This is an interesting piece of history. This piece, sponsored by a trade group of brewers, though I’m not sure which one, whether a national organization or a more local one, something like a New York Brewers Association. It was published today, September 22, 1918, in the time before the passage of Prohibition, in an attempt to persuade citizens not to support the prohibitionists’ agenda and also that brewers were patriotic as World War was beginning. Unfortunately, it didn’t work.
And here’s the article transcribed.
The press has in the past few days given much space to the fact that certain American brewers loaned the sum of $375,000 to Mr. Arthur Brisbane, which sum he used in the purchase of the Washington Times.
In many publications referring to this matter the word “German” is applied to the word “brewer,” and there is continued and persistent effort to create in the minds of the readers the impression that the brewers are as a class unpatriotic. An attempt to create and foster this impression is to give birth to and nourish what is a malicious and cowardly lie!
MORE THAN NINETY-FIVE PER CENT OF ALL THE BREWERS IN THE UNITED STATES ARE AMERICAN BORN. AND IN A VERY LARGE PORTION OF CASES THEIR PARENTS WERE AMERICAN BORN.
What money they have, has been made in American business and invested in America. Since the beginning of the war brewers have been among the largest purchasers of every Liberty Bond issue, the total of their subscriptions amounting to many millions of dollars. They have contributed in large amounts to the Red Cross and other war activities.
Brewers themselves are wearing uniforms of service and the sons and grandsons of brewers are fighting under the Stars and Stripes.
In the many acts of disloyalty discovered by the Department of Justice prior to and during the war, there is not one single instance where any brewer, directly or indirectly, has in any way been found guilty of any act which could be considered disloyal.
Much publicity has been given to the fact that before the war commenced brewers of the country contributed money to the German-American Alliance for the purpose of contesting Prohibition. Not one single dollar was ever paid to the German-American Alliance by any brewer after the declaration of war between Germany and our country, and this fact is well known to every man who has investigated this subject.
It has never been shown that any American brewer has contributed, directly or indirectly, to any dissemination of any unpatriotic propaganda!
A few days ago our President issued a proclamation forbidding the manufacture of beer after December 1st. Despite the fact that this order destroys a billion dollars’ worth of property, it has been accepted by the brewers without complaint, because they realize that in the judgment of our President such a ruling is necessary to the success of the war programme.
Are certain politicians, disappointed in their ambitions, and those who are opposed to the consumption of any beverage with the slightest trace of alcohol so powerful that they can use the horrors of this distressing war to heap odium and disgrace upon a class of citizens whose loyalty, measured by whatever standard, is one hundred per cent. American?
WE ARE NOT MAKING THIS APPEAR IN BEHALF OF OUR PROPERTY OR OUR PRODUCT, BUT AS AMERICAN CITIZENS APPEALING TO YOU TO HELP PROTECT THE GOOD NAME OF OURSELVES AND OUR FAMILIES.