.
The beer named after a lump of coal.
The brewery named after a breed of dog.