Alcohol and Drinking History in America: A Chronology

Anti-Alcohol Sentiment Begins to Increase

1980.

1981.

1982. “For the first time since prohibition, a brewery is allowed to open that not only sells its' beer at its' own bar on premises, but serves food to boot. In Bert Grant's Yakima Brewing and Malting Co., Inc., the Brew Pub is born.”8

1983. The acreage of Cabernet Franc in California tripled between 1983 and 1988.9

1984.

1985. The first Viognier vines (11 acres) were planted in California by Joseph Phelps.12

1986.

1987. The U.S. Supreme Court held in South Dakota v. Dole that Congress could use its spending power to regulate indirectly interstate commerce with regard to alcoholic beverages by making highway funding contingent upon a state's acceptance of a minimum legal drinking age of 21.15

1988.

1989. Dr. Stanton Peele published his highly influential book, Diseasing of America: Addiction treatment Out of Control. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1989.

1990s. At the urging of wholesalers, at least ten states, including Florida, Oklahoma, and Indiana passed laws making the direct shipment of alcoholic beverages from other states a crime.18

1991.

1992. The estimated per capita consumption of beer in the U.S. was 22.7 gallons, ranking it 13th in the world.22

1993. U.S. retail sales of beer topped $45 billion.23

1994.

1995. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Naltrexone for the treatment of alcoholism.26

1996.

1997. The Coalition for Free Trade was established “to legalize direct-to-consumer shipments of wine for out-of-state wineries.”31

1998.

1999. A total of 1,147 craft breweries produced 5.8 million barrels as the craft brewing industry began a period of more stable and consistent growth.

2000.

Twenty-First Century

2001.

2002. The Center for Alcohol Advertising and Youth, a large anti-alcohol advertising activist organization in the U.S., was founded.39

2003.

2004.

2005.

The United States has the highest national minimum legal drinking age in the world48 and the strictest youth drinking laws in the Western World.49

2006.

2007. Absinthe again became legal in the U.S. after almost a centurylong ban. It had become illegal because of its supposedly hallucinogenic properties, a belief which appears to have been promoted by French wine producers who faced stiff competition from the increasingly popular beverage.54

2008. The largest brewer in the U.S. announced that it would stop producing caffeinated alcoholic beverages under pressure from 11 state attorneys general who believed that it constituted a health hazard.55

2009. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) entered into a license agreement to produce a line of non-alcoholic beverages, “MADD Virgin Drinks.” They include virgin cocktails (Mohito, Margarita, and Pina Colada), a virgin Lager & Lime, virgin Red and White, and a virgin sparkling white Wine.56

2010.

2011. Dr. Morris E. Chafetz, the founding Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, died. He was a leader in the field of alcohol, promoted the moderate consumption of alcohol, and led in the humane treatment of alcoholics.59

2012.

2013.

2014. A CNN nation-wide poll of American adults found that 18% believed that the consumption of alcohol should be illegal.67 Not even National Prohibition prohibited the consumption of alcohol; it prohibited the manufacture, transportation, importation, exportation, and sale of alcohol, except for religious, medicinal and scientific purposes. For example, those who had stockpiled alcoholic beverages could legally consume them.

2015. A study by economists found that dry counties have more methamphetamine lab seizures per 100,000 residents each year than do wet counties, suggesting that meth production is more common in areas where alcohol sales are banned. They reported that “Local alcohol bans increase the costs of obtaining alcohol, which reduces the relative price of illicit drugs” and that “Additionally, these restrictions flatten the punishment gradient encouraging individuals who are willing to obtain alcohol illegally to also obtain illicit drugs.68 2

2016. Craft brewers produced about one eighth of all beer made in the U.S. However, their beer sold for over one-fifth the value of all beer brewed in the country. 69

2017. Vineyards in Europe suffered the worst freezing in decades. On the other hand, vineyards in northern California suffered from raging wildfires. 70

2018. French authorities say 66.5 million bottles of counterfeit wine was sold as part of a massive fraud. That’s enough wine to fill over 19 Olympic-size swimming pools. Bottles of cheap wine were given prestigious labels. The fraud was discovered during a tax audit. No one ever reported that their expensive wine tasted like the cheap plonk it really was! 71

