Breweries

TDIMCH: July 1, 1919

MKE Memoirs

Anti-Prohibition Sign

This Day in Milwaukee County History: The National Wartime Prohibition Act goes into effect on July 1, 1919. The measure was intended to save grain for the war effort, although the act had been passed full week after the armistice was signed. All sales of liquor were ceased on June 30th and July 1 quickly became known as the “Thirsty-First.” What was supposed to be a temporary measure turned into a 14-year-long drought. The 18th Amendment was ratified on January 16, 1919 and took effect one year and a day later.

During Prohibition, many breweries began to make non-alcoholic beer while others began to produce soda, ice cream, and cheese. Some brewers made malt syrup and other products which individuals could use for home brewing. Schlitz decided to produce confectioneries. Many breweries eventually had to close – some forever.

Wisconsin, the nations’ brewing capital was especially hard-hit during the interwar…

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