Return to home Beer history: http://www.beerhistory.com/links/
German beer history: http://www.oldworld.ws/okbeerhist.html
Historical Brewing Equipment: http://www.sleeman.com/en/heritage/equipment.html Irish toast: "May the enemies of Ireland
never eat bread nor drink whisky, but be tormented with itching
without benefit of scratching." -- Traditional St. Patrick's Day
(AP, 3/17/99) 13000BC-9500BC The Natufians were
hunter-gatherers who lived in the eastern Mediterranean region
during this period, and began settling down rather than roving from
place to place. In 2018 Archaeologists reported finding what they
believe is the world's oldest site for alcohol production in the
Raqefet cave south of Haifa in today's northern Israel. The location
also served as a burial site for the Natufian people. Their
beer-like beverage may have been served in ceremonies around
2650-2180BCE Egyptian wall paintings included
information on beer production. In 2004 Japan’s Kirin Brewery
produced a beer dubbed “The Old Kingdom Beer."
(WSJ, 10/14/04, p.A1)
1570-1070BCE Egyptian wall paintings included
information on beer production. In 2004 Japan’s Kirin Brewery
produced a beer dubbed “The New Kingdom Beer."
(WSJ, 10/14/04, p.A1)
c1116BCE In China an imperial decree stated that
it was a requirement of the heavenly powers that people regularly
take a moderate amount of alcoholic drink.
(SFEC, 8/9/98, Z1 p.8)
296CE Roman Emp. Diocletian ordered the burning of
alchemical manuscripts for fear their discoveries would debase his
coinage. This may have set back the science of distillation.
(Econ, 12/20/03, p.68)
c500-600 Irish monks brought an alembic from the
Middle East that was initially used to distill perfumes. They soon
applied it to spirits and produced Uisce Beatha (water of life),
better known as whiskey.
(WSJ, 8/14/02, p.D8)
500-600CE In Laos a local legend describes a
military celebration for which the stone jars of the Plain of Jars
were created to ferment and store alcohol.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.E)
815 Abu Nawas, Arab poet, died.
His odes included verses on Baghdad liquor that was "as hot between
the ribs as a firebrand."
(Econ, 12/20/03, p.68)
c1000 Cloisters take up brewing
at about the turn of the first millennium. The monks were
particularly interested in the scientific aspects of brewing, and so
it was that at the Brabant Cloister zum Würzen that hops were tried
for the very first time. That probably led to the legend that
Brabant King Gambrinus was the inventor of beer. He is still
remembered today as a great patron of the brewers and a beer lover
in his own right.
1000 By this time Europe had
about 50 monastic breweries.
(WSJ, 11/29/07, p.A14)
1100s Bushmills Distillery in
Northern Ireland began producing whiskey.
(SFEC, 1/10/99, p.T8)
1162-1227 Genghis Khan was born in the Hentiyn
Nuruu mountains north of Ulan Bator. His given name was Temujin,
"the ironsmith," and seized control over 5 million square miles that
covered China, Iran, Iraq, Burma, Vietnam, and most of Korea and
Russia. "In Search of Genghis Khan" is a book by Tim Severin. He was
succeeded by his son Ogedai, who was succeeded by Guyuk. Ogedai
ignored numerous pleas from his brother Chaghatai to cut down on his
drinking and died of alcoholism as did Guyuk.
(SFC, 4/14/96, T-10)(WUD, 1994, p. 591)(WSJ,
1200-1300 In England one farthing (a quarter
penny) bought four cups of ale. The average daily wage was a penny
(Econ, 2/14/15, p.74)
1300s England recruited Flemish weavers with
promises of "good beer, good food, good bed and good bedfellow."
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R25)
1366 The Den Hoorn brewery was
founded in Leuven (Belgium). In 1717 Sebastian Artois brought his
name to the brewery.
(Econ, 12/17/11, p.124)
1420 Brewers in Bavaria about
this time discovered a way to brew beer in the winter beginning the
(Econ, 8/27/11, p.71)
1494 The earliest report of
Scots making whiskey was made. [see 1495]
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R49)
1495 Jun 1, The first
written record of Scotch Whiskey appeared in the Exchequer Rolls of
Scotland. Friar John Cor was the distiller. The later J&B brand
stood for Justerini and Brooks. [see 1494]
(DTnet, 6/1/97)(SFEC,12/28/97, Z1 p.2)
1500s Most people got married
in June because they took their yearly bath in May and were still
smelling pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell,
so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the
Lead cups were used to drink
ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock them out for a
couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for
dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen
table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and
eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the
custom of holding a "wake".
(e-mail, Riddiough, 5/14/99)
1516 Apr 23, Bavarian Dukes
Wilhelm IV and his brother Ludwig X enacted the Reinheitsgebot law
(purity law). It required that beer be made from malt, hops, water
and nothing else. Yeast was added to the list later.
(WSJ, 5/27/98, p.A1)(SFC, 7/15/04, p.A2)(Econ,
10/9/10, p.76)(SFC, 4/23/16, p.A2)(Econ, 4/23/15, p.44)
1543 Sugar cane was introduced
to Brazil about this time. Fermented sugar cane later became the
base for cachaca, a light rum that is the national spirit. Cachaca
is used to prepare the national drink, the caipirinha.
(Hem, 4/96, p.10)
1552 Britain’s first licensing
act on alcohol distinguisehd between rich and poor boozers with
enforced strictures on “common alehouses" which not apply to wine
(Econ, 1/5/13, p.44)
1553 Bavaria outlawed
summer-made beer because wintertime brews had outstripped them in
quality. In 2011 a yeast from Patagonia, Saccharomyces eubayanus,
was identified as being 99.5% identical to the non-ale half of the
lager yeast genome. It was believed that over time Saccharomyces
eubayanus and Saccharomyces cerevisiae hybridized to form
Saccharomyces pastorianus, used by lager brewers today.
(Econ, 8/27/11, p.71)
1566 The Lamb and Flag pub
first opened in Oxford and was moved to its present location on St
Giles, a broad thoroughfare in the city center, in 1613. The pub,
owned by St John's College, planned to close on Jan. 31, 2021, due
to disastrous revenue losses because of the coronavirus pandemic.
1568 Jul 13, Alexander Nowell,
the Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, perfected a way to bottle beer.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.21)(MC, 7/13/02)
1575 The Bols family arrived in
Amsterdam to open ‘het Lootsje’ where they would distill liqueurs.
This was the starting point of what would become the world’s oldest
distillery. Bols began producing Genever, a Dutch style of gin, in
1664. In 2007 it opened a House of Bols museum in the museum quarter
in the Dutch capital. It was dedicated to the history of Jenever
(also known as genever or jeniever), the juniper-flavored alcoholic
liquor from which gin evolved. The museum is housed on two floors of
the Bols headquarters at 14 Paulus Potterstraat. Originally sold as
a remedy for lumbago muscular pain, the traditional Dutch and
Flemish drink was allegedly invented at the end of the 16th century
by Sylvius de Bouve, a chemist, alchemist, renowned scholar and
professor at the university of Leyden.
1584 Mar 18, Ivan IV (53), the
terrible, Russian tsar (1547-84), died. He was succeeded by his
weak-minded son, Fyodor I. Boris Godunov, Fyodor’s brother-in-law,
assumed general control. During his rule Ivan replaced the sale of
beer and mead with vodka at state-run taverns.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.23)(MC, 3/18/02)(SFC, 9/5/03,
1600-1700 Cognac 1st appeared when Dutch sea
merchants found that they could better preserve white wine shipped
from France to northern Europe by distilling it. They then learned
the wine got better as it aged in wooden barrels.
(WSJ, 7/14/03, p.A1)
1608 Bushmills Distillery in
Northern Ireland acquired a license for whiskey production. They had
been producing whiskey since the 1100s.
(SFEC, 1/10/99, p.T8)
1609 Henry Hudson gave brandy
to the local Indians and their chief passed out. The place was
renamed "Manahachtanienk," meaning "where everybody got drunk."
Authorities say that "Manhattan" came form an Indian word meaning
(SFEC, 1/25/98, Z1 p.8)
1620 Dec 21, The Mayflower
reached Plymouth, Mass. after a 63-day voyage. Pilgrims aboard the
Mayflower went ashore for the first time at present-day Plymouth,
Mass. The crew of the ship did not have enough beer to get to
Virginia and back to England so they dropped the Pilgrims at
Plymouth Rock to preserve their beer stock.
(HFA, '96, p.44)(AP, 12/20/97)(Hem., 8/96,
1637 Gekkeikan began making
sake in Kyoto, Japan. The company began supplying the imperial
household in 1909.
(SSFC, 9/26/04, p.D12)
1643 The English parliament
first introduced levies on beer and meat to finance its fight
against the Crown.
(Econ, 12/31/11, p.39)
1648 The island of St. Martin
in the Lesser Antilles was divided between the French and Dutch. The
southern half went to the Dutch as Sint Maarten, while the northern
half, Saint Martin, became part of the French department of
Guadeloupe. Legend has it that a Dutchman and a Frenchman stood back
to back at the center of the island and paced of their shares. The
Dutchman stopped often to drink beer and was left with the smaller
(NH, 10/96, p.60)(SFEC,2/16/97, p.T6)
1660s The British began to
dominate the trade in port wine from Portugal after a political spat
with the French denied them the French Bordeaux wines. Brandy was
added to the Portuguese wines to fortify them for the Atlantic
(SFEC, 1/12/97, p.T7)(SFEC, 7/12/98, p.T8)
1671 Apr 22, King Charles II
sat in on English parliament after which he gave his Royal Assent to
the several Bills that were presented to him, fourteen private Acts,
and eighteen public, including an act for exporting “Beer, Ale, and
1676 King Carlos II of Spain,
having successfully outlawed a drink suspected of leading to
homicides, inattentiveness at church and moral turpitude, warned his
colonial rulers in Bogota of a drink "that is, beyond all
comparison, more dangerous and which goes by the name of
aguardiente." In 1988 Gilma Mora de Tovar's authored, "Aguardiente
and Social Conflicts in 18th Century New Granada,"
1678 The 1st recorded shipment
of Vinho do Porto was made from Portugal to England.
(SFC, 11/13/03, p.D1)
1688 In France a blind
Benedictine monk named Dom Perignon discovered the fermentation
process that led to champagne. [see 1662] He later devised a cork
stopper to hold the bubbles.
(WSJ, 10/16/98, p.W13)(Hem., 10/97, p.103)(WSJ,
1693 Aug 4, Dom Perignon
invented champagne. [see 1688]
1698 The British pint, a 568
milliliter pour, was introduced. Bars were allowed to serve beer
only as a pint, or a third or half of that measure. This became the
standard size for beer and cider.
(SFC, 1/5/11, p.A2)
1700 The Spanish crown
monopolized the Aquardiente industry in Colombia.
1702 In Japan the Ozawa family
began making sake at its Ozawa Shuzo Brewery in Ome.
(SSFC, 4/26/15, p.L4)
1716 Sep 24, Medici Grand Duke
Cosimo III passed a law limiting and regulating the area of wine
production in Tuscany, thus creating the 1st "Appelation Controlee"
1745 Richard Hennessey arrived
in France from Ireland as an exile from wars with England.
(SSFC, 10/16/11, p.N4)
1755 Arthur Guinness began
brewing a dark-brown stout in the town of Leixlip, Ireland.
(WSJ, 9/12/08, p.B7)
1757 Jan 11, Alexander
Hamilton, first U.S. Secretary of Treasury, was born on St.
Croix. After showing remarkable promise in finance, the young
Hamilton was sent by a benefactor to King’s College in New York. In
1776, Hamilton joined the Continental Army, where he soon joined
George Washington’s staff. After the war, Hamilton became active in
New York politics, gaining a reputation as a supporter of a strong
central government. In the struggle for the ratification of the
Constitution, Hamilton collaborated with James Madison and John Jay
in writing the Federalist Papers, which were instrumental in the
passage of the Constitution. In 1789, newly elected President George
Washington named Hamilton secretary of the treasury. During his
tenure, Hamilton established the National Bank, introduced an excise
tax, suppressed the Whiskey Rebellion and spearheaded the effort for
the federal government to assume the debts of the states. In the
presidential election of 1800, Hamilton broke the deadlock between
Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr by supporting Jefferson. The enmity
between Hamilton and his longtime political enemy Burr grew worse
during the 1804 campaign for governor of New York. Finally, on July
11, at Weehawken, N.J., the two men fought a duel. Hamilton was shot
and died the next day of his injuries.
(WUD, 1994 p.640)(AP, 1/11/98)(HN, 1/11/00)(HNPD,
1759 Arthur Guinness purchased
Mark Rainsford’s Ale Brewery in Dublin, Ireland, and began producing
his own recipe. In 2009 Guinness, owned by Diageo, launched its
Arthur’s Day celebration in honor of its founder.
(SFEC, 7/2/00, p.T8)(AP, 9/26/13)
1763 Dec 28, John Molson,
founder of the Montreal Molson brewery, was born.
1765 Richard Hennessey, an
exile Ireland, founded a spirits export business in the Cognac
region of France.
(SSFC, 10/16/11, p.N4)
1766 The Beekman Arms of
Rhinebeck, NY, began serving beer. In 2000 it was the oldest
continuously operating tavern in the US.
(SFEC, 6/25/00, Z1 p.2)
1767 George Hodgeson, British
entrepreneur, cut a deal with the East India Company to start
providing beer to the British Civil-service and merchant classes in
the India colonies. He doubled the hop content to help preserve the
beer on its long voyage.
(WSJ, 8/13/04, p.W6)
1776 A New York tavern keeper
mixed a rum and "cocktail." The name was derived from rooster
feathers used as ornaments for glasses.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R34)
c1776-1781 Molly Corbin manned a cannon during the
American Revolution and was wounded. She was cited for bravery and
sent to the Invalid Regiment at West Point where she received half
the male pay. She was also denied the daily rum ration until her
complaints were heard.
(SFEC, 6/4/00, Z1 p.3)
1777 In England Charles Hall
founded a brewery in Dorset. In 1847 the Woodhouses married into the
family and it became the Hall & Woodhouse brewery.
(Econ, 5/10/14, SR p.3)
1779 Sep 13, Frederick II of
Prussia issued a manifesto in which he bemoaned the increased use of
coffee and called for more consumption of beer.
(SFC, 1/30/99, p.D3)
1783 John H. Molson (19)
acquired a share in a log cabin brewery on the banks of the St.
Lawrence River and began the Molson beer empire.
(WSJ, 6/29/04, p.A11)
1785 May 9, British inventor
Joseph Bramah patented a beer-pump handle.
1789 Sep 11, Alexander Hamilton
was appointed the first U.S. secretary of the treasury. During his
tenure, Hamilton established the National Bank, introduced an excise
tax, suppressed the Whiskey Rebellion and spearheaded the effort for
the federal government to assume the debts of the states. In the
presidential election of 1800, Hamilton broke the deadlock between
Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr by supporting Jefferson. The enmity
between Hamilton and his longtime political enemy Burr grew worse
during the 1804 campaign for governor of New York.
(AP, 9/11/97)(HNPD, 1/11/99)
1789 Nov 8, Bourbon Whiskey,
1st distilled from corn, was made by Elijah Craig in Bourbon,
1789 Pierre Ordinaire, French
chemist, invented absinthe as a digestive or all-purpose tonic. It
quickly caught on as an apéritif. It was popularized by Henri-Louis
Pernod, who opened his first distillery in Switzerland before moving
to Pontarlier, France, in 1805.
