Published by: Gourmet Sleuth
Last Updated: 03/18/2014
A person might think that home brewing is a rather new thing but the truth is… home brewing has been done for the past 7,000 years, perhaps more. It started with the Egyptians. Later, the Mesopotamians started making their own beers and wines. Shortly thereafter, the Chinese civilization used the recipes, passing them down to the Greeks who then passed them done to the Romans.
It was the Sumerians, however, who first wrote down these wine and beer recipes. They even prayed to the beer goddess, “Ninkasi” for giving them the recipe, which they would sing; most people in this civilization could not read or write.
It’s evident that civilizations change. After all, the American government is a testament of change. Thus, as changes were to the civilizations… so did the laws that governed the people. For the Pilgrims who “docked” at Plymouth Rock, one of their initial buildings was a brewery. With it, the Pilgrims were able to replenish their dwindling beer stock.
The rise in popularity for home breweries continued well into the 18th, 19th and 20th century. However, in the early 20th century, the federal government of the United States passed the Prohibition Act, which made home breweries and alcohol, in general, illegal. Despite the new law, many persons disregarded it and took the chance to make their favorite alcoholic drinks. In an ironic twist to get rid of alcohol, all the act did was criminalize it.
Since people were not able to purchase their alcohol, they would secretly make it including Moonshine (which was created during the overnight hours with the help of the moon) and Bathtub gin.
Due to the rise of illegal home breweries, there was a rise in the number of requests for grape juice, which is the main ingredient for making wine. From 1920 until 1925, grape growers boosted their grape field numbers by 700 percent. Grape growers would send their products to customers with a warning, letting them know how to make wine without ever getting caught.
After 13 years of making alcohol illegal, the Prohibition Act was repealed. Unfortunately, not all of it was repealed. A clerical error caused a major oversight in the repealing process. Instead of repealing the entire act like it should have been, only wine was legalized to be made once again. It wouldn’t be until the late 1970s when beer would be again legalized for home making consumption. However, states have been left to decide whether or not to make the act legal or illegal. Today, there are just three states that criminalize home breweries. These states are: