New Dealish: Happy Days Are Here Again

In 1933 Congress passed the Beer and Wine Revenue Act, also known as the Cullen-Harrison Act, allowing the sale and government taxation of alcoholic beverages with no more than 3.2 percent alcohol content, considered too low to be intoxicating. The sale of even low-content alcohol had been prohibited since 1920 under the 18th Amendment to the Constitution and the Volstead Act.

Signing the Beer and Wine Revenue Act Beer was part of FDR’s New Deal and was one of his first actions as president. Later that year Congress and the states adopted the 21st Amendment repealing the 18th Amendment and ending Prohibition. Upon signing the legislation, FDR famously remarked, “I think this would be a good time for a beer!”