Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Prohibition: How It Happened, How It Ended, Why It Still Sucks


An anti-prohibition parade in Newark, New Jersey in 1932.
Apologists for the Prohibition disaster dubbed it the "noble experiment." There was nothing noble about it. A century ago, the American people were sold a bill of goods. They were promised an end to crime, poverty, depravity, abuse, neglect, and just about any other evil you can think of. All they had to do was ban beverage alcohol.

They fell for it. 

No one, apparently, realized that meant they themselves would have to stop drinking. Most Americans either opposed Prohibition or assumed it applied to someone else, not them. 

Nothing noble about it.

Like a hangover blooming on the morning after, American voters regretted Prohibition almost immediately. But they had changed the damn Constitution! This fuck-up wouldn't be easy to fix.

The previous edition of The Bourbon Country Reader went out in January, so a new one is a bit overdue. Sorry about that. I hope it's worth the wait. Prohibition is our subject this time. Sure, you know about Prohibition, you watched that interminable Ken Burns thing on PBS. But this is the story as you've never seen it, about the peculiar way it ended, and the burdens we still carry because of it.

It's a two-parter but, happily, you won't have to wait too long for part two. Part one should be out in the next few days and part two will follow a few weeks after that.

Also, in what I am calling the April issue, you'll read about A. Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey. Finally, 37 years after it acquired the brand, Suntory Global Spirits is doing something interesting with it, returning it to its roots as a 19th century "Pure Rye."

Liquor companies are forbidden to make purity claims, so Overholt won't use the term, but The Reader can and will.

Who is Suntory Global Spirits? That's the new name of the company that was called Beam Suntory until, well, today.

Proudly anachronistic, The Bourbon Country Reader remains paper-only, delivered First Class by the United States Postal Service, which is not allowed to deliver bourbon but can handle this.

A six-issue, approximately one-year subscription is just $25 for mailing addresses in the USA, $32 for everybody else. Those links take you directly to PayPal. 

If you are unfamiliar with The Bourbon Country Reader, click here for a sample issue

If you prefer to pay by check, make it payable to Made and Bottled in Kentucky, and mail it to Made and Bottled in Kentucky, 3712 N. Broadway, PMB 298, Chicago, IL 60613-4198. Checks drawn on U.S. banks only, please.

Since its inception, I have made back issues of The Reader available. I still do, but henceforth that service will be limited to what's currently in inventory. No new ones will be printed and bound. Some may be available in loose form. If you're interested in back issues, check out "The Bourbon Country Reader Issue Contents in Chronological Order." (It's like an index.) Place an order and I'll let you know what's available.


Brian (AKA The Dean) said...

Sounds like a doozy of a reader, Chuck. I'm looking forward to it.

Richard Turner said...

Agree!!! C'nardly wait!

Patrick Skvoretz said...

Well, the Burns documentary on prohibition was pretty terrific! What was truly interminable was the 10 part documentary on the Vietnam War.