1/22/99, p.W8)(SFC, 3/24/00, p.A3)
1794 Aug 7, George Washington
issued a proclamation telling a group of Western Pennsylvania
farmers to stop their Whiskey Rebellion. In the US in western
Pennsylvania, angry farmers protested a new federal tax on whiskey
makers. The protest flared into the open warfare known as the
Whiskey Rebellion between US marshals and whiskey farmers.
ESM, p.16)(HNQ, 10/14/99)
1795 Jul 10, Pres. George
Washington pardoned the Whiskey rebels. The spirits producers had
rioted in 1791 against a tax on their goods.
1795 Jim Beam, US producer of
fine Bourbon whiskey was founded.
(Hem., Dec. '95, p.82)
1796 Hacienda Santa Teresa
began producing rum in Venezuela. In 1885 it was bought out by the
(WSJ, 11/10/04, p.A8)
1797 John Anderson, a Scottish
farm manager, convinced George Washington that distilling whiskey
would make money. In a six-week season each spring, Washington’s men
netted about a million shad and herring from the Potomac River. The
catch was then salted, packed in barrels, and exported. His
diversified farming was less successful, largely because of his long
absences from Mount Vernon.
(AM, 9/01, p.80)(HNQ, 8/30/02)
1798 Belgium's Grimbergen
Abbey, whose emblem is a phoenix with the Latin motto "Ardet nec
consumitur" (Burned but not destroyed), was twice burned down and
ransacked by French troops, ending a tradition of beer-making dating
back to the 12th century. In 2021 the abbey began brewing for the
first time in more than two centuries.
1799 Dec 14, George Washington
(66), the first president of the United States (1789-97), died at
his Mount Vernon, Va., home at age 67. By 8 p.m. he was aware that
he was dying, whispering, "I die hard, but I am not afraid to go."
Washington died at approximately 10:30 p.m., December 14, 1799, at
the age of 67. He died from the incompetence of physicians who bled
him to death while fighting pneumonia. Richard Brookhiser authored
"Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington." The Washingtons
at this time had 317 slaves. His 5 stills in Virginia turned out
some 12,000 gallons of corn whiskey a year.
(A&IP, ESM, p.16)(AP, 12/14/97)(WSJ, 11/6/98,
p.W15)(SFEC, 5/2/99, Z1 p.8)(SFC, 12/11/99, p.B6)(MC, 12/14/01)
1804 Meriwether Lewis and
William Clark packed up 5,555 rations of flour, and 120 gallons of
whiskey for their western journey of exploration that would last 2 ½
years. In 1996 Stephen Ambrose published an account of their trip
titled: "Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and
the opening of the American West." The cutthroat trout,
Onchorhynchus clarki lewisi, was found to be highly abundant. In
1997 the fish was on the brink of extinction.
(WSJ, 1/30/96, p.A-12)(SFC, 5/21/97, p.A2)
1809 Jan 19, Edgar Allan Poe
(d.1949), American writer, was born in Boston. His father, David
Poe, was an Irish-American actor and abandoned his family shortly
after Edgar’s birth. His mother, Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins, died in
1811 and he grew up with a foster family. Poe studied briefly at the
University of Virginia, but then he quarreled with his foster father
and went to Boston in 1827, where he published his first volume of
poetry anonymously. In the early 1840s Poe became known for his
lyrical, brooding poems and detective stories, such as "The Gold
Bug" and "Murders at the Rue Morgue." In fact, he is recognized as
the father of the modern detective story. Poe was unafraid to
criticize literary practices of the time, stressing the importance
of artistic value more than moral value. After battles with
alcoholism and his wife Virginia's illness and death, Poe became
depressed but continued to write. He became engaged again in 1849
but soon died at the age of 40. His best known stories include:
"Fall of the House of Usher " and "The Tell-Tale Heart." His most
famous poems are "The Raven" and Annabel Lee." "I hold that a long
poem does not exist. I maintain that the phrase, 'a long poem,' is
simply a flat contradiction in terms."
(CFA, '96,Vol 179, p.38)(SFEC, 1/12/97, p.T5)(AP,
1/19/98)(HNPD, 1/19/99)(AP, 1/29/99)
1810 Oct 12, Bavarian Crown
Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I, was married to
Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. In honor of the
wedding a horse race took place at the Theresienwiese (the Theresien
meadow). The decision to repeat the horse races in subsequent years
gave rise to the tradition of the Oktoberfest.
1814 Oct 17, Two giant porter
vats at the Horse Shoe Brewery on London’s Tottenham Court Road
burst when the securing hoops failed. The 25-foot-high vats were
owned by Sir Henry Meux and. Several lives were lost along with an
estimated 8,000-9,000 barrels of porter.
1817 Work began on the
Erie Canal, more properly named the New York State Barge Canal. The
canal connected Lake Erie with the Hudson and opened on October 26,
1825. The canal was proposed by NY Gov. Dewitt Clinton and
detractors called it "Clinton's Folly." Workers were paid a quart of
whiskey a day plus $1. [see 1826]
(WSJ, 7/3/96, p.A8)(HN, 7/4/98)(IB, Internet,
12/7/98)(SFEC, 12/27/98, Z1 p.8)(SFEC, 1/31/99, Z1 p.8)
1818 In Russia the Smirnoff
family went into the vodka business.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R42)
1819 In Savannah Chatham
Artillery Punch was served to Pres. James Monroe. It was a
concoction of Catawba, rum, gin, brandy, rye whiskey, strong tea,
brown sugar, Benedictine, juices of oranges and lemons, Maraschino
cherries and champagne.
1822 Dec 27, Louis Pasteur
(d.1895), French chemist and microbiologist, was born in Dole,
France. One of his several monumental contributions to science and
industry was pasteurization, the process of heating wine, beer and
milk to kill microorganisms that cause fermentation and disease.
Pasteur also developed important vaccines and his work on molecular
asymmetry led to the science of stereochemistry. He was the first to
vaccinate animals for anthrax and chicken cholera, and in 1885 he
proved that his rabies vaccine could be used successfully on humans
when he saved the life of a 9-year-old boy who had been bitten by a
rabid dog. The Pasteur Institute was formed in Paris in 1888 for
research on rabies. Pasteur ran the institute until his death in
(WUD, 1994, p.1055)(AP, 12/27/97)(HNPD, 12/27/98)
1826 Scotsman Robert Stein
invented the continuous still. It was later refined by Aeneas Coffey
as the Coffey still.
(Hem, 11/02, p.36)
1829 In Pennsylvania David G.
Yuengling (d.1877), an immigrant from Germany, established the Eagle
Brewery on Centre St. in Pottsville. As of 2016 the D.G. Yuengling
& Son brewery was recognized as the oldest in the United States.
3/23/04, p.B5)(SFC, 6/23/16, p.C6)
1830 Aug 25, Belgium rebelled
against Netherlands. Among the reasons for rebelling were heavy
taxes on beer.
(chblue.com, 8/25/01)(Econ, 12/17/11, p.125)
1830 American alcohol
consumption reached 7.1 gallons per capita.
(WSJ, 10/5/98, p.A28)
1838 Jan 26, Tennessee became
the 1st state to prohibit alcohol.
1838 The Buckeye Brewing Co. of
Toledo, Ohio, began operations. Green Seal Select Beer was one of
their early brands. The company continued until 1972.
(SFC, 2/13/08, p.G8)
1839 Trappists monks at St.
Sixtus in Belgium began brewing Westvleteren beer in order to
finance construction of a new monastery.
(WSJ, 11/29/07, p.A1)
1840 The Ballantine beer
company was founded in New Jersey and modelled after the breweries
of Burton, England.
(Econ, 12/24/16, p.62)
1847 Carlsberg began beer
production in Denmark.
(WSJ, 10/7/03, p.B1)
1849 French brothers Adolphe
and Edouard-Jean Cointreau created a brand of liqueur called
Cointreau and soon founded their own distillery in Angers. The
liqueur was a secret blend of orange peels and pure sugar-beet
(SFC, 11/1/06, p.G2)
1850 Residents of the northern
California town of Rough and Ready rebelled against taxes and began
a secession movement from the US. It lasted just 3 months in
part because nearby saloonkeepers refused to sell liquor to
(SSFC, 8/10/08, p.E8)
1851 Jun 2, Maine became the
first state to enact a law prohibiting alcohol. By the Civil War 13
Northern states had bans on alcohol sales. In 1998 Thomas R. Pegram
authored "Battling Demon Rum," a history of anti-alcohol movements
in the US. Crusader and entrepreneur Neal Dow had led the push to
(AP, 6/2/97)(WSJ, 10/5/98,
p.A28) (SSFC, 12/15/13, p.A19)
1851 About 775 abandoned ships
sat in the SF Bay. Some began to be used as offices and public
buildings. The ship Euphemia became the city’s 1st jail and insane
asylum. An enterprising barkeep cut a hole in the beached sailing
vessel Arkansas and began selling what he called “Gud, Bad and
Ind’ifferent Spirits" at 25 cents each. The Old Ship Saloon at
Pacific Avenue and Battery Street was built in 1907 and remodeled in
(Ind, 9/2/00,5A)(SSFC, 11/15/09, p.A2)
1852 Frederick F. Fortmann and
his wife emigrated to San Francisco from Germany and started the
Pacific Brewery at Fourth and Tehama streets.
(SFC, 1/26/19, p.C4)
1852 In Poland Ignacy
Lukasiewicz, a druggist, found oil seeping from the ground and in an
attempt to make vodka distilled it to produce the first kerosene.
(SFEC, 8/3/97, Z1 p.2)
1854 Colonel Agoston Haraszthy,
a Hungarian Count, acquired several hundred acres of the old Rancho
Feliz in California's San Andreas Valley. He planted 30 acres of
zinfandel and muscat grapes along with 20,000 fruit trees. He later
moved to Sonoma.
(Ind, 5/11/02, 5A)
1854 Pierre Pellier, having
settled in Santa Clara Valley, planted cuttings from France and
established his 1st San Jose, Ca., vineyards. In 1881 his daughter
married vintner Pierre Mirrasou. Mirrassou sold its brand name to
Gallo in 2002.
(SFC, 12/19/02, p.D4)(SFC, 8/5/04, p.B7)
1854 In San Francisco the Bank
Exchange saloon opened in the Montgomery Block. It was here that
bartender Duncan Nichols (1854-1926) became known for serving Pisco
Punch, a cocktail that used Peruvian Pisco Brandy. The recipe for
the drink was reportedly rediscovered in 1964.
(SFC, 12/28/19, p.C2)
1855 A beer brewing operation,
later known as the California Brewing Co. began in SF.
(SFC, 4/9/04, p.F10)
1855 Napoleon III ordered up a
list of the best wines of Bordeaux and ranked the best according to
quality and price. Those at the top became known as the first
growths and included Chateaux Haut-Brion, Lafite Rothschild, Latour,
and Margaux. Mouton Rothschild was elevated in 1973.
(WSJ, 4/23/04, p.A1)(SFC, 10/1/04, p.W6)
1856 In Oakland, Ca., steam
beer production began at a site that later became known as Golden
West Brewery, which produced the Golden Glow Beer and Ale labels.
Operations shut down in 1959.
(SFC, 9/4/09, p.C1)
1858 Aug 23, "Ten Nights in a
Bar-room," a play about the tragic consequences of consuming
alcohol, opened in New York.
1858 In San Francisco a saloon
was established on the corner of Center Street (later 16th Street)
at Guerrero. It burned down in the 1906 earthquake and fire. A new
building was erected on the site in 1907. On Nov 21, 2003, it
re-opened as the Elixir. In 2017 it claimed to be the 2rd oldest
saloon in the city.
(SSFC, 11/15/09, p.A2)(SSFC, 3/19/17, p.A2)
1860 John Wagner established
Nevada's longest-operating brewery in Carson City during the rush to
Virginia City. The Carson Brewing Co. built a new two-story brewery
in 1865 in the commercial form of Classical Revival, on the corner
of Division and King streets, where it was later turned into an arts
and performance center.
1860 William McGillin began
opened McGillin’s Olde Ale House in Philadelphia. In 2009 it
celebrated its sesquicentennial.
(SFC, 8/5/09, p.A4)
1860 Gaspare Campari of Italy
invented a bright-red aperitif that became known as Campari.
(WSJ, 4/9/09, p.B10)
1861 Young’s "Scientific
Secrets" was published. It is a book of recipes and formulas for
furniture polish, beers, wines, and directions on interpreting
(CM, 12/94, p.59)
1861 In India the Murree
Brewery Co. Ltd. was founded by British colonialists. It became a
listed company in 1902. In 1947 it came under the control of
(SFC, 7/10/00, p.A8)(Econ, 4/21/12, p.58)
1861 In Russia Dmitri Ivanovich
Mendeleyev, chemist, determined that the maximum solubility of
alcohol in water occurs at a ratio of 40% to 60%. This became the
ideal mixture for sipping vodka for Russians.
(WSJ, 2/2/98, p.A23)
1862 The first US federal tax
on beer was levied to finance the Civil War.
(SFC, 8/2/06, p.G7)
1862 Facundo Bacardi Masso
founded a rum business in Cuba.
(SFC, 9/9/08, p.E3)
1862-1906 Bitters bottles were manufactured in
Tiffin, Ohio and Omaha, Neb. to hold "American Life Bitters," an
alcoholic concoction of herbs and gin that was marketed as medicine.
(SFC, 6/3/98, Z1 p.6)
1864 Adolphus Busch
(1839-1913), German immigrant married to Eberhard Anheuser’s
daughter (1861), began working at his father-in-law’s brewery in St.
1864 In the Netherlands Gerard
Adriaan Heineken founded a beer brewery. In 2002 it was the world’s
3rd largest brewery.
(SFC, 1/5/02, p.A22)
1865 Jul 2, William Booth
(1829-1912), British Methodist preacher, held his first meeting for
the Salvation Army in London.
1866 The Hopland, Ca., hops
industry began. The damp soils of the Russian River floodplains were
suitable for the cultivation of hops, whose flowers determine the
bitterness and aromatic properties of beer.
(WCG, 7/95, p.91)
1867 Jacob Leinenkugel, an
immigrant from Bavaria, founded Leinenkugel Beer to supply the
lumberjack community of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. In 1988 the
family business agreed to be acquired by the Miller Brewing Co.
(WSJ, 9/27/08, p.A16)(http://tinyurl.com/4epavl)
1870 In San Francisco a
Norman-style castle, later known as the Albion Castle and Brewery,
was built as a brewery at 881 Innes Ave. In 1940 it became the home
of a mountain springs water company, which bottled fresh water
flowing underneath. In 2005 it sold for $2.1 million and was put on
the market in 2009 for $2.95 million.
(SFC, 12/15/09, p.D2)
1870 British PM William
Gladstone introduced the first excise duties to tax beer on its
(Econ, 12/24/16, p.62)
1870 Tequila Herradura began
producing tequila at the Hacienda San Jose del Refugio in the
highlands of Jalisco state. Their tequila was made from 100%
(WSJ, 5/3/99, p.A1)
1872 May 10, Victoria Woodhull
became the first woman nominated for U.S. president. Thomas Nast
depicted her as "Mrs. Satan." Woodhull adhered to a diet prescribed
by Sylvester Graham, known for his ginger-colored crackers.
