The Past, Present And Future Of American Beer "Prohibition outlawed the production, transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages — but not consumption," Smithsonian curator Theresa McCulla told us. "If you were a wealthy American, you could stock your cellar and still have a pretty good time."

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The Past, Present And Future Of American Beer

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The Past, Present And Future Of American Beer

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The Past, Present And Future Of American Beer

The Past, Present And Future Of American Beer

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/767931432/768000008" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Bottles with beer are pictured in a microbrewery factory on February 28, 2019, in the island of Evia, some 200 kilometres (124 miles) east of Athens. - The microbrewery sector has experienced an awakening in Greece, where demand was traditionally higher for wine, mass-produced beers and ouzo, with producers further spicing flavours up with ingredients such as honey, cardamum and mahaleb. ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images

Bottles with beer are pictured in a microbrewery factory on February 28, 2019, in the island of Evia, some 200 kilometres (124 miles) east of Athens. - The microbrewery sector has experienced an awakening in Greece, where demand was traditionally higher for wine, mass-produced beers and ouzo, with producers further spicing flavours up with ingredients such as honey, cardamum and mahaleb.

ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images

One hundred years ago this month, Congress enacted the Volstead Act — better known as the law that ushered in Prohibition.

The national ban on alcohol lasted from 1920 until 1933 — a so-called "noble experiment" that eventually collapsed as organized crime surged, and even the non-criminals began to willfully ignore it.

In this episode, we explored the history of alcohol in America with Theresa McCulla, the curator of the American Brewing History Initiative at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

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