Resources

  • 1. History of MADD. MADD website. madd.org/about-us/mission/.
  • 2. Dresty, John. Neo-prohibition. The Chronicle, May 12, 2005.
  • 3. Rum History. Rum Shop website. rumshop.net/rumhistory.html
  • 4. Regan, Gary and Regan, Mardee Maidin. The Book of Bourbon and other Fine American Whiskeys. Shelburn, VT: Firefly Books, 1995, chapter 1 reprinted on Distilled Spirits Council website. discus.org/heritage/spirits/#23
  • 5. Stevenson, Tom. The Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia. London: DK, 3rd ed., 2005, p. 471.
  • 6. Repeal of Prohibition. The Heritage Guide to the Constitution. heritage.org/constitution/#!/amendments/21/essays/183/repeal-of-prohibition
  • 7. History of American Beer. Beer Advocate website. com/beer/101/history_american_beer
  • 8. History of American Beer. Beer Advocate website. com/beer/101/history_american_beer
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  • 10. The National Minimum Legal Drinking Age Act of 1984. https://www.alcoholproblemsandsolutions.org/YouthIssues/1092767630.html.)
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  • 13. Historic Paris Wine Tasting of 1976 and Other Significant Competitions. https://www.alcoholproblemsandsolutions.org/Controversies/20060517115643.html
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  • 28. History of American Beer. Beer Advocate website.
  • 29. Budweiser frogs beat out Smokey in study of kids. San Francisco Chronicle, April 25, 1996.
  • 30. Alcohol Advertising. MARK - Please link to
  • 31. Direct to Consumer Symposium website. dtcwinesymposium.com
  • 32. The Road to Recovery. https://www.alcoholproblemsandsolutions.org/Controversies/The-Road-to-Recovery.html
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  • 34. Morris, Jim. Clinton Signs Tougher Drunken Driving Law: States That Don’t Comply Risk Loss of Highway Funds. 23 October, 2000. CNN.com. website. .cnn.com/2000/US/10/23/blood.alcohol.level/.
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  • 41. RU21 website. ru21.com21.com
  • 42. It’s official: The benefits of moderate alcohol consumption are confirmed. AIM Digest, 2004, 13(3), 1, 10 & 12.
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  • 44. Sideways. Fox Searchlight website. History of American Beer. Beer Advocate website.
  • 45. Cornell University Law School, Legal Information Institute. Grahholm v. Heald. law.cornell.edu/supct/html/03-1116.ZS.html
  • 46. Calif. step closer to AWOL ban. AIM Digest, 2005, 14(4), 4.
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  • 50. Murphy, Linda. California wines beat the French - again. Even after 30 years of aging, state’s Cabernets still tops. San Francisco Chronicle, May 25, 2006; The Re-Judgment of Paris Results in California Landslide. Vinography website. vinography.com/archives/2006/05/the_rejudgment_of_paris_result.html
  • 51. US Congress passes underage-drinking prevention bill. AIM Digest, 2006, 19(3), 8.
  • 52. Rising alcohol levels in wine - is this a cause for concern? AIM Digest, 2006, 18(4), 1.
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  • 55. AIM Digest, 2008, 22(2), 2.
  • 56. MADD Virgin Drinks Coming to a Store Near You. September 18, 2009. NBC40.net. nbc40.net/story/11157903/madd-virgin-drinks-coming-to-a-store-near-you
  • 57. Mediterranean Diet. UNESCO website unesco.org/culture/ich/RL/00394
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  • 59. Langer, Emily. Morris E. Chafetz, authority on alcohol abuse, dies at 87; wife Marion D. Chafetz dies at 86. Washington Post, October 22, 2011.
  • 60. Fricker, Martin. Pill to “beat the breath test”: Fury at claim drivers taking product can pass after drinking FIVE pints. Mirror News (U.K.), August 28, 2012, front page.
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  • 65. Drug Abuse Resistance Education: The Effectiveness of DARE. http://www.alcoholfacts.org/DARE.html
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  • 69. Snider, M. Big beer acquisitions slows craft beer growth. USA Today, March 28, 2017)
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  • 71. Mustacich, S. French wine executive arrested. Wine Spectator, July 31, 2017.

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