Rich Wagner’s Beer Appreciation Class Presentation on the History of Prohibition in Philadelphia

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April 6, 2006 — the 73rd anniversary of the last day of Prohibition

Rich Wagner from Pennsylvania Brewery Historians gave a private lecture to the class on the heritage of brewing in the Philadelphia area, and how at least a few local breweries survived during the time of Prohibition. Some breweries switched to soft drinks or “non-alcoholic malt alternatives,” while other breweries closed and never reopened. Rich WagnerRich read historical newspaper stories on how brewers tried to out-fox the Feds. Sometimes full beer trucks loaded only with water as a decoy were seized. At other times, local police “helped” local distribution using their police wagons.

Rich shared period photographs of the old breweries and period beer labels with references to alcohol crossed out. After a fascinating lecture, he joined the class for a tasting of some older style local brews including Victory Lager. Learn more about Rich and the Pennsylvania Brewery Historians at his website and catch one of his presentations at Yards Brewing and other local venues.