Prohibition started on this day (17th January) one hundred years ago

17 January 2020

Prohibition in the US started on this day, 17th January, one hundred years ago. Prohibition was a nationwide constitutional ban (in the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution) on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages from 1920 to 1933.

The legal ban led to criminal gangs gaining control of the beer and liquor supply of many cities. By the late 1920s, a new opposition to prohibition mobilized nationwide. Prohibition ended with the ratification of the , which repealed the Eighteenth Amendment on December 5, 1933. Some states continued the statewide prohibition, marking one of the last stages of the Progressive Era.

Obviously, prohibition had a devastating effect on the alcohol industry in the US, especially Kentucky, home of bourbon, but also had a devastating effect on Irish whiskey which was, at the time, the whiskey producing leader of the world (Dingle distillery gave the best overview of the downfall of Irish whiskey I’ve heard).

Prohibition ended in 1933 and alcohol production in the US is now a booming industry. When I visited Kentucky in 2016, I visited 21 distilleries (22 making whiskey and one making brandy (Copper & Kings) and hope to visit a few more new ones which have opened for tours since.