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Prohibition is the act of forbidding something, generally through legal means, but is most commonly used to refer to the banning of alcoholic beverages. At various points in history alcohol (including beer) has been prohibited in some way.

Prohibition in the United States of America[]

Due to the efforts of the local temperance movement, the United States government passed the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, banning the production, sale, and transport of "intoxicating elixirs" in U.S. territory beginning on January 17, 1920. All American brewing came to a halt when Prohibition was imposed, though the temperance movement had already reduced the number of breweries significantly. Only a few breweries, mainly the largest, were able to stay in business by manufacturing near beer, malt syrup, or other non-alcohol grain products, in addition to soft drinks such as colas and root beers. Production and shipping of alcohol was largely confined to illegal operations, which could deliver compact distilled beverages — smuggled rum and domestic moonshine — more efficiently and reliably than bulkier products such as beer. Prohibition was ultimately considered a failure and the Eighteenth Amendment was repealed with the adoption of the Twenty-First Amendment on December 5, 1933. Local regulation of alcoholic beverages does, however, still exist in the United States.

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