Repeal and Decline

[First Beer]
The first post-Prohibition beer in Minneapolis is served at Schiek's Restaurant (45-47 S. 3rd).

On April 7, 1933 the Twenty-first Amendment went into effect, repealing the Eighteenth but allowing those states that wished to keep Prohibition in effect to do so. Minnesota voted to remain dry until January 6, 1934, when real beer began to again be sold.

[Bar Interior after Repeal] patrons crowd in for their first taste of beer in years. . .

In many cases, anxious retailers and regular beer-lovers stood outside their favorite breweries on the eve of Repeal, waiting until midnight when they could again taste the golden brew that they had been denied for so long.

[Gluek's Beer] picking up their first post-Prohibition case of Gluek's. . .

The years following Repeal were tough ones for many breweries. New federal laws severely restricted their operations. Additionally, many that had converted to soft drink production found themselves with outdated brewing equipment.

Competition was also a major factor in determining the lifespan of many smaller breweries. As transportation networks improved through the establishment of the interstate system, and with the growth of national advertising--especially through television--the largest breweries were situated to establish themselves nationally, controlling an ever-increasing part of the industry. Indeed, while the market for beer continued to grow, the number of controlling interests shrank as mergers and acquisitions forced the small, regional breweries to shut down or turn over their operations to the big, mainstream corporations. By 1970 there were only 154 breweries operating in the entire United States (down from 220 only eight years earlier). Five years later, only 54 brewers were producing beer in 100 different breweries. The net effect of this was to eliminate any really unique brews, as marketing strategists continued to claim that Americans wanted light, bland pilsner beer.

A New Revolution