This year the brewing industry proudly notes many of its accomplishments since the time of its rebirth, 25 years ago. The distilling industry also joins with the brewers in celebration of the repeal of the 18th Amendment, an occasion “which should be meaningful not only to brewers (and distillers) but also to millions of others who have benefited from relegalization.” So spoke the president and chairman of the U. S. Brewers Foundation, E. V. Lahey, a few months ago.

He pointed out that the national economy at the time of repeal in 1933 was suffering the “deepest depression of the century” and that relegalization of the liquor traffic had brought billions of new taxes to the government, and billions of dollars to American farmers and workers. Beyond this, he implied, the industry should be grateful that 22 per cent of the beer customers are women, that the tavern is now a respectable place, that the tavern operator is “a good citizen and a credit to his community,” and that “a good job has been done in keeping the public sold on the premise that the operation of breweries and taverns is compatible with the American way of life.”

Blessing Or Bane?

This 25th anniversary of repeal is not solely of interest to the liquor industry, however. It is also an excellent time for concerned persons to study the liquor ledger and find out for themselves whether the return of legal traffic has been a blessing or a bane to our people.

What is the nature and philosophy of the liquor traffic? Its product is ethyl alcohol—bottled, advertised and sold in a thousand varieties of color, flavor and dilution. In every alcoholic product from applejack to vodka, ethyl alcohol is that colorless, merciless intoxicant and anesthetic that wrecks cars, homes ...

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