|Beer tokens, 2013 MI Winter Beer Fest|
That’s a good thing because the more tax dollars an industry pumps into government coffers. the less likely it is to be victimized by crippling legislation. Because of the potential for abuse, alcohol always has and always will be a political football, and short sighted politicians have always shown a propensity for siding with powerful self-serving interest groups. That was the case when Michigan banned the production and sale of alcoholic beverages two years before the passage of National Prohibition. The current tag line for The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s tourism advertising campaign is “Pure Michigan.” An apt slogan for our state back in the early years of the twentieth century would have been “Dry Michigan.”
The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and The Anti-Saloon League at one time were extremely powerful political forces in Michigan and they were instrumental in getting our state to be one of the first to go dry. National Prohibition had, of course, a devastating effect on the entire country’s brewing industry but the destruction it wrought on a national level had a two-year head start in Michigan. That makes what’s happening with the incredible resurgence and growth of craft brewing in our state all the more remarkable.