1931: The Era of Blind Pigs, Homebrew and Bathtub Gin
America’s Prohibition Era lends to a surprisingly romantic scene. Think sly wink-and-nods from one dapper, topcoat-wearing gentleman to another; the smoky mood lighting of tucked-away taverns and secretive saloons; jivin’ jazz performances and flappers that would dance and sashay the night away; and the perfectly crafted Old Fashioned cocktail, topped off with several dashes of Angostura bitters.
Here in Utah, we’ve got a booming craft beer and local distillery scene, but we’re still grappling with some inconvenient liquor laws: waiting until 11:30 a.m. for that Bloody Mary, trying to decide what food to order so you can snag that post-workday glass of wine, lugging home 4-percent ABV beer from the grocery store, and so on.
That’s why it’s so surprising to find out that back in 1933, Utahns voted for the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment and national Prohibition. We were the 36th state to vote for national repeal, so—if you can believe it—the decisive end to the 13-year-long reign of Prohibition was all thanks to our beloved Beehive State.
In honor of UMOCA’s 85th anniversary, the 2016 annual gala is taking a step back to UMOCA’s founding year: 1931. A tumultuous time of change, 1931 will celebrate the ambitious beginnings and birth year of one of Salt Lake City’s most precious and enduring gems.