Sylvester preached against demon rum and died at age 57 after
administering himself a medicinal treatment with considerable
(SFEC, 3/8/98, Par p.14-16)(SFC, 10/17/98,
1872 Jun 4, Harvey Flint
(d.1882) patented his Quaker Bitters, a general cure-all with 21.4%
alcohol. He had recently left a family furniture business in
Providence, Rhode Island, and began making Quaker Bitters under the
name Flint & Co.
1872 Jun 17, Canadian George
Hoover hauled in a wagon load of whiskey and set up a tent shop
called Hoover’s Bar five miles west of Fort Dodge. It was the
founding business of Dodge City. The town up to this time had been
(SFC, 6/13/98, p.E4)(HN, 6/17/98)
1872 A police raid in Glasgow,
Scotland, found only 2 pubs in 30 serving real Scotch whiskey.
(WSJ, 1/4/02, p.A7)
1873 Adolph Coors selected the
waters of Clear Creek, Colorado, for his dream of high producing a
high quality beer.
(SFEC, 4/30/00, BR p.4)
1873 Asa T. Soule of Rochester,
NY, concocted the alcohol laced Hop Bitters patent medicine and made
a fortune. The Univ. of Rochester later declined a $100,000 offer to
change its name to Hops Bitters Univ.
(SFC, 12/11/99, p.B6)
1873 The Matusalem company was
founded in Santiago, Cuba, to produce aged dark rum.
(Econ, 4/16/05, p.34)
1874 The first national
convention of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union was held. The
Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was established to promote
the movement for prohibition in the U.S. It shut down saloons all
over the country because they believed that male drinking was the
cause of prostitution, child abuse and poverty. Under the leadership
of its second president, Frances Willard, the WCTU grew to a
nationwide movement with 200,000 members, the largest and most
socially acceptable women’s organization of the time. Although
prohibition was the WCTU’s primary mission, they also campaigned for
woman suffrage, reasoning that if women could vote, they would
reform American society for the betterment of all. The WCTU spurred
the founding in 1893 of the Anti-Saloon League. On December 18,
1917, the U.S. Congress adopted and submitted to the states an
amendment to the Constitution prohibiting the manufacture, sale, or
transportation of alcoholic liquors. The 18th Amendment was declared
ratified on January 29, 1919 and went into effect on January 16,
1920. It was repealed by the 21st Amendment in 1933.
(SFC, 3/30/97, Z1. p.6)(HNQ, 11/189)(HNPD,
1875 May 10, US Treasury agents
under Benjamin Helm Bristow (1832-1896), the 30th US Treasury
Secretary, raided and shut down distilleries, rectifying houses, and
bottling plants in St. Louis, Chicago, Milwaukee, and six other
Mid-Western states. Overwhelming evidence against the ring was
collected, while federal grand juries produced over 350 indictments.
238 members of "Whiskey Ring" were accused of anti-US activities.
1875 In the United States the
Whiskey Ring scandal was exposed. It involved diversion of tax
revenues in a conspiracy among government agents, politicians,
whiskey distillers, and distributors. The Whiskey Ring began in St.
Louis but was also organized in Chicago, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, New
Orleans, and Peoria. Pres. Ulysses S. Grant appointed John Brooks
Henderson as the first special prosecutor to investigate the
conspiracy. Grant eventually fired Henderson for challenging Grant's
interference in the prosecutions. Grant replaced Henderson with
attorney James Broadhead.
1875 Lydia Estes Pinkham
(1819-1883) was in her mid-fifties when economic hardship forced her
and her family to begin selling bottles of a homemade health remedy.
Mrs. Pinkham’s tonic, formulated from herbs and 20% alcohol as a
"solvent and preservative," was first sold as a cure for "female
complaints." Business grew as the family aggressively marketed their
product with trade cards which linked Pinkham’s Compound with the
patriotism and progress represented by the Brooklyn Bridge. Lydia
Pinkham was probably the best-known woman in America at the time.
Her medicines remained tremendously popular until the 1930s, when
medical science and public awareness of the compound’s unfounded
claims reduced sales to a trickle.
1875 The Schmitt brewery was
built by an innkeeper for his restaurant in Singen in the German
state of Thuringia. Richard Schmitt buys the brewery in May 1885 for
DM9,900. Today it is run by the Obstfelder family and produces
around 26,000 gallons of beer annually.
(Hem., Nov.’95, p.113-114)
1875 Calgary, Canada, was
founded by Troop F of the royal Northwest Mounted Police. They built
a log fort at the junction of the Bow and Elbow Rivers to control
illegal whiskey traders operating from outposts with names like Fort
(SFEC, 6/25/00, p.T11)
1876 Feb 8, A trial
began for Pres. Ulysses S. Grant's private secretary, Gen. Orville
E. Babcock. He was acquitted after 18 days of involvement in the
Whiskey Ring, a conspiracy among distillers, revenue collectors, and
high federal officials to avoid taxation through fraudulent reports
on whiskey production. 230 indictments were secured, but no
convictions were made. Grant helped Babcock secure an acquittal for
his part in the ring. This affair contributed to the reputation for
corruption that Grant's administrations acquired.
1876 Adolphus Busch, a German
immigrant beer-maker, licensed the name of Budweiser in America. The
name came from the town of Budweis in Bohemia. The town was later
renamed Ceske Budejovice but a local brewery used the Budweiser name
for its beer.
(SFC, 4/9/98, p.A12)
1878 May 25, Bill "Bojangles"
Robinson was born and began his dancing career in childhood. The
young song-and-dance man learned his trade in beer gardens,
traveling companies and later on the vaudeville circuit. Robinson
performed only within the black community until he was 50 years old,
when his unique style of tap-dancing, including his signature "stair
dance," crossed over to white audiences. Robinson, who continued to
perform into his late sixties, made 14 Hollywood motion pictures,
playing both stereotypical black roles and a handful of leads. He
died of a chronic heart condition in 1949.
(WSJ, 5/19/98, p.A20)(HNPD, 5/26/99)
1879 Genesee Brewing began
producing beer in Rochester, NY.
(SFC, 3/13/00, p.B2)
1881 Feb 19, Kansas became the
first state to prohibit all alcoholic beverages.
1881 Apr 7, Lewis R. Redmond, a
North Carolina moonshiner wanted for murder, was cornered at his
home. He was shot 6 times while trying to escape, but survived and
was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He served just 3
years and returned to work for a licensed distillery.
(WSJ, 3/20/09, p.W11)
1882 Bishop Crittenden authored
the dime novel “The Entwined Lives of Miss Gabrielle Austin,
Daughter of the Late Rev. Ellis C. Austin, and Redmond, the Outlaw,
Leader of the North Carolina Moonshiners."
1883 The Brooks and Carey
Saloon opened on Mission Road, Colma, Ca. It was later renamed the
Brooksville Hotel. Frank Molloy purchased the place from Patrick
Brooks in 1929 and renamed it Molloy's.
(Ind, 1/30/98, p.5A)(SSFC, 3/8/09, p.E8)
1883 Lydia Estes Pinkham
(b.1819) died. She was in her mid-fifties when economic hardship
forced her and her family to begin selling bottles of a homemade
health remedy. Mrs. Pinkham's tonic, formulated from herbs and 20%
alcohol as a "solvent and preservative," was first sold in 1875 as a
cure for "female complaints."
(HNPD, 6/30/01)(WSJ, 4/23/02, p.D7)
1886 The Tequila San Matias
company in Guadalajara began tequila production.
(SFEC,10/19/97, Z1 p.4)
1886 Piotr Smirnov was made
'Official Purveyor' of vodka to the imperial Russian court. His
pure, charcoal-filtered vodka became the toast of the Czars. Later,
one of Smirnov's sons escaped Russia's revolution and restarted the
family business in Paris, adopting the francophone name Smirnoff.
The pure Smirnoff vodka took America by storm in the 1930's and went
on to become a global icon.
1887 Nov 8, Doc Holliday, who
fought on the side of the Earp brothers during the Gunfight at the
O.K. Corral sixty years earlier, died of tuberculosis after waking
from a 57 day delirium in Glenwood Springs, Colo. He downed a glass
of whiskey and said: "I’ll be damned!" and died. In 2001 Bruce Olds
authored the novel "Bucking the Tiger," based on the life of
(HN, 11/6/98)(MesWP)(SFC, 7/29/00, p.E3)(SSFC,
9/9/01, DB p.70)
1888 In Chicago Louis Glunz set
up shop as a wine, beer and spirits merchant at Wells and Division
streets. By 2009 the Louis Glunz Beer company represented
Chicago-land consumers with the largest portfolio of Micro,
Specialty and Import Beers with 665 brands and 172 breweries
1888 For the dedication of
Skidmore Fountain in Portland, Oregon, brewer Harvey Weinhard
offered to pump his beer through the fountain. The city fathers
declined the offer.
(Hem, 4/96, p.129)
1889 In South Dakota alcohol
was banned on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation. The ban continued
except for a few months in the 1970s. As of 2017 two-thirds adults
on the reservation were alcoholics as many purchased alcohol in
Whiteclay, a short walk across the state line in Nebraska.
(Econ, 4/29/17, p.22)
1890 Philippine brewer San
Miguel began making beer.
(WSJ, 4/9/09, p.B1)
1893 Charlie Wacker, director
of the World's Columbian Exposition and a friend of Louis Glunz, was
instrumental in making Louis a bottler of Schlitz beer for the
1893 The Anti-Saloon League
formed in Ohio. It became national in 1895 when it merged with an
organization in Washington D.C.
(AH, 2/05, p.72)
1895 South African Breweries
(SAB) was founded to quench the thirst of gold prospectors around
Johannesburg. In 1999 the firm moved its main stock market listing
(Econ, 3/24/12, p.67)(Econ, 5/31/14, p.55)
1896 Sep 24, American author F.
Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 24,
1896. He wrote about the "Jazz Age" between World War I and World
War II. He published his first novel in 1920, "This Side of
Paradise," and gained instant acclaim and celebrity, marrying Zelda
Sayre shortly afterward. In 1924, Fitzgerald wrote what has become
his best-known novel, "The Great Gatsby." Although it was not
especially popular at the time, as more readers began to appreciate
the novel for its perspective of how materialism drives people, it
became an American classic. As years passed, Fitzgerald battled
alcoholism and his wife sought treatment for her mental illness. He
died in Hollywood at age 45 in 1940. "If you're strong enough, there
are no precedents."
(HFA, ‘96, p.38)(AP, 9/24/97)(HNPD, 9/24/98)(HN,
1896 In SF the Anchor Brewing
Co. was founded and brewed beer at Pacific Ave. and Larkin St. It
later moved to 8th and Bryant and then to Kansas and 17th before
settling on Mariposa St. by Potrero Hill.
(SFC, 10/8/97, Z1 p.4)
1896 Budweiser introduced
Michelob beer as "draught beer for connoisseurs."
1898 Pyotr Smirnov (b.1831),
Russian vodka manufacturer, died. In 2009 Linda Himelstein authored
“The King of Vodka: The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of
(SSFC, 5/31/09, Books p.J2)
1900 Dec 27, Militant
prohibitionist and temperance agitator Carry Nation, (Carrie
Nation), first used a hatchet to carry out her public smashings of a
bar, at the Carey Hotel in Wichita, Kan. As a result, the hatchet
soon became the symbol of her crusade against alcohol. Born in
Kentucky, Nation‘s first husband died of alcoholism and her second
marriage ended in divorce. She was often arrested, fined and jailed
for her actions. She published the Smasher in Topeka. Advertisers
boycotted and the paper failed.
(AP, 12/27/97)(SFEC, 3/8/98, BR p.6)(HNQ,
1901 The US tax on a barrel of
beer was reduced from $2 a barrel to $1.60.
(SFC, 8/2/06, p.G7)
1901 Battista Bianco, the
mother Giuseppe and Mike Gallo’s father, founded the Bianco Winery
Company in California.
(SFC, 12/19/02, p.D1)
1903 China’s Tsingtao Brewery
was set up by German brewers.
(Econ, 5/31/14, SR p.14)
1903 London gin distiller
George Gilbey began selling aristocrats do-it-yourself gadgets to
carbonate tap water.
(SFC, 7/9/11, p.D2)
1905 Jean Lanfray, a Swiss
laborer, murdered his wife and children after drinking 2 glasses of
absinthe. The murder led to a ban on the sale of absinthe. The ban
was lifted in 2005.
(SFC, 3/24/00, p.A3)(SFC, 11/4/04, p.A2)
1906 Giuseppe and Mike Gallo
founded the Gallo Wine Company in California.
(SFC, 12/19/02, p.D1)
1907 The San Francisco Brewing
Company established a facility at 155 Columbus Ave, South San
(SSFC, 3/8/09, p.E8)
1908 Scotland’s Johnny Walker
whiskey began using a striding man, drawn by cartoonist Tom Browne,
on its label. This became one of the world’s first globally
established advertising icons.
1909 The Polar exploration team
led by Ernest Shackleton abandoned its Antarctic expedition as
winter ice formed and left behind 5 crates of whiskey and brandy. An
Antarctic Heritage Trust team found the crates in 2006. One crate,
labeled Mackinlay's whisky, was recovered in 2010 and shipped to New
Zealand for testing.
1910 In SF William T. “Cocktail
Bill" Boothby (d.1930), devised his Boothby cocktail at the Palace
Hotel. It was essentially a Manhattan with a Champagne float.
(SFC, 12/14/07, p.F2)
1911 Apr 6, In San Francisco
the Police Board examined 9 Mission saloon keepers who were cited
for selling liquor to women decoys. Mission District Police Capt.
Henry Gleeson faced a possible charge of neglect of duty.
(SSFC, 4/3/11, DB p.46)
1911 Jun 9, Carry Amelia Moore
Gloyd Nation (b.1846), American temperance leader, died in
Leavenworth, Kansas. She was buried in the Belton City Cemetery,
Belton, Cass County, Missouri. Carry Nation was a social reformer,
saloon smasher and scourge of barkeepers and drinkers everywhere.
1912 The US banned the drink
absinthe. Lawmakers thought the chemical thujone, found in one of
the spirit’s main ingredients, wormwood, made people crazy or
homicidal. This theory was later dismissed and the ban was lifted in
(WSJ, 12/24/96, p.A6)(SFC, 3/21/08, p.F4)
1913 In Denmark the bronze
statue of the Little Mermaid, a character from a Hans Christian
Anderson story, was installed in the harbor. It was commissioned by
Carl Jacobsen, founder of the Carlsberg Beer Co., and created by
Edvard Eriksen. [see 1964]
1914 Jul 1, A US Navy order
went into effect prohibiting liquor on warships. US Navy Secretary
Josephus Daniels substituted grape juice for the daily rum ration.
(SFEC, 4/20/97, Z1 p.5)(SSFC, 6/29/14, DB p.42)
1915 Nov 12, The Chinese liquor
Moutai, which originated during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), won
international fame with a gold medal at the 1915 Panama-Pacific
Exposition in San Francisco. Maotai was named a national liquor in
1951, two years after the founding of People's Republic of China.
1915 The French government
banned absinthe, the "Green Goddess," which had become renowned for
causing convulsions, hallucinations and psychosis. In 1988 the
European Union lifted the ban on making absinthe.
