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Prohibition: 80 Years Later - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Prohibition: 80 Years Later

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No whisky, vodka or beer. It's been 80 years since the Prohibition Era, and this weekend some are celebrating the repeal. 

"I prefer IPA's, if it's crisp, has a great flavor and body to it, the hoppier the better. Ha ha ha" says Siri Preston. Beer drinkers acquire different tastes, but during the prohibition many say they would have drunk anything they could get.

"I probably would of supported the home brewers, and bought their home brews." Siri says.

80 years ago, the very first beverage available was 3.2 percent alcohol beer. In Clay County the rule was businesses had to sell something along with the beer to get their license, so around the area restaurants began to pop up.

"In 1932 I think it went from something like 14 to 37 in two years." March Peihl an Archivist for the Historical Society says. He continues, "Some of them were selling a few burgers on the side but for the most part they were selling 3.2% alcoholic beer."

It's a small percent, but it was a big change.

"My dad was born in 1908, and he told me several times, he said that he was 29 years old when he had his first legal drink in North Dakota, and he emphasized legal." Mark laughs.

Period advertisements trumpeted the availability of a "real" beverage.

"You can see that people were very anxious and very interested in getting 3.2 beer at least. And 3.2 percent beer is pretty thin stuff, we just have to drink twice as much." Mark says.

And to some like Siri that doesn't sound appealing. "I probably would not of been a fan of beer, because I don't like light beers, I don't like any of the domestic lights, so I probably would not of liked beer back in the day, but luckily they've changed the laws and I can drink my IPA's and my porters."

Lucky they can now legally order a cold one, anytime they want.  

It wasn't until July of 1937, Clay County went 'wet' and allowed the sale of hard liquor.

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