Wednesday, April 7, 2010

National Beer Day or Is It?

A hundred posters of beer on the blogs, one hundred posters of beer...

Can someone tell me when National Beer Day is, one hundred posters of beer...

Better yet, does anyone have a definitive answer for; When Prohibition Ended?

Everything that National Beer Day holds near and dear stems on when prohibition ended in. Some would have us believe that prohibition ended in the United States of America on April 7, 1933.

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)( source )

Not according to my notes it didn't. So convinced was I that Prohibition went into effect on January 16, 1920, I did a post about Prohibition, Gin and Ginger-Ale way back in 2008. (which included Gilbey's Gin & Vernor's Ginger Soda recipes.) I didn't want to get into the politics of the "prohibition crusaders" then and I certainly don't want to brew up a keg of intoxicating allegations now.

Update April 8, 2010: Justin Smith, the founder of National Beer Day, was kind enough to email me with this response:

My name is Justin Smith and I am the founder of National Beer Day.  The article you referenced on your blog was taken from my Facebook page.

You are correct that prohibition did not end completely on April 7th.  Spirits and stronger wines were still not able to be sold until later that year when prohibition officially ended on December 5th.  April 7th is the day that beer was able to be sold again as long as it was under 3.2%.  That is why April 7th is National Beer Day, and not celebrated as the end of prohibition. If you have any other questions about this holiday, I would be happy to answer them.

Thanks, Justin Smith

I do have another question though; where did the notion come from that Beer Day is celebrated in the US on March 1st? I could certainly understand the suds getting mixed up if the claim for Beer Day was initiated for April 23rd, that's when Bavarian Beer Week begins in Germany.

The Bavarian Beer Week was the idea of the Bavarian Brewers Federation...The week always starts on or around April 23, a date listed in the Bavarian Beer Calendar as Bavarian Beer Day...It was on April 23, 1516 that the Bavarian co-rulers Duke Wilhelm IV and Duke Ludwig X proclaimed the weighty and consequential Bavarian Beer Purity Law. This law has become so famous around the world that it is now often known just by its German name of Reinheitsgebot. (source)

We still haven't found out where Beer Day is celebrated on March 1st. Or have we?

Today is the 21st annual Beer Day in Iceland. The tradition began in 1989 when after 75 years, prohibition on beer was lifted. So today, celebrate Iceland with good food and plenty of drink. As if we needed an excuse for a party dedicated to beer.((source))

I'm still a bit skeptical, after all, that site was a "party remdey" site and no longer current. What about a "sobering" article from the examiner.com website?

Beer Day (March 1st)-National Beer Day celebrates a 75 year long prohibition of beer which ended on March 1st, 1989. Highly festive celebrations are held at pubs, restaurants, and clubs all around Iceland, as now Icelanders are one of the world's leading beer drinkers.

We mustn't forget Navy Beer Day either. It's a tradition:)

Well, that pretty much sums it up. It seems, "we don't need an excuse for a party dedicated to beer." We can celebrate Iceland Beer Day next March, National Cask Ale Week across the Pond, although we will have to wait until next year for that one too. We just missed it. We can look forward to American Beer Day in October or National Lager Day in December but we don't want to chug-a-lug the summer away; or do we? We won't have to wait too long, we have today which is dutifully celebrated as National Beer Day. Not prepared, don't you fret, May 7th is National Homebrew Day and The Brewers Association is happy to assemble American Craft Beer Week, in May. We also have American Beer Month in July!!! I don't know about you, but I need some Real Beer and Good Eats (soft cover, 1995) right now...

Beer Recipes

Rarely do I "crack open a cold one." Did I say that right:) I do however have two fascinations with beer; cooking with it and beer snacks. I absolutely comprehend the reason why I find cooking with beer so intriguing, it's easy!!! It also happens to be the only way I can bake a half way decent loaf of bread. You see, beer in bread equals no yeast to dawdle with. Bread yeast and I don't play well together. And when it comes to Bread Flour, I need all the fermentation I can get:) The Zesty Cook's Homemade Bubbly Beer Bread sounds like a bread recipe I just may be able to handle. Brewing and Baking seem to have gone hand and hand since the beginning. Did you know women were the first brewers?