(WSJ, 1/22/99, p.W8)(http://tinyurl.com/5mqxvs)
1916 Nov 16, French
adjutant-chief Eugene Rouges died with several of his men when a
German artillery shell exploded in their trench in Gradesnica,
Macedonia. In the 1990s villagers began finding a liquid fortune in
vintage cognac buried in the old trenches.
1917 The US federal government
ordered all saloons and brothels within 5 miles of any military base
in the US to close down.
(SFC, 11/1/14, p.C2)
1917 The Seelbach Cocktail was
created at the Seelbach hotel in Louisville, Ky. The recipe was
later lost until 1995 when a hotel manager rediscovered the formula.
(SFC, 7/28/05, p.F6)
1918 Jan 8,
Mississippi became the first state to ratify the proposed 18th
amendment to the US Constitution, which established Prohibition.
1918 Sep, Pres. Woodrow Wilson
ordered all US breweries to shut down on December 1 in order to save
grain for the war effort.
(WSJ, 10/28/06, p.P13)
1918 Dec 1, US breweries shut
down due to a September directive from Pres. Wilson.
(WSJ, 10/28/06, p.P13)
1919 Jan 13, California
voted to ratify the Prohibition amendment.
1919 Jan 13, California
voted to ratify the Prohibition amendment.
1919 Jan 16, Prohibition
became law in the US with the passage of the Volstead Act, which
enforced and defined the 18thAmendment. It was passed over President
Wilson's veto with the necessary two-thirds majority of state
ratification. [see Jan 16,1920]
(HFA, '96, p.22)(WUD, 1994, p.1681)(WSJ,8/22/96,
1919 Jan 16, Nebraska, Wyoming
and Missouri became the 36th, 37th and 38th states to ratify
Prohibition, which went into effect a year later. Prohibition became
law in the US with the passage of the Volstead Act on Oct 28, which
enforced and defined the 18th Amendment. It was passed over
President Wilson's veto with the necessary two-thirds majority of
(WSJ, 8/22/96, p.A14)(AP, 1/16/98)
1919 Oct 8, The U.S. Senate and
House of Representatives passed the Volstead Prohibition Enforcement
Bill. It was named for Representative Andrew Volstead of Minnesota
and enforced the ban on the sale or consumption of alcoholic
beverages. This rang in the era of prohibition.
1919 Oct 28, Congress passed
the National Prohibition Act, or Volstead Act, over President
Wilson’s veto. It was named after its promoter, Congressman Andrew
J. Volstead, and provided enforcement guidelines for the Prohibition
Amendment which had been ratified January 29.
(AP, 10/28/97)(HN, 10/28/98)
1919-1920 Hanna Hoch (1889-1978), photomontage
artist of the Berlin Dada movement made her work "Cut With the
Kitchen Knife Dada Through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Epoch of
(SFC, 3/25/97, p.E3)
1920 Jan 16, Prohibition began
as the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took effect. It was
later repealed by the 21st Amendment. Alcohol was outlawed in the US
with the passage of the 18th amendment. It was made law on Jan
16,1919, but became effective on this day. At the time US
authorities expected few violations of the new law. Over the next
fourteen years, Prohibition corrupted all levels of society, swamped
the judiciary, killed thousands of people, and gave rise to
underworld syndicates that still exist.
1/16/98)(SFC, 4/7/96, p.B-11)
1920 Dec 22, Bootleggers said
their was plenty of liquor available for San Franciscans.
(SFC, 12/19/03, p.E2)
1921 Nov 23, President Harding
signed the Willis Campell Act, better known as the anti-beer bill.
It forbade doctors to prescribe beer or liquor for medicinal
1921 Dec 6, James Showan, a
wealthy NY shipbuilder, was arrested after his palatial yacht was
seized off the California coast with more than 100 cases of whiskey.
(SFC, 10/14/99, p.C5)
1922 Louis M. Martini founded
the L. M. Martini Grape Products Co. in Kingsburg, Fresno Ct.,
California, to sell grape juice, concentrates, sacramental and
(SFC, 12/19/02, p.D1)
1923 Nov 4, Alfred Heineken,
beer brewer, was born.
1923 Nov 8, Adolf
Schicklgruber (Hitler) launched his first attempt to seize power
with a failed coup in Munich, Germany, that came to be known as the
Beer-Hall Putsch. He proclaimed himself chancellor and Ludendorff
dictator. After the unsuccessful beerhall putsch, he wound up in
jail writing "Mein Kampf." Mein Kampf, was sub-titled Four-and-Half
Years of Struggle against Lies, Stupidity, and Cowardice. The Nazi
dictator wrote much of Mein Kampf (My Struggle) while in prison in
1923 and 1924 for attempting to overthrow the German government. The
work became the bible of the Nazi Party and a blueprint for the
(TMC, 1994, p.1923)(AP, 11/8/97)(HN,
1924 Apr 1, Adolf Hitler was
sentenced to five years in prison for "Beer Hall Putsch." Gen
Ludendorff was acquitted for leading the botched Nazi's "Beer Hall
Putsch" in the German state of Bavaria
(HN, 4/1/98)(MC, 4/1/02)
1926 Mar, A nationwide
poll on prohibition showed that people favored a modification of the
Volstead Act by a margin of 9 to 1.
(SFC, 3/16/01, WBb p.4)
1927 Mar 1, Edward R. Bohner
began serving as prohibition administrator for Northern California
under National Prohibition Commissioner J.M. Doran. Bohner resigned
June 18, 1929.
(SFC, 6/18/04, p.F2)
1927 May 16, US Supreme Court
ruled that bootleggers must pay income tax.
1927 Nov 2, In San Francisco
prohibition agents raided a brewery at 1407 San Bruno Ave. with
nearly 2,000 gallons of beer brewing in 4 500-gallon vats.
(SFC, 11/1/02, p.E7)
1927 Dock Boggs, singer and
banjo player, released his "Country Blues" swamp music album. It
included the song "Old Rub Alcohol Blues."
(SFEM, 3/22/98, p.8)
1927 French law set the
boundaries of the country’s Champagne region.
(WSJ, 8/12/05, p.B1)
1928 Apr, J.A. Star opened a
bootlegging resort at 3121 E. 12th St. in Oakland, Ca., with the
government’s knowledge in an effort to trap a ring of racketeers.
(SFC, 6/18/04, p.F2)
1928 May 2, In Emeryville, Ca.,
a raid on a brewery next door to the home of Police Chief Ed. J.
Carey uncovered 5,000 gallons of unbottled beer and 3,000 bottles of
beer. Jimmy Reese, star 2nd baseman of the Oakland Coast League and
son-in-law of Chief Carey, emerged from a cottage in front of the
warehouse and demanded to know what the raid was about. Alameda Ct.
DA Earl Warren filed a federal complaint against Carey.
(SFC, 5/2/03, p.E3)
1929 Jan 11, Prohibition agents
in San Francisco seized 1,100 cases of whiskies and 2,000 gallons of
Belgian alcohol worth $90,000 at 1861 16th Ave.
(SFC, 1/9/04, p.E6)
1929 Jan 11, Prohibition agents
in Oakland, Ca., seized 200 gallons of moonshine at a residence at
1942 E. 27th St.
(SFC, 1/9/04, p.E6)
1929 Feb 14, In Chicago the
"St. Valentine's Day Massacre" took place in a garage of the Moran
gang as seven rivals of Al Capone's gang were gunned down. Police
found seven men shot to death in a North Chicago garage. With the
exception of one, the men were working under George "Bugs" Moran, a
well-known bootlegger and gangster, and staunch rival of Al
"Scarface" Capone. Members of Capone’s gang lured the victims into
the garage under the guise of selling cheap alcohol. Then two of
Capone’s men, dressed up as police officers, staged a raid.
Believing them to be real, Moran’s outfit turned over its weapons,
turned to face the wall and waited for the arrest. It was at that
point that the hit on Moran’s men took place. Neighbors heard the
gunfire, but assumed the police were involved when Capone’s costumed
officers escorted the gunmen outside and together, they all fled the
(TMC, 1994, p.1929)(AP, 2/14/98)(HNQ, 2/14/02)
1930 May 26, US Supreme Court
ruled that buying liquor does not violate the Constitution.
1930 Jul 29, The US Coast Guard
towed the Canadian rum-runner Ray Roberts into SF with a cargo of
1,050 cases of whiskey.
(SFC, 7/29/05, p.F7)
1930 In Mexico Pres. Pascual
Ortiz Rubio was wounded in an assassination attempt the day he took
office. From this point till 2000 the sale and public display of
alcoholic beverages were banned during patriotic events.
(SFC, 9/16/00, p.A14)
1932 May 14, There was a "We
Want Beer!" parade in NY.
1933 Feb 17, US Senate
accepted the Blaine Act ending prohibition.
1933 Feb 20, The House
of Representatives completed congressional action on an amendment to
repeal Prohibition. [see Apr 7]
1933 Feb, The US Congress
passed the 21st amendment to repeal the 18th amendment, which
(SFC, 4/7/96, p.B-11)
1933 Mar 22, During
Prohibition, President Roosevelt signed a measure to make wine &
beer containing up to 3.2 percent alcohol legal. [see Feb 20, Apr 7,
(AP, 3/22/97)(HN, 3/22/97)
1933 Apr 7, "Near beer" (3.2
beer) became legal after FDR signed an amendment to the Volstead
Act, which had made drinking alcohol a federal crime. Prohibition
ended when Utah became the 38th state to ratify 21st
Amendment. [see Dec 5]
(SFC, 4/7/96, p.B-11)(HN, 4/7/97)(MC, 4/7/02)
1933 Dec 5, Prohibition was
repealed--much to the delight of thirsty revelers--when Utah became
the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution. The nationwide prohibition of the manufacture, sale or
transportation of alcoholic beverages was established in January
1919 with passage of the 18th Amendment. Prohibition's supporters
gradually became disenchanted with it as the illegal manufacture and
sale of liquor fostered a wave of criminal activity. By 1932, the
Democratic Party's platform called for the repeal of Prohibition. In
February 1933, Congress adopted a resolution proposing the 21st
Amendment to repeal the 18th and with Utah's vote in December,
Prohibition ended. Three-quarters of the states approved the repeal
of the 18th amendment and FDR proclaimed the end of Prohibition.
(SFC, 4/7/96, p.B-11)(AP, 12/5/97)(HNPD, 12/5/98)
1933 Dec 5, SF became a dry
city with the death of Prohibition as the city went under state
license control with no licenses issued.
(SSFC, 11/30/08, DB p.58)
1934 Feb 20, In San Francisco a
fire destroyed the recently opened Anchor Brewing Co. at 1610
Harrison St. The plant specialized in steam beer for which SF
was once famous.
(SSFC, 2/15/09, DB p.50)
1934 Nov 2, In San Francisco a
fight for control of the beer market expanded as brewers matched the
prices of Humboldt Brewery at $1 a case of 24 pints.
(SSFC, 11/1/09, DB p.42)
1934 Dec 20, California’s new
state liquor control law went into effect making it legal to sell
hard liquor by the drink in hotels, restaurants and clubs.
(SSFC, 12/20/09, DB p.46)
1934 John Astor lured Fernand
"Pete" Petiot to the St. Regis in NYC. Petiot had invented the
Bloody Mary (vodka and tomato juice) at Harry’s NY Bar in Paris in
the 1920s. The name was changed to the Red Snapper for a decade and
then back to Bloody Mary.
(SFC, 1/19/02, p.D4)
1934 Lucky Lager was first
commercially introduced. The brand was founded by General Brewing in
California. Lucky Lager Brewing opened a second brewery in Azusa,
California in 1949, and bought smaller breweries in Vancouver,
Washington in 1950 and in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1960.
1935 Jan 24, The 1st canned
beer, "Krueger Cream Ale," was sold by Krueger Brewing Co. of
1935 May 12, Alcoholics
Anonymous is founded in Akron, Ohio by "Bill W.," a stockbroker, and
"Dr. Bob S.," a heart surgeon. [see June 10]
1937 Jul 2, Amelia Earhart and
navigator Fred Noonan left Lae in Papua, New Guinea and disappeared
over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first
round-the-world flight at the equator. The two had set out in
Earhart's twin-engine Lockheed Electra, taking off from Oakland,
Calif., for Miami on May 21. They flew across the Atlantic from
Brazil to Africa, then reached Calcutta on June 17, having made 15
stops thus far. They failed to arrive at their scheduled stop at
Howland Island. Radio operators received messages from Earhart
saying that they had to be close and were circling, searching for
land, but radio contact was lost and the two were never heard from
again. Noonan was alcoholic and had been on a binge the night
before. Radioman Leo Bellarts was the last person to communicate
with Earhart. Errors from the US Coast Guard cutter Itasca were
later identified as contributing to the disappearance.
(SFC, 3/1/97, p.A8) (SFC, 5/20/97, p.A12) (AP,
7/2/97) (SFEC, 7/6/97, p.B10) (HNPD, 7/2/99)(SFC, 7/1/00, p.A1,11)
1937 Jun 16, August Busch III,
CEO (Anheuser-Busch, St Louis Cards), was born.
1938 Aug 16, Robert Johnson
(27), bluesman, musician and king of the Mississippi Delta blues,
died 3 days after ingesting whiskey laced with poison (probably
strychnine). He has 2 grave sites around Morgan City. Columbia
Records issued the first Robert Johnson LP in 1961 titled "King of
the Delta Blues Singers" and "Robert Johnson: The Complete
Recordings" in 1990. His music is on "The Complete Plantation
Recordings" (Chess/MCA). Peter Guralnick later wrote his biography.
His tunes included "Love in Vain," "Cross Road Blues" and "Ramblin
on My Mind." In 1998 the video documentary "Can’t You Hear the Wind
Howl? The Life and Music of Robert Johnson" was released. In 1999
Robert Mugge premiered his film "Hellhounds On My Trail: The
Afterlife of Robert Johnson."
(HT, 5/97, p.41)(NH, 9/96, p.54)(HT, 5/97,
p.41)(SFC, 9/23/98, p.E3)(WSJ, 10/16/98, p.W12)(SFEM, 9/26/99, p.12)
1939 Latrobe Brewing of
Latrobe, Pa., began making Rolling Rock, a pale lager. It was later
acquired by InBev SA. In 2006 Rolling Rock was acquired by
Anheuser-Busch, which moved operations to Newark NJ. In 2008
Anheuser-Busch was acquired by InBev SA.
1941 Liebmann Brewery, maker of
Rheingold Beer, began promoting the beer with pictures of model Jinx
Falkenburg (d.2003 at 84), a Chilean-born actress and tennis player.
(SFC, 7/4/03, p.A25)(SFC, 8/29/03, p.A28)
1941 Frank Schoonmaker and Tom
Marvel authored "American Wines."
(WSJ, 1/23/04, p.W4)
1942 Oct, A US government ban
on gin and whiskey production went into effect.
(SSFC, 7/29/18, DB p.50)
1944 Armand Hammer was granted
a unique license to produce beverage alcohol by the Roosevelt
administration due to its short wartime supply.
(SFC, 1/17/97, p.D7)
1945 Feb 10, "Rum & Coca
Cola" by the Andrews Sisters hit #1.
1947 Jul 4, "Wino Willie"
Forkner (d.1997) led his South Central LA Boozefighters
motorcyclists to Hollister for a weekend of beer-drenched fun. They
were all veterans of WW II. He was said to have been the model for
Marlon Brando in the film "The Wild One." 3,000 motorcyclists
spilled over into Hollister from a nearby racetrack. [see Jul 7]
(SFC, 6/26/97, p.A17)(SFEC, 6/29/97, p.A1)
1948 Michigan passed a law that
prohibited women from serving alcoholic drinks in bars. In was
overturned by a 1971 Supreme Court decision on an Idaho case that
showed discrimination against one gender.
(SFC, 10/12/02, p.A21)
1949 The US Govt. defined
generic vodka as a neutral spirit reduced to between 110 and 80
proof and treated so as to be without distinctive character.
(WSJ, 11/7/95, p.A-1)
1949 In India the Bombay
prohibition act of 1949 stated that even customers must have a
permit to booze.
(Econ, 6/16/12, p.47)
1950-1959 Zambia’s chibuku beer was developed in
the 1950s by Max Heinrich, a German brewer. He ramped the indigenous
home-brew to a commercial scale. In 1999, after passing through many
hands, it was acquired by SAB.
(Econ, 5/31/14, p.56)
1952 Nov 10, San Francisco
columnist Stanton Delaplane introduced Irish coffee to America at
the Buena Vista Cafe at the end of the Hyde St. cable line. He
discovered the drink at Shannon Airport in Ireland, served by Joe
Sheridan and perfected it with the help of Buena Vista owners Jack
Koeppler and George Freeberg.
(SFEC, 3/8/98, p.W30)(SFC, 11/16/02, p.A1)(SSFC,
1952 Kinmen Koaliang Liquor was
founded by a Koumintang general to boost the troops. Kinmen, under
Taiwan, is a cluster of two islands off the coast of China’s Fujian
(Econ, 5/23/15, p.32)
1953 Jan 1, Country singer Hank
Williams Sr., 29, died of a drug and alcohol overdose while en route
to a concert date in Canton, Ohio. In 1998 Mercury Records released
"The Complete Hank Williams," with 225 recordings.
(AP, 1/1/98)(WSJ, 10/30/98, p.W9A)
1953 Jim Beam began selling
special decanters filled with Kentucky Straight Bourbon. Political
bottles were produced from 1956 to 1988.
(SFC, 4/4/06, p.G8)
1953 Robert F. Borkenstein
(d.2002) invented a Breathalyzer to test drivers for alcohol
content. It stemmed from his work with Dr. R.N. Harger of the
Indiana School of Medicine to make the Drunkometer.
(SFC, 8/19/02, p.B6)
1954 Jun 16, In San Francisco
the 13-foot neon schooner atop the new Hamm’s Brewery building at
1550 Bryant St. was turned on. Brewing at the facility ended in
(SFC, 4/10/12, p.E2)
1954 Director Sam Fuller
trekked to the rainforest with a 16mm Bolex, 75 boxes of cigars and
2 cases of vodka hoping to make a film. Producer Darryl Zanuck
called it off. The 1995 documentary film "Tigrero" was made by
Finnish filmmaker Mika Kaurismaki. It covered Fuller’s trek into the
1955 The Old Milwaukee brand
was first brewed by the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company of Wisconsin.
It was the first beer brand launched exclusively as a “popular"
1959 Jan 22, The Adolph Coors
Co. of Golden, Colombia, introduced the aluminum beer can.
1959 August A. Busch, president
of the Anheuser-Busch Beer Co., constructed his elaborate bird
sanctuary in Tampa, Fla.
(Hem., 3/97, p.61)
1959 The West End Brewing Co.,
producers of Utica Club Beer, began running TV commercials in the
Northeast US. The ad campaign included the Schultz and Dooley
ceramic mugs based on the ad characters.
(SFC, 2/1/06, p.G6)
1960 Feb 10, Adolph Coors, the
beer brewer, was kidnapped in Golden, Colo.
1960 May 1, India’s Bombay
State dissolved into Maharashtra and Gujarat. Since this time
Gujarat has a sumptuary law in force that proscribed the
manufacture, storage, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages.
1960 Dec 10, The San Francisco
Chronicle reported that a third of a million fifths of an exotic
moonshine, known as bok chow, were being distilled in Chinatown. A
recent raid at 1555 Mason St. gave up 22 gallons.
(SSFC, 12/5/10, DB p.50)
1963 Jan 11, The 1st
discotheque opened, Whiskey-a-go-go in LA.
1963 In Congo DRC a businessman
sent down a small pipe into Lake Kivu to harness flammable methane
to power a brewery to produce Primus, a light lager.
(Econ, 3/12/15, p.48)
1965 Jack Spicer (40), poet,
died of alcohol poisoning. The "Collected Book of Jack Spicer" was
published nearly 10 years after his death. In 1998 Lewis Ellingham
and Kevin Killian published "Poet Be Like God: Jack Spicer and the
San Francisco Renaissance. "The House That Jack Built : the
Collected Lectures of Jack Spicer was also published in 1998 with an
afterward by Peter Gizzi.
(SFEC, 1/3/99, BR p.3)
1967 Oct 9, The British Road
Safety Act, providing for use of the "breathalyser" (or
breathalyzer) to detect intoxicated motorists, went into effect.
1967 Gablinger’s beer, named
after Swiss chemist Hersch Gablinger, was launched by Rheingold
Breweries. Joseph Owades (1919-2005, brewmaster, developed the
process to remove starch from beer and gave the formula to Meister
Brau. The product failed but Meister Brau was sold to Miller
Brewing. Miller successfully marketed the beer as Miller Lite.
1969 Oct 21, Jack Kerouac (47),
Beat Generation chronicler, died of alcoholism in St. Petersburg,
Fla. He wrote "On the Road," "Desolation Angels," "Vanity of
Duluoz," and "Dharma Bums." Japhy Ryder the Zen hobo-poet in the
book was modeled after poet Gary Snyder. In 1979 Dennis McNally
authored the biography "Desolate Angel." In 1998 Ellis Amburn
published "Subterranean Kerouac: The Hidden Life of Jack Kerouac."
In 1999 Barry Miles published "Jack Kerouac, King of the Beats: A
(SFC, 6/7/96, p.A22)(SFC, 9/1/96, DB p.30)(SFEC,
5/31/98, p.A17)(SFEC, 8/9/98, BR 9 p.3)(SFEC, 1/17/99, BR p.3)(SSFC,
1974 In San Francisco the
Anchor Steam beer company introduced Anchor Porter. It featured a
label by artist Jim Stitt, the first of many that he drew for the
(SFC, 11/21/09, p.E10)
1974 Dr. Charles Lieber at the
VA Medical Center in the Bronx, NY, fed alcohol to baboons along
with a nutritionally complete diet. He found that the animals
developed every stage of human alcoholic liver disease.
(SSFC, 8/23/09, p.K6)
1975 In France Ricard merged
with Pernod, another French maker of the pastis aperitif.
(Econ, 11/12/05, p.66)
1976 May 8, San Francisco
Supervisor Richard Hongisto was slapped with a DUI by a Marin County
judge. His sentence included a $784 fine and a 90-day driving
restriction. A breath test measured his blood-alcohol level at .11,
just abort the .10 limit.
(SSFC, 5/8/11, DB p.46)
1976 Sep 4, George W. Bush
(30), candidate for US president in 2000, was arrested and pleaded
guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol in Kennebunkport,
(SFC, 11/3/00, p.A1)
1978 Mar 31, The SF General
Brewing Company capped its last bottle of Lucky Lager.
(SFC, 3/28/03, p.E8)
1978 Dec 22, Rudolf Slavik,
Czechoslovakia-born creator of the Leviathan cocktail (1934), died.
(SSFC, 12/13/09, p.K3)
1979 Feb 1, US Pres. Jimmy
Carter legalized home brewing.
1980 Aug 14, It was reported
that France’s Moet-Hennessy is buying Schieffelin & Co., its New
York based US distributor. The deal also included the Simi Winery in
(SFC, 8/12/05, p.F3)
1980 Oct 15, An FTC judge
upheld Heublein’s acquisition of SF-based United Vintners, the 2nd
largest wine company in the US.
(SFC, 10/14/05, p.F2)
1980 Pernod Ricard SA acquired
the US bourbon Wild Turkey.
(WSJ, 9/7/05, p.B2)
1982 Jun 10, The Jos. Schlitz
Brewing Company and the Old Milwaukee brand was acquired by Stroh
Brewing Company of Detroit. The Old Milwaukee brand was first brewed
by the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company.
1983 Nov 9, Alfred Heineken,
beer brewer from Amsterdam, was kidnapped and held for a ransom of
more than $10 million.
1983 Nov 30, Police freed
kidnapped beer magnate Alfred Heineken in Amsterdam.
1983 Kingsley Amis (1922-1995),
British novelist, authored “Everyday Drinking," a book cobbled
together from his newspaper columns.
1983 The Mendocino Brewing Co.
became the 1st Brewpub in California and only the 2nd in the nation
to open since Prohibition.
(SSFC, 6/24/01, p.T10)
1983 Vijay Mallya (27)
inherited the UB Group of India when his father, Vittal Mallya, died
of a heart attack. Sales for UB then grew from $100 million to $1.6
billion in 2003. Import duties on foreign liquor of up to 550%
protected his business.
(SSFC, 10/26/03, p.I3)(WSJ, 6/8/07, p.A1)
1985 Absolut Vodka commissioned
Andy Warhol to create a painting of its bottle.
(SFC, 12/10/04, p.D2)
1985 Pernod Ricard SA acquired
the Italian bitters group Ramazzotti.
(WSJ, 9/7/05, p.B2)
1987 Jul 8, Kitty Dukakis, wife
of Massachusetts governor and Democratic presidential candidate
Michael S. Dukakis, revealed she'd been addicted to amphetamines for
26 years but had sought help and was drug-free. She later admitted
to dependence on alcohol, and entered a recovery program.
1988 Pernod Ricard SA acquired
the Irish whiskies Jameson, Paddy and Bushmills.
(WSJ, 9/7/05, p.B2)
1989 Feb 26, Defense
Secretary-designate John Tower, dogged by questions about a possible
drinking problem, publicly pledged not to drink any alcohol during
his term of office if confirmed by the Senate.
1989 Mar 30, "The Heidi
Chronicles" by Wendy Wasserstein won the Pulitzer Prize for drama;
in the journalism category, the Anchorage Daily News won the public
service award for its reports on alcoholism and suicide among native
1989 Nov 6, Kitty Dukakis, wife
of Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis, was hospitalized after
ingesting rubbing alcohol.
1989 Michael Dorris (d.1997 at
52), a Modoc Indian descendent, won the National Book Critics Circle
Award for his work: "The Broken Cord." It described the problem of
fetal alcohol syndrome.
(SFC, 4/15/97, p.A2)
1990 John O’Brien (d.1994)
published his novel "Leaving Las Vegas." It was made into a 1995
film and was the semi-autobiographical account about an alcoholic
who goes to Las Vegas to drink himself to death.
(SFC, 8/20/98, p.B4)
1989 The Patron brand of
tequila was started by Americans John Paul DeJoria and Martin
Crowley. In 2013 Ilana Edelstein, Crowley’s former partner, authored
“The Patron Way: From Fantasy to Fortune – Lessons on Taking Any
Business From Idea to Iconic Brand."
(Econ, 7/13/13, p.77)
1989 In Brazil Jorge Paulo
Lemann and two partners bought the Brahma beer company for $50
million. A decade later they acquired Antarctica, a rival, to become
AmBev. In 2004 a merger with Belgium-based Interbrew created InBev.
In 2008 InBev paid $52 billion for Anheuser-Busch of America.
(Econ, 9/19/15, p.60)
1990 GHB, gamma hydroxy
butyrate, began to be reported as a cause of illnesses. The paint
thinner gamma butyl lactone was being mixed with water and alcohol
that when ingested metabolized to GHB, later called "liquid ecstasy"
or "blue nitro."
(SFC, 1/14/99, p.A16)
1990 Sweden adopted legislation
that lowered the blood alcohol limit for all drivers to .02%. The US
standard was .08%.
1991 Mar 21, Test results
released in Los Angeles showed that Rodney King, the motorist whose
beating by police was videotaped by a bystander, had marijuana and
alcohol in his system following his arrest. President Bush denounced
King’s beating as "sickening" and "outrageous."
1992 May 11, Carlos Herrera
(90), drink inventor (Margarita), died.
1992 In Finland the Wife
Carrying contest was initiated to revive a 200 year old tradition
from when Ronkainen the Robber tested aspiring members of his gang
by making them carry huge sacks on their backs through an obstacle
course. Cash prizes and the wife’s weight in beer was awarded to the
(SFEC, 7/5/98, p.A2)
1993 Jim Koch, founder of
Boston Beer co., the maker of Samuel Adams beer, set a new bar by
creating Triple Bock, a beverage with 17.5% alcohol by volume. In
the early 2000s, Dogfish Head responded with beverages of their own
that went to 22%. In 2009 Boston Beer released an updated version of
its biennial beer Utopias, to date the highest alcohol content beer
on the market. It was 27% alcohol by volume and $150 a bottle.
1993 Pernod Ricard SA acquired
the Cuban Rum Havana Club in a 50-50 joint venture with the Cuban
(Econ, 4/16/05, p.34)(WSJ, 9/7/05, p.B2)
1993 In Germany the
Reinheitsgebot law of 1516 was relaxed to allow foreign brewers to
sell their beer in Germany.
(WSJ, 5/27/98, p.A1)
1993 In Tanzania in a
privatization drive part of the government stake in Safari beer was
sold to a South African company.
(WSJ, 12/10/96, p.A1)
1994 Jan 15, A Hague motorist
with .51% alcohol in blood broke the Dutch record of .47%.
1994 Nov 10, In Russia Colonel
Mikhail Likhodey chairman of the Afghan War Invalids Fund was killed
by a bomb blast outside his apartment. The Fund had been granted
lucrative tax exemptions on the import and export of alcohol and
tobacco with an estimated value of $800 million.
(SFC, 11/11/96, p.A13)(SFC, 11/12/96, p.A11)
1994 South African Breweries
(SAB) moved into the China market.
(Econ, 7/15/06, p.59)
1995 Belgium based Interbrew
bought Labatts of Canada.
(Econ, 12/17/11, p.125)
1996 Jun 10, Rupinol,
(Rohypnol), also known as Rufi, is a drug that causes amnesia when
mixed with alcohol and is gaining popularity among young people. It
is sold over the counter in Mexico and other countries outside the
(SFC, 6/10/96, C4)(SFC, 6/11/96, p.A1)
1996 Aug 27, In Indianapolis 4
police officers engaged in a fight outside the city’s Circle Center
mall. They were off duty and had just consumed a large amount of
beer in the city’s luxury suite at a ball game. They were later
tried for battery, disorderly conduct and public intoxication but
the 1997 trial ended in a hung jury.
1996 Dec 24, In Bogota,
Colombia, at least 37 people were killed. Mayor Antanas Mockus
blamed the violence on alcohol consumption.
(SFC, 12/26/96, p.B4)
1996 Jack Allen Powell, a
Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control agent, authored "A Dying Art," a
history of moonshine production in Appalachia.
(SSFC, 9/9/01, p.A12)
1997 Feb, Ahmed Zayat, an
Egyptian American, took over the Al Ahram Beverages Co. and began to
build a state-of-the-art brewery to produce Egyptian Stella and
Danish Carlsberg Beer.
(WSJ, 4/10/97, p.A12)
1997 Aug 12, From Lithuania it
was reported that the country has become a favorite transit point
for smugglers. Cigarettes, alcohol, home appliances, oil, amber,
gas, cars and illegal narcotics were crossing the borders.
