This is the first post in a series based on my talk, “Did Prohibition Prohibit Cider?”
American cider’s recent resurgence has people asking if it was so popular before, why did it go away?
Most cidermakers will say that Prohibition killed cider. Prohibition is the popular name for the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution which outlawed alcohol production. The story generally says cider was America’s drink, but Prohibition suddenly ended that.
It wouldn’t be until the 1990s, 60 years after repeal, that cider began its current recovery.
This timeline certainly suggests Prohibition ended, or at least interrupted, our cider culture. But it’s not a very satisfying answer. Prohibition didn’t affect our taste for beer, wine, or spirits. So what was going on? Did Prohibition really prohibit and inhibit cider?
Over the coming weeks we’ll explore how Temperance, pests, new apple products, changing popular tastes, market competition, and Prohibition influenced American cider culture.
I hope you’ll come along!
NEXT TIME: Early Americans attempt to keep drinkers in their proper place.