“Booze sales are booming,” read a recent CNN headline focused on a spike in liquor, beer, and wine sales as Americans shelter in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our current moment is just another side note in America’s long, complex relationship with alcohol. Over the years, our Public Programs have explored many facets of this history. Enjoy audio recordings of two past programs below: one that looks into the 18th Amendment and how prohibition changed American politics, and a second that’s a lively panel talk about the time-honored New York City tradition of brewing beer.
Prohibition and the Rise of the American State
January 31, 2017
Experts Lisa McGirr and Eric Foner uncover a more complex history behind the 18th Amendment and explore how American Prohibition served as a period of political coercion that propelled FDR to the presidency and expanded the federal government’s reach.
Beer Appreciation Night: The History and Renaissance of American Brewing
July 10, 2012
Panelists, like Garrett Oliver from Brooklyn Brewery and curators from our 2012 exhibition Beer Here: Brewing New York’s History, discuss the history of American brewing in New York City, home to more than 100 breweries a century ago.
Top image: Steve Brodie’s Saloon, undated photograph. Patricia D. Klingenstein Library.