Anheuser-Busch and its family of wholesalers annually celebrate the repeal of Prohibition on April 7 – the day the Cullen-Harrison Act took effect in 1933, legalizing the sale of 3.2 percent alcohol by volume beer in the District of Columbia and the 20 states in which state laws did not prohibit its sale. Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser is Back Chevrolet team will join in the celebration of this milestone in American brewing history by running a special paint scheme for this weekend’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Martinsville Speedway. • Budweiser is Back…The “Budweiser is Back” black and white paint scheme pays homage to the post-Prohibition days of the early 20th century with the newspaper headline from 1933 announcing “Prohibition Ends at Last!” on the hood. The TV panel features the words of August A. Busch Jr. who proclaimed “Happy days are here again,” during a special radio broadcast on KMOX CBS Radio as the first trucks carrying Budweiser left the St. Louis brewhouse. • Prohibition Ends at Last… Budweiser was one of America’s best-selling beers from 1898 until Prohibition effectively halted production in 1919, so naturally, the country looked to Anheuser-Busch to lead the celebration as the first cases of Budweiser rolled out of the company’s St. Louis brewery just after midnight on April 7, 1933. On the night of April 6, 1933, more than 25,000 St. Louisans, representing the hopes and dreams of American workers, long since home from the war and demoralized by the Great Depression, gathered with eager hearts and tin cups in hand to once again enjoy a cold glass of Budweiser, a sensation unknown to them for 14 years. As the clock atop the brewhouse showed one minute past midnight on April 7, 1933, sirens and steam whistles sounded, the large wooden doors of the brewery’s Bevo bottling plant opened to the cheers of the thirsty, and 55 trucks laden with America’s favorite brew rolled out into the night, delivering the first cases of post-Prohibition Budweiser to the masses. Though the national repeal of Prohibition for all forms of alcohol did not become finalized until December 5, April 7 marks the most significant anniversary in the American beer industry.
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