American's have been drinking beer long before the Mayflower arrived in 1620. Native American tribes brewed beer using alternative ingredients, like maize, birch sap and water. When the British settled in 1587, brewing beer was necessary as water was
considered poison. Adrian Block and Hans Christiansen established the first known brewery, in 1612, on the southern tip of New Amsterdam (Manhattan), and the West India Company, led by Governor Van Twiller, built a brewery on Brewers Street in New
Amsterdam in 1632 in lower Manhattan.
Another notable point about this day, which we suspect was not coincidental, was the ratification of the 18th amendment. On this day in 1919, the Volstead Act (known as Prohibition) became a hot topic. President Woodrow Wilson vetoed the initial piece of
legislation because of a technicality, however the House overrode his veto, followed by the senate on the next day. The Volstead Act went into effect in 1920, which prohibited the consumption of intoxicating beverages, and the manufacturing and sale of said beverages. The Act was nullified in 1933.
Today, there are 5,301 breweries in the US and Americans consume over 50 billion pints of beer a year.