Matt Brewing Company Celebrates Repeal Day
Today is Repeal Day, the day the 18th Amendment was nullified and opened the door to a now thriving alcohol industry.
Nick Matt, Chairman and CEO of the Matt Brewing Company in Utica, talks about December 5th, 1933, the day Utah became the final state needed to create a three-quarter majority and ended the Prohibition era.
"My grandfather had gotten wind that this was all happening," Matt said. "My uncle Frank, who was my father's older brother and worked here at the brewery, went down to Washington to get a license. We had beer available immediately when Prohibition ended. It's kind of a joke around here because we never made beer during Prohibition, but somehow the beer magically appeared when it ended."
That beer was Utica Club, and is still in service today, with nearly the same recipe used 79 years ago.
The brewery was back in business, and just in the nick of time, too. Matt says without the end of Prohibition, business was looking bleak.
"If Prohibition had gone for another year or so, I don't think the company would have survived," Matt said. "During Prohibition, they managed by making soft drinks and other possible products they could make and they just weren't doing very well."
Prohibition lasted for thirteen years and was included in Franklin Roosevelt's 1932 election platform.
One year later, under the newly elected president, the 21st Amendment was ratified and the beer began to flow. For the Matt Brewing Company, it was a life-saver.
"I guess some wise people in Washington decided that the experiment was over," Matt said. "I don't know, people on that day decided, probably across both parties, that they needed to do the right thing for this country. That's a lesson we probably could bring a little of that into force today, too."
So, in honor of Repeal Day, kick back and have a couple sips of Utica history.