“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Tuesday, April 7, will be National Beer Day. And once again I will celebrate by not having a beer.
That’s because during the season of Lent, I abstain from drinking alcohol. Which seems ironic given that quote from Ben Franklin. Am I really honoring the season of Lent by not allowing God to make me happy?
I’ve been doing this Lenten thing 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. And to show myself who’s boss. It’s a about depth of character.
That said, 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.”
Over the years, the day before National Beer Day, April 6, has come to be known as New Beer’s Eve.
I could go on and on, 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 or club soda.