TDIMCH: July 1, 1919

MKE Memoirs

Anti-Prohibition Sign

This Day in Milwaukee County History: The National Wartime Prohibition Act goes into effect on July 1, 1919. The measure was intended to save grain for the war effort, although the act had been passed full week after the armistice was signed. All sales of liquor were ceased on June 30th and July 1 quickly became known as the “Thirsty-First.” What was supposed to be a temporary measure turned into a 14-year-long drought. The 18th Amendment was ratified on January 16, 1919 and took effect one year and a day later.

During Prohibition, many breweries began to make non-alcoholic beer while others began to produce soda, ice cream, and cheese. Some brewers made malt syrup and other products which individuals could use for home brewing. Schlitz decided to produce confectioneries. Many breweries eventually had to close – some forever.

Wisconsin, the nations’ brewing capital was especially hard-hit during the interwar…

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Schlitz Brewery Strike 1948

MKE Memoirs

This Day in Milwaukee County History: on April 26th, 1948, a strike by CIO Brewery Workers in Milwaukee cuts off production of over 12 percent of the United States’ beer supply. Six of the city’s major breweries were affected by the walkout. Bottling house employees of the Schlitz Brewing Company had failed to show up the night before. By the early morning, bottle house employees from the Blatz, Pabst, Miller, Gettelman and Independant brewing companies had joined in the walkout.

The strike lasted a full 24 days. By the end of the first week, local bars and taverns were running precariously low on the product that made Milwaukee famous.

The strike had broken out due to a dispute over wages. The Local 9 of the CIO Brewery Workers Union had demanded a wage increase of $16 per week. The breweries countered with an offer of $5.50. This offer was unacceptable for…

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National Beer Day!

Today is National Beer Day celebrating 80 years since the end of an awful beer dry spell.  Franklin D. Roosevelt came into office in 1933 trying to break the Great Depression that gripped the nation. FDR pushed through congress and signed the Beer & Wine Revenue Act that made alcohol under 3.2% potency legal. Why did FDR want liquor to flow freely… Continue reading National Beer Day!


An Oshkosh Legend Returns

If you find yourself doing nothing on September 22, 2012, I suggest you get over to the Fox River Brewery/Fratellos in Oshkosh for this book signing & beer tasting event. Not only will you be able to buy a book detailing the history of Oshkosh’s breweries, but you will get to taste a beer that shares the city’s… Continue reading An Oshkosh Legend Returns

Breweries, History

History of the Blatz Brewing Company

The Blatz Brewing Co. history can be traced back to 1846 in the young city of Milwaukee. The brewery grew as one of the big 4 of Milwaukee and made significant contributions to the city's beer industry. Unfortunately, pressures of the changing times and competition shut down the brewery and led to consolidation with other big breweries.… Continue reading History of the Blatz Brewing Company

Breweries, History

The Day Beer Returned to Milwaukee

Imagine a Unites States where beer and liquor are illegal. Your favorite brewery has been forced to close down or switch to making sodas, chocolates or other products. The only hard liquor you could wet your whistle with was made in a homemade still and you had to go into a secret bar called a speakeasy to… Continue reading The Day Beer Returned to Milwaukee