“The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.”
- 21st Amendment, ratified Dec. 5, 1933
Thirteen long, dark years of alcohol prohibition ended Dec. 5, 1933, with removal of the ban that spiraled into power with passage of the 18th Amendment on Jan. 16, 1919, and took effect Jan. 17, 1920. Crime rates rose, gangs ran amok, the black market soared, and generally people were a little less jovial.
As wit W.C. Fields noted, “Once during Prohibition, I was forced to live on nothing but food and water.” Times were tough.
So of course, here in the fertile land of craft beer and cocktails, we are celebrating the reversal of such misfortune on National Repeal Day. Be sure to go out and support your local brewers and distillers and raise a toast to our freedom. Here are a few great stops:
Prohibition Brewing Company: No Repeal Day would be complete without a visit in Vista for delicious craft beer of the perfect namesake. Ruby Red Ale is an International Gold winner, while Hef-U-Up and Sweet Biscuit Amber are crowd favorites. If the weather is chilly, don’t miss the Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, a yummy tummy warmer.
Acoustic Ales: Don’t miss raising your glass to the 21st Amendment with Hopski, a pre-Prohibition style lager. Made in tribute to the lager made 100 years ago at that exact location, it’s a definite for your Repeal Day to-do list. And at only 5 percent ABV, you can toast a few.
Mission Brewery: An absolute MUST for Repeal Day, this pre-Prohibition brewery is revived and going strong, serving its own craft beer, hard root beer, and craft cocktails on tap. It’s a win-win for every type of imbiber.
(Beer Fact: Before Prohibition, San Diego had seven breweries. Immediately after Prohibition, there were three, San Diego Brewing Company, Aztec Brewing Company and Balboa Brewing Company. Now we have over 100).
Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant: Kris Rizzato’s tribute to Repeal Day includes updates on pre-Prohibition-dated cocktails. Her Bro-vardier is a redo of the Boulevardier, made with bourbon, Aperol, Kina L’ Aero (aperitif with cinchona bark) and Cynar (artichoke liqueur). Pisco Punch is reimagined with housemade pineapple gum syrup, fresh lime juice and Byrrh (fortified red wine aperitif with quinine).
Cusp, Hotel La Jolla: Pull out your best Andy Griffith still-smashing quotes while enjoying Moonshine Martinis all night at the beautiful La Jolla spot for only $7.
Bleu Boheme: The Bees’ Knees, one of my favorite classic cocktails, gets a fun twist with Sarah Proctor’s version of Sloane’s gin, homemade honey liqueur, lemon juice and Orangina (a French soda made from orange, lemon, mandarin and grapefruit juices).
(Fun fact: Bartenders during Prohibition used honey to mask the low-quality liquor at the time).
Prohibition Liquor Bar: Take your cocktail appreciation to the next level at this artisanal spot. Beat the crowd, and arrive at opening time (8 p.m.) on Saturday for your favorite pre-Prohibition cocktails.
Here’s to our freedom. Cheers!
With 18 years in the restaurant and beverage industry and more than 850 reviews under her belt, Laurie Delk is a one-stop guide to all things craft beer, wine and spirits. You can follow Delk on Twitter @100beers30days or Instagram @sandiegobeer. Send ideas for featured drinks to firstname.lastname@example.org.