(SFC, 8/12/97, p.A10)
1997 Aug 31, Prince Charles
brought Princess Diana home for the last time, escorting the body of
his former wife to a Britain that was shocked, grief-stricken and
angered by her death in a Paris traffic accident. Princess Diana
(36) and Egyptian billionaire Dodi al-Fayed (42) were killed along
with the car car’s driver in a car crash in Paris while trying to
evade paparazzi photographers. A bodyguard was severely injured but
expected to survive. It was later learned that the driver had 3
times the legal alcohol limit and was driving at about 110 mph.
(SFEC, 8/31/97, p.A1)(SFC, 9/1/97, p.A1)(SFC,
9/2/97, p.A1)(AP, 8/31/98)
1997 Pernod Ricard SA acquired
the Spanish gin Larios.
(WSJ, 9/7/05, p.B2)
1998 Oct 14, Frankie Yankovic
(83), the Polka King from Cleveland, died in Tampa, Fla. He played a
Slovenian-style polka on the accordion with clarinet and saxophone
as opposed to the Polish style which uses the accordion with
trumpets and has a faster beat. His hits included "In Heaven There
Is No Beer."
(SFC, 10/15/98, p.C6)(AP, 10/14/99)
1998 Nov 18, Frederick McPhail
(27), a graduate student from NYU, was found dead in a car in Mexico
City. In 1999 13 current and former police officers were arrested as
suspects in a gang that robbed and kidnapped tourists. In 2000 6
former police officers received sentences as long as 98 years for
the death of McPhail, whom they robbed and forced to drink a bottle
(SFC, 2/1/99, p.A7)
1998 Dec 26, President Clinton,
in his weekly radio address, urged Congress to lower the
blood-alcohol limit for drunken driving nationwide to 0.08 percent
to conform with 17 states and the District of Columbia. The other 33
states have 0.10.
1998 Aug, The Tequila Express
Train began running between Guadalajara and Tequila with a $40 round
trip charge with complementary drinks.
(WSJ, 5/12/99, p.A1)
1999 Sep 23, In Kenya police
reported that 23 people in Embu were killed by methanol liquor
disguised as whiskey.
(SFC, 9/24/99, p.A14)
1999 Popcorn Sutton
(1946-2009), Tennessee moonshiner, authored his autobigraphy “Me and
(WSJ, 3/20/09, p.A12)
1999 The Stroh Brewing Company
of Detroit was sold to Pabst and Miller.
(SFC, 7/2/16, p.E3)
2000 Feb 10, In Russia the
government announced that it would raise the minimum price for a
bottle of vodka by 30% at the end of the month.
(SFC, 2/12/00, p.A10)
2000 May 9, In Kentucky a fire
at the Wild Turkey Distillery caused an alcohol runoff into an
8-mile stretch of the Kentucky River and a huge fish kill followed
(SFC, 5/20/00, p.D8)
2000 Jun 1, Stores across Japan
emptied beer vending machines to comply with a voluntary ban on beer
vending to help reduce alcoholism.
(SFC, 6/2/00, p.B11)
2000 Oct 8-11, In El Salvador a
week of deaths from sugarcane liquor contaminated with methyl
alcohol increased to 51. Bottles of Thunderbolt were suspected to
have been refilled with a mixture of methanol and resold to poor
farmworkers. Liquor sales were banned after 117 deaths.
(SFC, 10/9/00, p.A11)(SFC, 10/11/00, p.A14)(WSJ,
2000 Pernod Ricard SA acquired
the Mexican tequila producer Viuda de Romero.
(WSJ, 9/7/05, p.B2)
2001 Jun 4, In Russia most of
the production of vodka stopped due to the lack of government
stamps, which were ordered to fight bootlegging and boost taxes.
(WSJ, 6/5/01, p.A1)
2001 Jun 14, In Nepal a panel
of inquiry reported that Prince Dipendra was tipsy from whiskey and
high on hashish when he killed his family members Jun 1.
(SFC, 6/15/01, p.A18)
2001 Sep 13, In Estonia the
death toll from tainted alcohol, consumed in or near the seaside
resort of Parnu, rose to 51. At least 85 more remained hospitalized
and methanol was blamed.
(SFC, 9/14/01, p.A32)
2001 The Firestone Walker
brewery relocated from Santa Barbara, Ca., to Paso Robles. The
brewers fermented their ales in used wine barrels.
(SFC, 1/5/06, p.F6)
2001 Pernod Ricard SA acquired
the Polish vodka Wyborova, Czech bitters Jan Becher and Seagram’s
Martell cognac and Chivas scotch.
(WSJ, 9/7/05, p.B2)
2002 Jan 3, Alfred Henry
Heineken (78), builder of a global beer brand, died in the
Netherlands. Freddie designed the green bottle and logo. In 1983 he
was abducted fro 3 weeks and released unharmed.
(WSJ, 1/4/02, p.A1)(SFC, 1/5/02, p.A22)
2002 South African Breweries
bought America’s Miller Brewing for $5.6 billion.
(Econ, 5/15/04, p.64)
2004 Jun 14, The Swiss
parliament voted to end a 96-year ban on absinthe. The green spirit
was allowed back into shops in much of western Europe following an
EU directive in 1981, but it remained outlawed in Switzerland.
2004 Aug, An $11 billion merger
between Belgium’s Interbrew and Brazil’s largest brewer AmBev formed
(Econ, 10/29/05, p.66)
2005 Jul 26, Pernod Ricard SA
said it has completed its takeover of British rival Allied Domecq
PLC to become the world's second-largest wines and spirits maker.
The acquired brands included Ballantine’s, Malibu and Beefeater.
(AP, 7/26/05)(WSJ, 9/7/05, p.B2)
2005 The Russian River Brewing
Co, of Santa Rosa, Ca., introduced its Pliny the Younger beer
in a limited release. In 2010 the triple-hopped India pale ale was
ranked No. 1 by Beer Advocate users.
(SFC, 2/7/15, p.C1)
2005-2008 Follow the reference for a MADD link to
a timeline on drunk driving for this period.
2006 Jun 16, A Russian state
vodka company won Stolichnaya brand rights back from a Dutch firm.
(WSJ, 6/17/06, p.A1)
2007 May 16, Indian company
United Spirits bought Scottish liquor maker Whyte and Mackay for
more than one billion dollars, emphasizing India's growing economic
2007 Jun 19, The European
Parliament decided that if it isn't distilled from grains or
potatoes, it really isn't vodka. It also overwhelmingly approved a
ban on trade in products containing cat or dog fur.
2007 Jul 31, A new study
reported that drinking wine or beer every day increases the risk of
bowel cancer. The British Daily Telegraph reported 35,000 people are
diagnosed each year with bowel cancer and that it kills 16,100
2007 Aug 31, In southern Nepal
tainted liquor killed at least 15 people and sickened several others
on the outskirts of Janakpur over the last 2 days.
2007 Oct 9, Brewers SABMiller
and Molson Coors Brewing said they have agreed to combine their US
operations to create a business that will have annual sales of $6.6
billion and be the second-biggest market player behind
2007 Dec 6, India overturned a
1914 law that banned women from tending bar in New Delhi. A ruling
in New Delhi in January said women could do bar work in hotels and
restaurants, ended a 92-year-old law barring their employment. In
August the Delhi government sought a ban on such jobs for women.
Each of India’s 29 states has its own laws governing the sale of
alcohol, and many restrict women working behind the bar.
2007 Dec 30, In Ohio a drunken
driver went about four miles down a highway in the wrong direction
before his pickup truck slammed into a minivan, killing a woman and
four children and injuring three others. All 8 had been visiting
family in Michigan and were returning to Maryland.
2008 Jan 1, In Mongolia a
government official said at least 11 people died and another 21 were
hospitalized for drinking tainted vodka during New Year's Eve
celebrations in Ulan Bator.
2008 Jan 25, Scottish &
Newcastle, the UK's largest brewer, announced it has agreed to be
bought by Carlsberg and Heineken, for around 7.6 billion pounds.
2008 Jun 9, Budweiser, US beer
brewer, announced that it would go on sale in Vietnam.
(Econ, 6/14/08, p.82)
2008 Jun 11, InBev, the
Belgian-Brazilian brewing giant, offered $46 billion, or 65 dollars
a share, in cash for Anheuser-Busch in a bid to create an unrivaled
global brewing giant.
(AFP, 6/12/08)(Econ, 6/21/08, p.77)
2008 Jul 13, Belgian-based
brewer InBev announced it will buy Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion.
2008 Nov 18, Belgian brewing
giant InBev announced it had completed the takeover of
Anheuser-Busch to create the world's biggest brewer. Beijing agreed
to Belgium-based InBev SA's takeover of Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc.'s
Chinese operations as part of their global merger, but limited
future acquisitions on anti-monopoly grounds.
2008 Tom Gjelton, NPR
correspondent, authored “Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba," a
history of Bacardi rum.
(SFC, 9/9/08, p.E3)
2009 Jan, Liquor company Diageo
PLC signed a long-term lease to build a Captain Morgan rum
distillery in the Virgin Islands in exchange for a portion of the
territory's excise-tax revenue, estimated at $2.7 billion over 30
years. The distillery opened in late 2010 on the island of St.
Croix. Puerto Rico expected to lose $140 million in 2012 as a result
of the lucrative production of Captain Morgan rum moving to the U.S.
2009 Jan, In Sharjah, UAE, a
mob of up to 50 people beat Masri Khan, a Pakistani man, to death
with metal bars in a fight over control of an illegal liquor
business. In March, 2010, 17 Indians were sentenced to death for the
beating. In 2011 the victim’s family accepted over $900,000 in
"blood money," allowing the men to return to their families.
(AFP, 3/30/10)(AP, 7/21/11)
2009 Mar 9, French lawmakers
passed an amendment to ban the sale of alcohol to teens under 18,
part of an effort to tackle the rise of binge drinking in a country
known for a relaxed attitude toward a little libation.
2009 Apr 11, Turkey’s
agriculture ministry said 11 people have died in Turkey over the
past three weeks, including three young Germans, after drinking
2009 May 12, In Utah partitions
known as “Zion curtains" began coming down as a new law came into
effect allowing bartenders to serve patrons directly over the bar.
This ended Utah’s requirement that people who wanted a drink join a
(SFC, 5/13/09, p.A8)(Economist, 9/8/12, p.66)
2009 Jul 1, Utah ditched a
40-year-old requirement for bar customers to fill out applications
and pay a fee to become a member of a private club before entering a
(SFC, 7/2/09, p.A5)
2009 Jul 6, In western India
people began falling ill after a night of drinking tainted
home-brewed liquor. The death toll soon rose to at least 112.
(AP, 7/8/09)(AP, 7/9/09)(AP, 7/10/09)
2009 Jul 20, In Malaysia
Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno (32), a Muslim woman, was sentenced to
six lashes and a fine of 5,000 ringgit ($1,400) for having a beer in
a nightclub in Dec 2007. She would become the first woman in
Malaysia to be given the punishment under Islamic law. Her caning
was delayed on Aug 24 because of the holy month of Ramadan. On Mar
30, 2010, the state's sultan spared her the caning and instead
ordered her to do 3 weeks of community service.
(AP, 7/21/09)(AP, 8/19/09)(AP, 8/24/09)(AP,
2009 Sep 28, In Malaysia news
reports said a judge has upheld a court verdict to cane a Muslim
woman for drinking beer, re-igniting a controversy over Islamic
justice in this moderate Muslim-majority country. The chief Shariah
judge of Pahang state ruled that a Shariah High Court's verdict
against Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno (32) was correct and should stay.
2009 Sep 30, In Arizona a new
law took effect allowing people with concealed weapons permits to
enter bars and restaurants, that haven’t posted signs banning guns.
Those carrying weapons would not be allowed to drink alcohol.
(SFC, 9/30/09, p.A8)
2009 Oct 10, It was reported
that local Iraqi authorities have outlawed alcohol in the province
of Najaf, home to the holiest Shiite city, saying it contradicts the
principles of Islam. The Najaf provincial council's decision
followed a similar measure taken in August by authorities in Basra.
2009 Pete Brown authored “Hops
and Glory: One Man's Search for the Beer That Built the British
Empire," the story of IPA beer.
(Econ, 12/24/16, p.61)
2010 Jan 1, The Russian
government set a minimum price for vodka that more than doubles the
cost of the cheapest vodka on the market in an effort to fight
2010 Jan 11, Dutch brewer
Heineken said it will buy the beer-making operations of Mexico’s
Femsa, the maker of Dos Equis and Sol beers, in an all-share deal
valued at $5.5 billion, excluding debt.
(SFC, 1/12/10, p.D3)
2010 Jan 19, The British
government said it will ban drinking contests in bars and force pub
owners to offer patrons tap water in a bid to help tackle the
country’s boozy culture.
2010 Jan 20, In Belgium the
world's largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, shut down
production in its home country, in an escalation of a standoff over
job cuts with its Belgian workers which is causing beer shortages in
2010 Feb 5, New Zealand
explorers said 5 crates of whisky and brandy belonging to polar
explorer Ernest Shackleton have been recovered after being buried
for more than 100 years under the Antarctic ice. The excavation of
the whisky followed the discovery last month of two blocks of butter
in an Antarctic hut used by British explorer Robert Falcon Scott on
his doomed 1910-12 expedition.
2010 Feb 9, Indonesian police
said 8 people have died after drinking liquor laced with methanol on
the country's main island of Java. The victims had bought the drink
from the same stall on Feb 5.
2010 Feb 24, Germany's top
Protestant cleric, Margot Kaessmann (51), resigned after she was
caught driving with a blood-alcohol level three times the legal
limit, an incident that she said had undermined her authority.
2010 Mar 22, Dubai Media
reported that authorities planned to step up enforcement of a 2003
law prohibiting restaurants from using booze in food preparation.
2010 Mar 25, In Ireland a judge
in Limerick ruled that the city’s 110 pubs can open on April 2
because the city is hosting a major Irish rugby match. This will be
the 1st time that pubs anywhere in Ireland will open on Good Friday.
(SFC, 3/26/10, p.A2)
2010 Apr 8, In Denmark scores
of Carlsberg brewery workers walked off the job after the company
tightened rules on workplace drinking. A new policy only allowed
them to drink beer during lunch in the canteen.
(SFC, 4/9/10, p.A2)
2010 Apr 27, It was reported
that Fritz Maytag, owner of the SF-based Anchor Brewing Co., has
sold the company to the Griffon Group, run by Keith Greggor and Tony
(SFC, 4/27/10, p.A1)
2010 Jun 10, Venezuela’s Pres.
Hugo Chavez said he wants Venezuelans to stop drinking so much
alcohol and ordered the military to crack down on businesses selling
beer on the streets or after legal hours.
2010 Jun 12, In Mexico a
government media tour to promote tourism in the southwest went awry
when machete-wielding Indians briefly kidnapped 13 reporters on the
trip. 15 people trying to film a beer commercial were also abducted.
The indigenous communal landowners were upset that Grupo Modelo, the
maker of Corona beer, had not asked their permission to film the
commercial on their property. They were all released unharmed but
the Indians refused to return cameras and other equipment.
2010 Jul 13, Divers found
bottles of champagne in a wreck near the Aland Islands between
Finland and Sweden. 5 bottles of dark, foamy beer wee later
recovered while salvaging the champagne. The shipwreck was believed
to be from the early 19th century. In 2011 Finnish scientists said
they hoped to re-brew an old ale after studying the ancient beer
found in the shipwreck.
