Prohibition went into effect 100 years ago today


JOPLIN, Mo. — In the days of happy hours and bottomless mimosas, it may be hard to believe prohibition was enacted in the united states 100 years ago.

These days, you can go into your local store or bar and and purchase your favorite beer whenever you want.

100 years ago, that wouldn’t have been possible.

Steven Cox, Special Collections & University Archives, said, “The Volstead Act just slightly predated the 18th Amendment which prohibited the use of alcohol.

The national prohibition act went into effect January 17th, 1920.

“What it prohibited was the production of, and the transport of, and the sale of liquor.”

Historians say when prohibition came to our area, it was during mining times.

Alan Roberts, Board of Directors, Miners Hall Museum, said, “Officials that were here at the time were trying the best they could to stop the production of alcohol in Southeast Kansas, which they never did.”

Many found ways to hide their alcohol and some even began producing their own through home-brewing.

Caleb Buck, President, Joplin Homebrew Club, said, “Prohibition probably drove actually an increase in home brewing because people, it was harder for them to go buy it. It was actually illegal. So I would assume more people were trying to make it at home at that time. Fast forward now it is legal in ’78 federally the states one by one kind of starting accepting it.”

Caleb Buck has been home-brewing his beer for 8 years.

“If something doesn’t exist on the shelf that like sounds good to you, you can just create it.”

He says many successful breweries started from practicing home brewing, like Jolly Fox Brewery in Pittsburg.

“All 50 states are legal to home brewing as of 2013,” said Cox

That’s 80 years after prohibition was repealed in 1933.

“President Franklin Roosevelt signed the bill, the 21st Amendment and then his comment was I think we could all use a beer,” said Cox.

If you’re interested in learning to brew your own beer, there’s a class at Jugz Liquor and Microbrew in Joplin Saturday morning at 10.

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