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


  1. Please Blogger Comment poster eye ghost in the machine, let this one go through...

    It won't shock you to hear I'm no beer fan either, but bleu cheese and anything has to be awesome, right?

  2. You know, when I was in college, every day was National Beer Day.

  3. Brew pubs in Michigan and other states are very creative with some of the things they do with beer, stout, porter, or ale: like porter ice cream. They also have bread baked from the leftover mash the way baking/brewing was a tandem operation in old English manors. Great subject.

    best... maefood.blogspot.com

  4. From today's Ann Arbor news online:
    "April 7 seems an odd time to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition, considering the 21st Amendment ending America's experiment with forced temperance didn't pass until Dec. 5, 1933.

    "But today is a special day for beer brewers in America, for it represents enactment of the Cullen-Harrison Act, which allowed the sale of beer with low levels of alcohol. Americans had been denied those privileges for the 13 years previous. "

  5. Stuffed pork loin in beer sounds so good to me!!

    MMMMMMMMM,...lovely food!

  6. It appeared to be National Beer Day here last night. Regretted that at 3am while hugging the toilet bowl.

  7. What about Belgian Beer?
    We have the best beers in the world ! :-O

  8. Guess what? Although I hardly take alcohol beverage but I do like beer :) I even think that beer tasted much better than wine, hahaha...

  9. Awesome recipes with beer!

  10. I really despise beer, but my grandmother used to put a short bottle of Miller's in her beef stew. She also rinsed her hair with it, the few times when Hilda her hairdresser didn't wash her hair.

    And your post about the end of prohibition explains something i found in an ancient geometry book that was just given to me. I'll have to write about that!

  11. It's funny but I didn't know this Bavarian Bierwoche in April. The most important "beerweek" in Germany is Oktoberfest in Munich which begins at the end of September. I've read that there are also german beerfestivals in the US at this time of the year. The german restaurant Lüchow's in New York was famous for it's beer.

  12. 99 bottles of beer on the blog, 99 bottles of beer...

    You take one down, post it around, 98 bottles of beer on the blog...

  13. I don't drink beer, but I sure love cooking sausages in it. :)

  14. Well you have certainly piqued my interest in beer day, Louise! I never even knew there was such a thing :) I'll bet the beer/blue cheese croutons would be yummy.

  15. I've made beer bread before! It was interesting...I added parmesan cheese, herbs, and hotdogs! haha!

  16. Saw your profile on another page. Glad I took the time to read your blog. It's informative and really well done. Look forward to following you here. Have a great day. Cheers!

  17. Thank you for sharing your wonderful blog with us.

  18. i'm certainly not crazy about drinking beer, but i love the depth it adds to things like chili and the dishes you've mentioned. sacrilege? perhaps. :)

  19. Louise, I'm not a fan of beer either--but did you know that Belgium has more than 600 different kinds of beer? Including cherry and raspberry....

  20. Louise, I'm not a fan of beer either, but did you know that Belgium has more than 600 different kinds of beer? Including cherry and raspberry!

  21. Channon: Absolutely! Bleu Cheese & anything is awesome!!!

    T.W: Gee, that's odd, my son often reminds me everyday was Beer Day @ Penn State!

    Mae: It sure sounds like a Beer Day post is in your future. Porter ice cream? Thanks for sharing that news flash too!!!

    Sophie: Me too. Invite me over when its done:)

    Alycia: Hope you're feeling better:)

    Sidney: I just couldn't find a Belgium Beer celebration anywhere. Know of any?

    Selba: I think a good cold beer is a pleasant change every now and again. Definitely necessary at a Yankee game!!!

    5 Star Foodie: Cooking with beer is always an adventure:)

    Marjie: Miller's, now that's a name I haven't heard in a while. Is it still available? My grandmother put wine in her beef stew. But then, she put wine in everything!!! I have heard of beer as a hair rinse. I prefer vinegar:) That old book of yours is truly a treasure. A sign of the times that prohibition was first on that student's list.

    Petra: Now why didn't I think to check my Lüchow's cookbook? I'll just have to give it a post of its very own in the future.

    Duckie: You are so funny:)

    Veron: Sausage in beer is one hearty dish!!!

  22. I'm not much of a beer drinker either! I do like to cook and bake with it. I agree that it makes bread baking so easy - and it's just delicious.

  23. Veron: Sausage in beer is one hearty dish!!!

    Lynn: There are so many beer days to celebrate, I'm sure you will find one to try those beer and bleu cheese croutons!

    Sophia: Sounds good, Sophia. Save us a piece next time:)

    Lazaro: Welcome! I followed your link and was delighted to also find your blog on your profile. Thank you for your kind words. Pop by anytime, the door is always open:)

    Grace: Oh I don't think it's sacrilege at all. Beer does seem to bring out the flavor in many dishes. Of course, I wouldn't think of putting it in that gorgeous Almond-less Almond Joy Cake of yours!!!

    Kate: I had no idea Belgium had so many varieties of beer. I was mostly looking for celebratory days. Thanks for letting us know.

    Cinnamon Girl: All this beer talk has inspired me to make Wine Bread!!!

  24. Once or twice a year I may take a sip of ale, but that would be it; I've tried cooking with it in chili but didn't like the flavor it imparted. Guess I'm not a beer person; will have to stay with my soda pops.


Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise