The History Corner
Submitted by Mike Retzlaff
What the Revolutionary Fathers Thought About Beer
There is a prevalent impression among the people at large that the better sentiment of the American people, ever since the Revolution, was opposed to the traffic in intoxicating beverages of all kinds, without distinction. Nothing is further from the truth. It is a well-established fact that the fathers of the Republic were far from holding any such views. It may be of interest to learn what the oldest Puritan state thought on this question. In the year 1789 the legislature of the state of Mass. passed the following resolution:
“Inasmuch as the manufacture of strong beer, ale and other malt drinks promotes the purposes of agriculture, trade and commerce; since they promote the cultivation of such grains as are adapted to our soil and climate; and since thereby at the same time produce a valuable article of export; and because malt liquors, on account of their wholesome qualities, strongly recommend themselves for general use; since they form an important means for the preservation of the health of the citizens of this state, and protect and guard against the harmful effects of stronger liquors; therefore, be it Resolved, That all brewers who make yearly more than 100 barrels of beer shall be free from taxes and duties for five years.”
The great architects of the American Union evidently were as broad-minded and far-sighted on this subject as on many others, in which time has proved their wisdom and superior statesmanship.