America’s Beer Distributors Celebrate Anniversary of Michigan’s Vote to Ratify 21st Amendment

ALEXANDRIA, VA — On Wednesday, America’s beer distributors will commemorate the 80th anniversary of Michigan’s first-in-the-nation vote to ratify the 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution. Michigan was the first state to ratify the 21stAmendment on April 10, 1933.

On December 5, 1933, Prohibition ended in the United States when 36 states (a three-fourths majority) ratified the 21stAmendment to the United States Constitution, thereby repealing the 18th Amendment which began Prohibition in 1920. For 80 years, the United States and its citizens have benefited from a state-based system of alcohol regulation, put in place following ratification of the 21st Amendment, which gives each state the primary authority to enact and enforce alcohol laws consistent with the desires and needs of its citizens.

“The American system of state-based alcohol regulation balances robust competition with local social norms and community desires, allowing consumers of legal drinking age to have access to nearly 13,000 labels of beer — from small regional craft brews, large multinational labels and imports from around the world — all delivered through a safe, transparent and accountable system,” said National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) President & CEO Craig Purser. “America’s modern system of alcohol distribution works to protect the public and provide consumers with unparalleled choice and value.

“While the federal, one-size-fits-all ‘solution’ of Prohibition proved to create more problems than it solved — like the growth in organized crime and underground black market for alcohol depicted in the Boardwalk Empire television series on HBO and Ken Burns’ PBS documentary Prohibition — the 21st Amendment recognized that alcohol is a unique product that is best controlled by individual states, and it provided a solution that continues to be effective today,” Purser continued. “America’s 3,300 independent, licensed beer distributors — and the 130,000 men and women working in the industry — are proud to partner with states as part of this effective system.”

The National Beer Wholesalers Association represents the interests of America’s 3,300 licensed, independent beer distributor operations in every state, congressional district and media market across the country. Beer distributors are committed to ensuring alcohol is provided safely and responsibly to consumers of legal drinking age through the three-tier, state-based system of alcohol regulation and distribution. To learn more about America’s beer distributors, visit For additional updates from NBWA, follow @MrBeerGuy on Twitter and visit

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