2010 Aug 3, In Nigeria Islamic
police smashed 80,000 bottles of beer in the city of Kano to enforce
a sharia law ban on consumption of alcohol that exists in much of
the country's north.
2010 Aug 21, In Bangladesh at
least 15 people died over the last 24 hours after drinking toxic
home-brewed liquor in the northeast. They had consumed alcohol mixed
with toxic methanol in the Sylhet district late Aug 18.
2010 Sep 5, In Ecuador 15
people were killed and at least seven injured when a drunken Luis
Alberto Hessmer Vargas drove an SUV into a crowded bus stop in the
coastal city of Guayaquil.
2010 Nov 1, British scientists
said alcohol is a more dangerous drug than both crack and heroin
when the combined harms to the user and to others are assessed.
2010 Nov 14, NY Gov. David
Patterson announced an agreement with Phusion Products to stop
shipments into NY state of Four Loko, a caffeinated alcoholic drink
already banned in 4 states.
(SFC, 11/15/10, p.A8)
2010 Dec 23, It was reported
that the first pill designed to curb a person’s urge to have more
than a few drinks of alcohol was undergoing tests in Europe. The
drug (nalmafene) was developed by H. Lundbeck A/S in Valby, Denmark.
(SFC, 12/23/10, p.A2)
2010 New Hampshire boasted the
highest beer sales per person in the US with an average of 32.7
gallons of beer sold per legal-age drinking person. Cross-border
(SFC, 6/25/11, p.D2)
2010 China-based Great Leap
Brewing, a craft beer brewer, first set up shop in Beijing.
(Econ, 9/9/17, p.65)
2011 Mar 15, In Oman Sheik
Ahmed bin Hamad al-Khalili, highest religious authority in the
Persian Gulf kingdom, called for a nationwide alcohol ban and strict
monitoring of health clubs in this Muslim country. Al-Khalili told
state television that "drunk people are unproductive people who sink
2011 Apr 8, According to a
study about one in 10 cancers in men and one in 33 in women in
western European countries are caused by current and past alcohol
2011 Jul 7, In Canada Richard
Oland (69), part of the family that owns Moosehead Breweries, was
found dead in a pool of blood in his office. His body bore numerous
stab and blunt-force wounds to the head, neck and hands. Police said
his son was the last person to see him alive.
2011 Jul 12, Australia's major
alcohol brands launched voluntary health warnings on their labels
targeting children, pregnant women and excessive boozing in a
country famed for its binge-drinking culture.
2011 Jul 13, In eastern England
a powerful explosion at a suspected illegal alcohol distillery in
Lincolnshire killed five men and seriously injured another.
2011 Jul 16, Authorities in
Ecuador banned the sale of alcohol in the coastal municipality of
Urdaneta in Los Rios province after at least 19 people died after
drinking adulterated alcohol. The victims began drinking the alcohol
on July 7. Adulterated liquor was later traced to a factory near
Guayaquil, where methanol was being added to fruity wines. By
September some 51 were dead and 771 poisoned.
(AP, 7/15/11)(AP, 7/17/11)(Econ, 9/24/11, p.49)
2011 Jul 17, Christian
Martinez, an Australian convert to Islam, was pinned down and lashed
40 times for drinking alcohol by a group of 4 Muslim men who broke
into his Sidney home to punish him for breaking sharia law. Two of
the men were soon charged with aggravated breaking and entering with
intent to commit an indictable offense.
(AFP, 7/19/11)(AP, 7/20/11)
2011 Aug 1, In Germany a Berlin
state court ordered breweries to stop advertising beer as something
good for peoples’ looks and health.
(SFC, 8/2/11, p.A2)
2011 Aug 17, SABMiller, one of
the world's largest brewers, said it will take a $10 billion bid for
rival Foster's Group Ltd. straight to the Australian company's
shareholders after the board rejected its offer as too low.
2011 Aug 24, Youths torched a
bar on Tanzania's Zanzibar archipelago in a reported protest against
alcohol sales, the third bar attacked this month on the popular
2011 Sep 14, Kenya police said
two women and 15 men have died since Sep 11 in different bars in
Nyahururu town after ingesting a locally brewed alcoholic drink. 9
people were reported arrested in connection with the mass poisoning.
2011 Sep 21, Australian beer
giant Foster's said it has accepted an improved takeover worth
Aus$9.9 billion (£6.5 billion) from British-based brewer SABMiller.
2011 Oct 3, US whiskey maker
Jim Beam was spun off from Fortune Brands. It planned to gear future
marketing toward women.
(SFC, 10/15/11, p.D3)
2011 Nov 8, Georgia voters in
105 of 127 voted to end a century-old ban on the sale of alcohol on
(SFC, 11/12/11, p.A8)
2011 Nov 8, Washington state
voters approved plans to privatize the states 328 liquor outlets and
open the business to warehouse stores and supermarkets.
(Econ, 11/19/11, p.43)
2011 Dec 2, Royal Bank of
Scotland said it has sold its 918 tenanted pubs in Britain to Dutch
brewer Heineken for 422 million pounds, another step in its exit
from non-core businesses following a government bailout.
2011 Dec 15, Indian officials
said at least 143 people have died after consuming toxic home-made
liquor in West Bengal state. Police arrested 10 suspected
bootleggers. Khonra Badshah, the suspected kingpin behind the
illegal liquor racket that left 172 people dead, surrendered to
police on Jan 16.
(AP, 12/15/11)(AFP, 1/16/12)
2011 SABMiller launched the
world’s first commercially produced cassava beer. It was brewed in
(Econ, 3/24/12, p.67)
2012 Jan 9, Britons were urged
to avoid drinking alcohol for at least two days a week to protect
their health, a committee of MPs said in a report published today.
2012 Jan 16, In India Khonra
Badshah, accused of making toxic home-brewed alcohol that killed 172
people, surrendered to authorities after a month-long hunt by
2012 Feb 8, In India officials
said at least 30 people have died and more are sick after drinking
toxic bootleg liquor made from cough medicine in Orissa state.
(AP, 2/8/12)(AFP, 2/9/12)
2012 Feb 10, Mayor Boris
Johnson said London will be the first city in England to test
electronic monitoring to force persistent alcohol offenders to stop
drinking. The trial program was expected to start later this year.
Electronic devices which continuously monitor alcohol are used in
several US states. Offenders who break their no-drink order can be
sent to jail.
2012 Mar 6, Georgia voters
lifted a ban on Sunday sales of alcohol in 24 of 27 cities that put
the issue on the ballot.
(Econ, 3/17/12, p.33)
2012 Mar 22, Deaths from liver
disease have risen 25 percent in England in less than a decade,
mainly due to increased alcohol consumption, a study revealed.
Alcohol-related liver disease accounted for over a third (37
percent) of the deaths, according to the National End of Life Care
Intelligence Network report.
2012 Mar 23, Britain’s PM David
Cameron announced that the government will introduce a minimum price
per unit of alcohol in England and Wales to tackle binge-drinking.
2012 Mar, Washington state
began auctioning the licenses to 167 liquor stores it runs. By June
1 it will be out the liquor business altogether.
(Econ, 3/17/12, p.33)
2012 Apr 9, Pres. Obama met
with Brazil’s Pres. Dilma Rouseff. She called on the US to invest
more in the world’s 6th biggest economy. Obama confirmed that the US
would recognize cachaca, a sugarcane spirit, as a distinct product,
no longer calling it Brazilian rum.
(SFC, 4/10/12, p.A5)(Econ, 4/14/12, p.48)
2012 Jul 16, In Mali a Timbuktu
man accused of drinking alcohol was given 40 lashes by members of
the Ansar Dine Islamist group.
2012 Jul 28, In Indonesia a
group of 150 youths, some as young as 13 and carrying swords and
golf clubs, raided the De Most bar in south Jakarta late at night,
smashing bottles of alcoholic drinks and damaging the property.
Police arrested 62 people, most of them minors, who attacked the bar
for serving alcohol during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.
2012 Aug 17, In France Patrick
Ricard (67), chairman of the board of directors of Pernod Ricard,
died. He transformed a small firm based on his father's
anis-flavored liquor into a global entity with some of the most
famous names in alcohol.
2012 Sep 13, From the Czech
Rep. it was reported that at least 19 people have died and 24
hospitalized after drinking cheap vodka and rum laced with methanol.
(SFC, 9/13/12, p.A2)
2012 Sep 14, The Czech Republic
banned the sale of spirits with more than 20 percent alcohol content
as it battles a wave of methanol poisonings that has already killed
2012 Sep 24, Czech Rep.
officials said 2 people have been arrested in the wave of methanol
poisoning that has killed at least 25 people.
(SFC, 9/25/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec 20, Philippine Pres.
Benigno Aquino III signed a “sin tax" bill boosting taxes on
cigarettes and liquor. The tax on cigarettes went up more than
(SFC, 12/21/12, p.A4)(Econ 6/3/17, p.16)
2013 Jan 1, In the Philippines
a “sin tax" on alcohol and tobacco came into effect. It had survived
a 2012 Senate vote by a margin of one.
(Econ, 4/16/13, p.86)
2013 Mar 12, Libya’s top
security official in Tripoli said 79 people have died over the past
four days from drinking homemade alcohol, suspected of containing
2013 Mar 17, Libya's health
minister said the death toll from drinking homemade alcohol that
contained poisonous methanol has risen to 87. The deaths were first
reported a week ago.
2013 May 24, Turkey's
parliament passed legislation that would ban all alcohol advertising
and tighten restrictions on the sale of such beverages.
2013 May, Alabama lifted the
threat of prosecution for making beer at home. Home brewing remained
illegal in the state’s dry counties.
(Econ, 7/20/13, p.29)
2013 Jun 1, Iranian news said 6
Iranians have died and 348 have been sickened after drinking
poisonous alcohol in the southeastern Kerman province. Most had
consumed the bad alcohol on May 29.
2013 Jun, Belgium-based AB
InBev bought Mexican beer maker Grupo Modelo, the maker of Corona
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grupo_Modelo)(Econ., 5/9/20, p.23)
2013 Jul 1, In Mississippi it
became legal to make beer at home. Home brewing remained illegal in
the state’s dry counties.
(Econ, 7/20/13, p.29)
2013 Jul 31, Cuba’s public
health ministry said 7 people have died after drinking wood alcohol,
or industrial methanol, they thought was rum. By Aug 2 the death
toll rose to 11 with more than 40 people hospitalized.
(Reuters, 7/31/13)(Reuters, 8/2/13)
2013 Aug 11, Pakistani police
said that 14 people from Christian-dominated slums in Karachi were
hospitalized after drinking toxic liquor last night. 8 died and six
others were being treated.
2013 Oct 19, Police in India
said at least 32 people have died in Adampur village in Uttar
Pradesh state after drinking toxic bootleg liquor.
(SSFC, 10/20/12, p.A6)
2013 Nov 27, In Nigeria Islamic
police shouted "God is great" as an earthmover shattered 240,000
bottles of beer in a widening crackdown in the northern city of
Kano. Alcohol was banned under Shariah law imposed here in 2001 but
authorities had turned a blind eye to its consumption in hotels and
the Sabon Gari Christian quarter.
2013 Dec 21, Edgar Bronfman Sr.
(84), the former Seagram liquor company executive and ex-World
Jewish Congress head, died at his home in New York. He had helped
obtain restitution for Holocaust victims from Swiss banks.
2013 Dec 23, British retailer
Marks & Spencer faced criticism after it emerged that it allows
Muslim staff to refuse to sell customers pork and alcohol.
2014 Jan 13, German antitrust
authorities fined a group of beer brewers a total of 106.5 million
euros ($145 million) for illegal price-fixing between 2006 and 2008.
2014 Mar 6, The Czech
Parliament banned the sale of alcoholic beverages during sessions of
the lower house.
2014 Mar 14, Boston Beer Co.
said that it is withdrawing its sponsorship of Boston’s St.
Patrick’s Day Parade because organizers exclude gay groups.
(SFC, 3/15/14, p.A11)
2014 Apr 2, Germany's antitrust
authority said it has fined a group of brewers 231.2 million euros
($319 million) for allegedly fixing the price of beer, the second
round of punishments it has made in the case.
2014 May 7, Kenya police and
hospitals said at least 63 people have died this week and dozens
more are sick after consuming toxic alcohol.
2014 May 21, A Czech Rep. court
in Zin sentenced 10 men up to life in prison for being responsible
for a 2012 wave of methanol poisoning that killed dozens of people.
2014 Nov 18, British lawmakers
in parliament's lower House of Commons voted to overhaul the
400-year-old "beer tie", under which publicans purchase alcohol
exclusively from their parent company in return for reduced rent.
2014 Steve Hindy authored “The
Craft Beer Revolution: How a Band of Microbrewers Is Transforming
the World’s Favorite Drink."
(Econ, 4/12/14, p.86)
2014 In India some 1,700 people
died this year after imbibing toxic home brew.
(Econ, 2/20/15, p.33)
2015 Jan 11, In Mozambique a
contaminated traditional beer called Pombe killed numerous people in
Tete province. The death toll soon reached 69 with 196 others
admitted to hospital.
(AP, 1/11/15)(SFC, 1/12/15, p.A3)(SFC, 1/13/15,
2014 In India some 1,700 people
died this year after imbibing toxic home brew.
(Econ, 2/20/15, p.33)
2015 Jan 13, In India 15 more
people died and about 90 remained in hospital in the northern state
of Uttar Pradesh after drinking batch of bootleg liquor on Jan 11,
taking the total death toll to 28.
2015 Jan 14, In India
authorities in Uttar Pradesh state suspended 23 officials in a
crackdown on illegal liquor sales, as the death toll among villagers
who drank from a bad batch of cheap alcohol climbed to 38.
2015 Apr 15, In Nigeria a
mysterious disease broke out in Ode-Irele town and soon left 18
people dead. The disease, whose symptoms include headache, weight
loss, blurred vision and loss of consciousness, killed the victims
within 24 hours of their falling ill. On April 20 Nigerian health
authorities said that ethanol poisoning from a local gin may have
been responsible for the sudden deaths. By April 27 the toll reached
(AFP, 4/18/15)(AFP, 4/20/15)(AFP, 4/27/15)
2015 Jun 8, Iran’s health
ministry said it plans to open 150 alcohol treatment centers in an
acknowledgement of the scale of abuse in a country where drinking is
2015 Jun 12, The Iowa Supreme
Court affirmed the right to be drunk on your front porch.
(SFC, 6/13/15, p.A4)
2015 Jun 12, Nigerian health
officials said dozens of people were dying of poisoning from
possibly adulterated home-brewed alcohol, days after they banned
ogogoro (a home-made gin). About 70 people died since May 31 in
(AP, 6/12/15)(AFP, 6/17/15)
2015 Jun 18, In India police in
Mumbai arrested three suspects (aged 30, 47, and 50) following the
deaths of some 41 people who drank a toxic home-made liquor. Police
the next day said eight police officers have been suspended for
failing to stop production and sale of the liquor on their beat. By
June 21 death toll climbed to 94.
(AFP, 6/19/15)(AP, 6/21/15)
2015 Aug 3, Chinese officials
said authorities over the weekend seized thousands of bottles of
spirits laced with chemicals used to make erectile dysfunction drugs
such as Viagra.