In 1892 a woman in New York was granted two patents, one for a process of malting beer and the other for hooping malt liquors. These inventions, however, are not so foreign to the avocation of woman as they at first appear. For, if we may believe the teachings of ethnology and prehistoric archaeology in this matter, women were the first brewers. The one, therefore, who two decades ago secured the two patents just mentioned was but taking up anew an occupation in which her sex furnished the first invention many thousand years ago. (Women in Science, 1915)

Oh yes siree, there's kegs of trivia I didn't know about beer. For instance:

Pennsylvania has had more breweries in its history than any other state.

Uh oh, Am I in the wrong state?

The first recipe I've chosen to share from the Real Beer and Good Eats cookbook by Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly is Stuffed Pork Loin in Imperial Stout. (any dark beer can be substituted) It appears to be a rather long and technical recipe but oh, doesn't it sound good?

This next recipe for Blue Cheese and Beer Croutons is much easier but sounds just as intriguing.

You can eat these cheesy croutons as is as a bar snack or use them as a garnish in soups and salads. Vary the cheese as you wish. We used Maytag Blue from Iowa, but you could use other blue cheeses such as Oregon blue, Stilton, or Roquefort--or even non-blue cheeses such as grated sharp Cheddar or ages Gruyere. A full-flavored ale works best here: We suggest Winchester Brewing's Red Ale or Massachusetts Bay Harpoon Ale.
Blue Cheese & Beer Croutons
4 cups stale bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 12-ounce bottle ale
1 cup finely crumbled blue cheese
Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Dip the bread cubes in the ale to barely moisten them, then roll them in the crumbled cheese. Generously brush a cookie sheet with olive oil. Spread cubes over the pan, and drizzle a little olive oil over them. Bake about 10 minutes until golden brown and crispy. In a sealed container the croutons will keep for 2 weeks. Makes 4 cups.

Some day, I hope to make my own sausage. Here's a recipe I would love to try. If you're not into sausage making, you can always use the mixture in patty form.

Saloon Sausage
1-1/2 lbs. pork butt in pieces
1/2 lb. pork fat in pieces
1 tsp. coarsly ground pepper
2 tsps. salt
2 tsps. minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped pars;ey
1/4 cup beer
2 tbs. bourbon
2 tbs. chopped fresh herbs, such as chervil, tarragon, and or basil
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Medium hog casing (optional)
Grind meat and fat through the 1/4-inch (small) or 3/8 inch (medium) plate of meat grinder or process them in a food processor until coarsley chopped. Add the remaining ingredients and knead well. Stuff the mixture into hop casing, and tie into 5-inch links, or make into patties. To cook, pan-fry the sausage for 7 or 8 minutes, turning often, or grill over medium coals until done. The sausage keeps 3 days refrigerated or 2 months frozen. Makes 2 pounds.

April Fool's Day Game Update: It seems, I may have been a bit "tipsy" when I posted the winner of the Sauces book by James Peterson. Here is the paragraph I omitted from that post. The post has since been updated. Once again, thank you to everyone for participating and thank you very much for your patience with my mishap:)

"Witty" Vibi from La Casserole Carree looks like our winner. To be perfectly honest, Vibi is a fairly new welcomed visitor to Months of Edible Celebrations and I'm not quite sure if she is abroad or here in the USA. Let us know Vibi:)
Vibi guessed: Lets see if I can be as witty... I say no. 4 & 6.

The Blonde Duck, the delightful hostess of A Duck in Her Pond, had the next closest guess of 4 and 6.

I probably won't be back here until the end of the week. Definitely on Sunday for next week's foodie days. Training is going well and Marion has found a doctor she seems to like. We'll see. I'll be popping around visiting your blogs all week. I'm also waiting to hear from Vibi, now that she knows she won. I'll keep you posted:) Wishing you all a GREAT rest of the week. Enjoy:)

1. National Beer Day (Facebook)
2. New Beer's Eve: Happy days were here again (CNN April 7, 2008)
3. Woman in science by John Augustine Zahm 1915 (@ google books)
4. Beer Batter Halibut (Coleen's Recipes)
5. Beer and Chocolate Chili
6. Fudge Stout Brownies
7. Joe's Icelandic Recipes
8. Farmgirl Susan's Beyond Easy Dill & Cheddar Beer Bread
9. April Fool's Day Game