“He was a wise man who invented beer.” – Plato, circa 400 B.C.
“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” – Benjamin Franklin, circa 1780
“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.” – Abraham Lincoln, circa 1858
“Give me a woman who loves beer and I will conquer the world.” – Kaiser Wilhelm, circa 1935
Sunday, April 7, was National Beer Day. I celebrated by not having a beer.
That’s because during the season of Lent, I abstain from drinking alcohol. I’ve been doing this for the past 40 years, inspired by a fellow I used to work with at my first newspaper job. Joe Luke always gave up drinking for Lent. That impressed me so much I decided to join him. Now I do it to honor his memory.
There’s something cruel about National Beer Day falling during Lent. The same goes for St. Patrick’s Day. And opening day of baseball season. And March Madness. And any of a number of occasions for which a cold beer is perfect.
National Beer Day is celebrated on April 7 because that was the date in 1933 when Americans got to enjoy their first legal beers since Prohibition went into effect in 1919. Which makes the 40 days of Lent seem like nothing.
On that day, it is said Pres. Franklin Delano Roosevelt quipped, “I think this would be a good time for a beer.” No kidding.
Over the years, the day before National Beer Day, April 6, has come to be known as New Beer’s Eve. Leave it to Americans to make a one-day holiday into a two-day holiday.
I could go on and one, but I think I’d better stop here. All this talk about beer is making me thirsty. And not for yet another unsweetened iced tea.