2015 Sep 8, Lagunitas Brewing
Co. based in Petaluma, Ca., announced that Heineken is buying a 50%
share in the company.
(SFC, 9/9/15, p.A1)
2015 Oct 13, British-based
brewer SABMiller accepted in principle an improved takeover bid
worth 69 billion pounds ($106 billion) from Anheuser Busch InBev to
create a company that would control nearly a third of the global
market and threaten to dominate the US by bringing together
Budweiser and Miller Genuine Draft. The new company is expected to
be based in Belgium.
2015 Oct 29, Turkish media said
12 people have died and dozens have been hospitalized over the last
three days after being poisoned by bootleg alcohol. Istanbul police
detained 15 people in connection with the production and sale of the
illegally produced raki.
2015 Nov 11, The world's top
brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev clinched a gigantic $121-billion deal
for its nearest rival SABMiller, in the third biggest takeover in
global corporate history. The combined company will be headquartered
2015 Nov 11, Danish brewer
Carlsberg says it will slash 2,000 jobs, or about 15 percent of its
white-collar work force, after posting a 4.5 billion kronor ($650
million) loss in the third quarter.
2015 Dec 19, In Canada Dennis
Oland (47), the son of a wealthy Canadian brewer, was found guilty
of murdering his father following a long and sensational trial in
the eastern province of New Brunswick. Richard Oland (69), part of
the family that owns Moosehead Breweries, was found dead in a pool
of blood in his office on July 7, 2011.
2015 Lisa McGirr authored “The
War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State."
(Econ, 1/30/15, p.77)
2016 Jan 8, British health
officials said drinking any alcohol regularly increases the risk of
cancer, and have issued tough new guidelines that could be hard to
swallow in a nation where having a pint is a hallowed tradition.
2016 Jan 15, British brewer
SABMiller said it will close the only beer factory in South Sudan
due to an acute shortage of foreign currency in the world's youngest
2016 Apr 5, The Indian state of
Bihar completely banned the sale of alcohol in a surprise move,
including liquor at bars and hotels.
2016 May 31, Dubai issued
notice informing hotels that alcohol slaes during Ramadan would be
governed by normal rules, as opposed to limiting their hours.
(SFC, 6/23/16, p.A3)
2016 Jul 17, Police in India
said at least 19 people died and six others were blinded after
drinking toxic bootleg liquor. Another 50 people fell ill after
consuming the home-brewed liquor on July 15 and were being treated
in hospitals in Etah district in Uttar Pradesh state.
2016 Jul 29, Chinese regulatory
authorities conditionally approved Belgian brewer Anheuser-Busch
InBev’s giant takeover of SABMiller, clearing one of the last major
hurdles for the $103 billion deal to go ahead. AB InBev has agreed
to a series of concessions to win the authorities' green lights,
including selling SABMiller's 49 percent stake in Snow Breweries,
China's biggest beermaker.
2016 Aug 26, Belgium-based AB
Inbev said it expects to cut about 3 percent of its total workforce
— equivalent to thousands of jobs — once it completes its huge
takeover of its closest rival, SABMiller.
2016 Dec 18, A Russian
Investigative Committee said that at least 18 people had got
poisoned after consuming a bath lotion containing alcohol in
Irkutsk. Eight of them have died and the 10 others have been
hospitalized in grave condition.
2016 Dec 21, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin demanded restrictions on the sale of surrogate
alcohol. At least 77 people died in the Irkutsk region of Siberia
from drinking bath oil laced with methylated spirit in search of
(Reuters, 12/21/16)(SFC, 12/23/16, p.A2)(Reuters,
2016 Dec 27, Pakistan reported
that at least 31 people have died from drinking tainted liquor over
the Christmas holiday. A total of 19 people died today, and 12 a day
earlier in eastern Punjab province.
2017 Feb 4, Penn State student
Timothy Piazza (19) died two days after falling several times with
toxic levels of alcohol following a Feb 2 Beta Theta Pi fraternity
pledge ceremony. Friends failed to summon immediate help. 18
fraternity members faced criminal charges. On Sep 1, 2017, a judge
threw out involuntary manslaughter charges and felony assault counts
and ordered 12 fraternity members to stand trial on lesser counts.
Piazza had been given at least 18 drinks in less than 90 minutes. In
2019 three former Penn. State fraternity members were issued minimum
jail sentences of one to three months.
(SFC, 5/6/17, p.A6)(SFC, 9/2/17, p.A9)(SFC,
11/14/17, p.A7)(SFC, 4/4/19, p.A6)
2017 Mar 23, Utah’s Rep. Gov.
Gary Herbert said he plans to approve a measure lowering the state’s
blood alcohol limit to .05% from .08%.
(SFC, 3/24/17, p.A6)
2017 Aug 3, It was reported
that Anchor Brewing, San Francisco’s 121-year-old brewery, is being
sold to Japan’s Sapporo Holdings Ltd.
(SFC, 8/3/17, p.A1)
2017 Sep 14, In Louisiana
Maxwell Gruver (18), a pledge at Louisiana State Univ.’s Phi Delta
Theta fraternity, died of acute alcohol poisoning. On Oct. 11 ten
people were arrested on hazing charges related to his death.
(SFC, 10/12/17, p.A8)
2017 Sep 16, In Germany the
184th Oktoberfest opened in Munich.
(SSFC, 9/17/17 p.A3)
2017 Dec 21, In Iran police
arrested 140 of the young partygoers late today in a garden on the
outskirts of Tehran and 90 in the city's uptown while dancing and
2018 Jan 1, In Lithuania a new
liquor law increased the legal drinking age from 18 to 20, banned
alcohol advertising, and drastically curtailed opening hours for
2018 Apr 8, In Indonesia eleven
people died and several others were critically ill after drinking
bootleg liquor in West Java province, days after the death of 24
others from illicit alcohol in Jakarta.
2018 Apr 9, Indonesian
officials said more than 50 people have died in little more than a
week after drinking bootleg liquor in western Indonesia, including
in the capital, Jakarta.
2018 Apr 10, Indonesian
authorities said at least two dozen people have died in the past day
from drinking toxic bootleg liquor, raising the toll to 82 this
month and highlighting how attempts to curb legal alcohol have
tragically backfired. The homemade alcohol had been tainted with
ingredients such as mosquito repellent.
(AP, 4/10/18)(Reuters, 9/19/18)
2018 May 1, Scotland became the
first country in the world to introduce minimum unit pricing for
alcohol n an effort reduce deaths from alcohol-related illnesses.
2018 May 7, A Cambodian health
official said 14 villagers whose sudden deaths were thought to have
been caused by polluted water actually died from drinking rice wine
containing methanol. He said 214 other people from the same area who
had fallen ill were sickened by drinking water that was contaminated
with human or animal waste or insecticide.
2018 Jun 2, China's the Xinhua
news agency reported that police in Fujian province have arrested 15
people suspected of producing more than 55,000 counterfeit bottles
of brands of fine alcohol, which enabled them to sell off poor
quality booze at top-drawer prices. At least two of the workshops
had been operating since 2015.
2018 Aug 3, Netherlands-based
Heineken, the world's second-largest brewer, said it has struck a
deal to expand in China, the world's biggest beer market.
2018 Aug 15, Constellation
Brands, the maker of Robert Mondavi wine and Svedka vodka, announced
that it had invested $4 billion in Canopy Growth, a publicly traded
Canadian cannabis producer.
(SFC, 8/17/18, p.C1)
2018 Sep 13, Archaeologists
reported finding what they believe is the world's oldest site for
alcohol production in the Raqefet cave south of Haifa in today's
northern Israel. The location also served as a burial site for the
Natufian people. Their beer-like beverage may have been served in
ceremonies some 13,000 years ago.
2018 Sep 19, Malaysian
officials said police are investigating a case of alcohol poisoning
that killed at least 21 people, with dozens more hospitalized, most
of them citizens of Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar and Nepal.
2018 Sep 21, The World Health
Organization (WHO) said more than 3 million people died in 2016 due
to drinking too much alcohol, meaning one in 20 deaths worldwide was
linked to harmful drinking.
2018 Sep 22, In Germany the
185th Oktoberfest got under way in Munich.
(SSFC, 9/23/18, p.A4)
2018 Sep 28, Iranian media said
11 people have died after drinking tainted homemade alcohol in the
southern port city of Bandar Abbas. A man and his wife who made the
liquor and their main dealer have been arrested.
2018 Sep 30, Iran's state
emergency services said at least 27 people have died and more than
300 poisoned after drinking bootleg alcohol.
2019 Jan 1, In Turkmenistan a
law took effect forbidding the sale of alcoholic drinks including
beer on trains, airplanes and ferries and at sports facilities. It
also banned the sale of alcohol on holidays when workers get the day
off. The law called for alcohol sales to be banned on Saturdays and
Sundays beginning in 2021, except at bars and restaurants.
2019 Jan 25, It was announced
that Japanese brewer Asahi is buying the beer business of Britain's
Fuller Smith & Turner's for 250 million pounds ($327 million),
in a deal that includes its flagship London Pride.
2019 Feb 9, Indian officials
said at least 39 people have died and another 27 fallen sick from
drinking cheap spurious liquor containing toxic methanol in several
villages in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand states.
2019 Feb 22, An Indian
government minister said at least 41 tea plantation workers have
died from drinking toxic bootleg liquor after receiving their weekly
wages, and 20 are critically ill in hospital after nearly 100 people
drank the liquor a day earlier.
2019 Feb 23, Indian authorities
said least 93 people have died and about 200 people have been
hospitalized after drinking tainted liquor in two separate incidents
in Assam state.
2019 Feb 27, Dutch officials
said that an estimated 90,000 small bottles of Russian vodka, found
last week on a Chinese freighter in the port of Rotterdam, will
likely be sold at auction or destroyed.
2019 Mar 21, The US Distilled
Spirits Council said American whiskey producers are suffering a
worsening hangover from the Trump administration's trade disputes.
2019 May 13, European Union
anti-trust regulators said they are fining AB Inbev, the world's
biggest brewer, more than 200 million euros ($225 million) for
abusing its dominant position in the Belgian beer market.
2019 Jul 2, In Kentucky a
lightning strike set a Jim Beam warehouse on fire and destroyed
about 45,000 barrels of bourbon. The site burned for days and runoff
filled with alcohol and firefighting chemicals bled into nearby
rivers and creeks. The nearly 23-mile alcohol plume moved through
the Kentucky River and into the Ohio River where it dissipated. Dead
fish were found along 62 miles of Glenns Creek and the Kentucky
River. In December the state fined Jim Beam $600,000.
p.A5)(SFC, 12/30/19, p.A4)
2019 Aug 7, Bottles featuring
busty blondes, raunchy taglines and lewd labels were banned from one
of Britain's biggest beer festivals in a crackdown on sexist
2019 Sep 21, In Germany beer
started flowing as the 186th Oktoberfest got underway in the
southern city of Munich.
2019 Oct 1, A report by the
World Health Organization published today showed alcohol consumption
in Russia has dropped by 43 percent since 2003.
2019 Oct 24, It was reported
that Dubai has loosened its liquor laws to allow tourists to
purchase alcohol in state-controlled stores, previously only
accessible to license-holding residents, as the United Arab Emirates
saw the first drop in alcohol sales by volume in a decade.
2020 Jan 17, Spain's Balearic
Islands regional government, based in Palma de Mallorca, passed a
law prohibiting the organization and promotion of pub crawls and
publicity promoting of alcohol sales by means of “open bars" and
2020 Mar 20, Poland's
prosecutor's office said Nearly half a million liters of confiscated
vodka and rectified spirit will be sent to Polish public
institutions in need of disinfectant amid the coronavirus outbreak.
2020 Mar 28, Mexico's President
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said his government will comply with a
public consultation to halt the construction of US brewer
Constellation Brands Inc's more than $1 billion brewery project in
the border city of Mexicali.
2020 Apr 2, Mexico's Grupo
Modelo, producer of the Corona, Modelo and Pacifico brands,
announced measures to suspend production and distribution of beer in
response to the government's decision to halt non-essential economic
activity to contain the new coronavirus.
2020 Apr 3, Dutch brewer
Heineken said that it will suspend production and distribution from
its seven plants in Mexico, in response to the government's decision
to halt non-essential economic activity to contain the new
2020 Apr 12, South Africa,
which has banned the sale of all alcohol and cigarettes under a
coronavirus lockdown that triggered a wave of lootings of liquor
shops, said it had caught police officers who were complicit in
illegal alcohol sales.
2020 Apr 21, Sri Lanka ordered
all liquor stores to close indefinitely as part of its measures
aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus. Liquor stores and
bars were opened April 20 in some parts of the country, after the
government partially lifted a monthlong curfew during which all
liquor shops remained close.
2020 Apr 27, Iran's national
coroner’s authority said that alcohol poisoning killed 728 Iranians
between Feb. 20 and April 7. Last year there were only 66 deaths
from alcohol poisoning.
2020 May 10, It was reported
that a French policeman tasked with protecting VIPs is among five
charged with swindling a Champagne heir out of his bubbly and
fortune by convincing him he had been recruited as a secret agent.
Hughes B pressed for charges in 2012 when his champagne house went
(The Telegraph, 5/10/20)
2020 Jun 7, It was reported
that eight people have died in Mexico's mountain city of Tlapa de
Comonfort, Guerrero state, from drinking alcohol adulterated with
methanol. Last month as many as 40 people died after drinking
methanol in two state in central Mexico.
(SSFC, 6/7/20, p.A4)
2020 Jun 9, The American Cancer
Society updated its guideline on diet and physical activity for
cancer prevention. Staying at a healthy weight, staying active
throughout life, following a healthy eating pattern, and avoiding or
limiting alcohol may greatly reduce a person's lifetime risk of
developing or dying from cancer.
2020 Jun 10, In Cambodia four
people died and 10 others were hospitalized over the last 24 hours
after drinking rice wine that police believe was adulterated with a
(SFC, 6/11/20, p.A2)
2020 Jul 12, South Africa
introduced new restrictions, including another ban on alcohol sales,
to prevent drunks from taking up precious space in hospitals and to
help contain the spread of coronavirus.
(BBC, 7/12/20)(Econ., 8/8/20, p.37)
2020 Jul 31, Indian police said
that at least 21 people have died in Punjab state over the last
three days after drinking tainted alcohol. The death toll was later
raised to at least 69. Local media put the number at 86. Police soon
arrested more than two dozen people on suspicion of selling tainted
(SFC, 8/1/20, p.A2)(SFC, 8/3/20, p.A2)
2020 Dec 10, It was reported
that top executives of Carlsberg, SABMiller and India's United
Breweries (UB) exchanged commercially sensitive information and
colluded to fix beer prices in India over 11 years.
2020 Dec 28, South Africa's
President Cyril Ramaphosa said "reckless behavior" caused by
drinking increased the risk of spreading Covid as he announced a ban
on liquor sales.
2021 Mar 11, Chicago-based
Molson Coors Beverage Co said is has been hit by a cyber-attack that
disrupted its brewing operations and shipments.
(SFC, 3/13/21, p.B2)
2021 May 3, Bavarian officials
canceled Oktoberfest festivities for a second year in a row due to
concerns over the spread of COVID-19, saying there are too many
risks in hosting the celebrations.
2021 May 6, UK government
figures showed that alcohol-related deaths in England and Wales
jumped by a fifth last year to reach their highest level in two