Counting Down to April 7, the Anniversary of the Return of Legal Beer
April 3, 1933: Wisconsin newspaper reporter Lionel C. Moise sat down in front of a microphone at a radio station in Milwaukee. (Remember: it’s 1933; no commercial television yet. You want mass media? You got radio.) Live, and on the air — and for the “edification” of the nation’s youth who had suffered the misfortune of reaching adulthood “during the arid years” — Moise was ready to describe and assess the “stimulation and flavor” of the “new” 3.2% beer versus old, pre-prohibition lager.
Like any good reporter, Moise had done his homework. He’d signed on as a temporary assistant brewmaster at a local brewery so that he could “scientifically” test the beer’s content. He also downed “sufficient cubic centimeters to equal” six 8-ounce glasses of beer, after which hard labor he stopped to “ponder the result.” Now he was ready to share his findings with a radio audience.
It’s not clear if Moise enhanced the broadcast by sipping, smacking, and swallowing his way through a re-enactment of his previous research — but he did render a verdict. 3.2% beer, Moise announced, “is all that has been promised — and more.” “It is agreeably surprising,” containing both the flavor and “stimulation” of lagers brewed during the “pre-drought days.” “Two quarts,” he added, “made me pleasantly light, but not giddy.” To which the no-doubt envious audience added: “Nice work if you can get it.”
Sources: Milwaukee Sentinel, “Layman’s Beer Verdict Heard on Radio Today,” April 3, 1933, p. 1 and “Radio World ‘Tastes’ Brew,” April 4, 1933, p. 3.