On December 5, 1933, Congress passed the 21st Amendment, which effectively repealed the Prohibition of the decade prior. In the 80 years that have passed since “Repeal Day,” Oregon has blossomed into a leader of craft beer, full-body wines, and well-aged spirits. In homage, we are taking a look at how our history and innovations make our breweries and distilleries so great.
Portland’s own Henry Weinhard brewery weathered the 19 years of Prohibition with sales of its now famous root beer and cream soda. In tribute to the historic brewery of the 1800s, McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse & Imbrie Hall constructed its walls from the salvaged wood of the Weinhard brewery. Weinhard’s perseverance and love of good suds are steeped into the reclaimed lumber. The rustic wood makes for a cozy and romantic ambiance, too.
Speaking of salvaging wood, the Big Bottom Whiskey distillery is named in honor of Oregon conservation efforts. The distillery celebrates the repeal of the Prohibition and the enactment of the 2009 Omnibus Public Lands Management Act, which preserves lands (like Big Bottom) as federally protected wilderness. While it’s not a speakeasy, you’ll feel “in the know” when you visit Big Bottom Whiskey and try one of their specialty varieties that can only be bought in house. The cinnamon whiskey Devil’s Hole is a perfect spike to holiday eggnog.
In the depths of Prohibition, could beer lovers even dream of 40 spigots flowing with a seemingly never-ending supply of beer and cider? The fantasy is brought to fruition at The Growlerie. Though, if you want to feel like a bootlegger, you can store your growler in the closet or bathtub.
In the aftermath of the prohibition repeal, “Beer Wars” bubbled up between different alcohol distributors in Oregon’s Washington County. Read more here.
Cheers! Repeal Day is a time to drink—responsibly—in celebration of our freedoms, evolution, and darn good libations.