9 Fascinating Facts About Prohibition

Can you imagine a world without beer? We sure can’t.

Not only would us wonderful folks at Hop & Wine not have jobs, but what other frothy, frosty concoction would keep us as warm as beer on blustery fall afternoons at FedEx Field? What other than a Port City Porter could quench our thirst after a long day’s work at the office? These questions don’t deign a response, and why? Because thankfully we’ll never have to find out.

And for that, we say to the millions of Americans who suffered through thirteen long, dry years; through the twentieth century Prohibition era, this craft brew’s for you!

  1. Never ever was it illegal to drink alcohol. That’s right. Prohibition outlawed the making, selling, and shipping of alcohol — but never the drinking of alcohol. (I’ll bet somebody, somewhere had a stockpile. Party at John Boy’s!)
  2. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was largely responsible for the passage of the 18th Amendment. In one iconic photo, the organization of Christian women is pictured with a sign that reads, “Lips that touch liquor shall not touch ours.” It was, according to the WCTU, “scientific fact” that the majority of beer drinkers die from edema. Sorry, ladies.
  3. Ever wondered why a speakeasy’s called a speakeasy? That’s easy. These popular drinkers’ havens were, of course, illegal during the days of Prohibition, and to gain entry, one had to whisper a code word (or, speak easy) through a locked door.
  4. There were an estimated 30,000 speakeasies in New York City alone! 
  5. We have Prohibition to thank for the luxury cruise. Before the 1920s, ships were used primarily for transatlantic crossings, but somewhere along the way, someone had a bright idea: Sell tickets; board at the docks; cruise into international waters, and sell beer!
  6. In 1927 alone, Al Capone is reported to have made more than $60 million in alcohol sales. (He also had half of NYC’s police force on his payroll, but that’s another story for another time.)
  7. Supporters of the 18th Amendment even tried to have the Bible rewritten to remove all references to alcohol. Jesus turned water into… cola?
  8. The 21st Amendment was ratified on December 5, 1933. To this very day, the 18th Amendment is the only (of 27) to have been repealed by another. Prohibition ended on this Repeal Day.
  9. What did President Roosevelt have to say? “What America needs now is a drink.”

Sir, we couldn’t agree more.

Wash Away Those Workweek Blues with a Glass of Hop & Wine’s Wine of the Month: CHONO Single Vineyard 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon


It’s FRIDAY afternoon, y’all. The weekend is so close: Can you taste it? All that stands between you and two, sweet glorious days of freedom is what’s left of your to-do list. Soon, it will be five o’clock, and how will you celebrate? With what in your glass will you wash away those workweek blues? (For us, today: A frosty mug of Woody Stout — check the blog next week for a glimpse at the inner workings of Ashburn, Virginia’s own Lost Rhino Brewing Company — but for you…) Might we suggest CHONO Single Vineyard 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon?

Straight from Chile’s Maipo Valley, the medium-bodied red is our wine of the month, and we just can’t stop talking about it. With opulent aromas of red and black fruits, spices, tobacco and sweet toasty notes deriving from the oak, this Cabernet Sauvignon is soft and creamy on the palate, with good volume. This is a well-balanced wine with soft and mature tannins, nice acidity, and a lingering finish.

But with what shall I pair it?

Nothing goes better with wine than cheese.

  • Blue
  • Brie
  • Camembert
  • Cheddar
  • Colby
  • Dry Jack
  • Gorgonzola
  • Parmesan
  • Pecorino
  • Provenzal
  • Roquefort

Okay, except MEAT —

  • Barbecue
  • Duck
  • Ham
  • Hamburger
  • Lamb
  • Pate
  • Rabbit
  • Salami
  • Steak

Or… chocolate! There’s the thing.

Put your feet up. Have a glass of the fruity, spicy, tobacco-y CHONO Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, and ease your way into the weekend ahead.


In 2004, world-renowned winemaker Alvaro Espinoza decided, after having spent several years providing technical and commercial assistance to others, it was time to make his own wine. Espinoza and his partners chose the name CHONO after a little-known people described only by Charles Darwin as “one of the bravest native tribes and the only to resist being conquered by the Spaniards.” CHONO wines take drinkers on an exciting journey through some of Chile’s most interesting appellations; CHONO wines reflect a passion for life; a passion for nature; and above all, a passion for honoring Chile’s rich heritage, and her people.

Each farm is carefully selected, allowing the different varieties to express themselves at their best with all of their varietal character and fruit potential.

Hop & Wine, Out on the Town: Lost Rhino Brewing Company (Ashburn, VA)

This feature is only the second in a new series of brewery tours: Hop & Wine, Out on the Town. In January, we visited Ashburn, Virginia’s own Lost Rhino Brewing Company for a tour and a taste. In the months to come, Hop & Wine columnists will venture to Victory Brewing Company, Dogfish Head, Highland Brewing Company, and many others!

The story of Lost Rhino Brewing Company begins elsewhere… at another, dearly departed brewery that shan’t be named. It was at this other, mysterious brewery that Lost Rhino’s founders, Matt Hagerman and Favio Garcia, met, and it was upon the occasion of its departure from Ashburn, Virginia that Hagerman and Garcia had what they’d soon realize was a brilliant idea.

“Hey Matt, I’ve got a great idea,” Favio said.

Or maybe it happened the other way around.

“Hey Favio, I’ve got a great idea,” Matt said.

“Let’s buy mysterious brewery’s equipment, and make our own beer!”

And so the tradition of craft beer in Ashburn continued…

The partners worked long into the night, through the weekend, and over years to turn their dream into reality. The road was long, and the process capital-intensive, but boy has it paid off. Favio and Hagerman brewed their first batch of craft beer in 2011, and they’ve never looked back.

With the support of a thirsty community, a dedication to “the road less traveled by,” and a commitment to quality of life for all (two-legged, and four-), Lost Rhino Brewing Company boasts a 25-barrel brewhouse with the capacity to produce up to 6200 barrels of craft beer [on the wall?] annually — that’s 12,400 kegs, but who’s counting?

Don’t Drink Macro Beer. Drink Craft Beer.

By now, you’ve seen it: Budweiser is “proudly a macro beer.” It’s not brewed to be fussed over. It’s a beer for people who like to drink beer. “This is the famous Budweiser beer,” the [costly Super Bowl] ad says.

And to Anheuser-Busch inBev, we have just one thing to say —

You mad, bro?


While Budweiser is still the third most-popular beer brand in America (behind Bud Light and Coors Light), more and more beer drinkers are choosing craft over Clydesdale. In fact, a recent study conducted by Anheuser-Busch inBev themselves found that nearly half of all drinkers aged 21 to 27 have never tried the brand.

Oh, how far this self-proclaimed king of beers has fallen, from 50 million barrels sold at its peak in 1988 to just 16 million barrels sold today. Compare that number to craft beer’s 15 million (alongside an exponential growth rate), and it’s clear to see why the macro-brewers are running scared.

Don’t Drink Macro Beer. Drink Craft Beer.


Because it’s made with better ingredients.

That mass-produced, macro beer isn’t exactly known for its organic or high quality ingredients. Tell me, why do you think you can buy a six-pack of those golden suds so cheap? Consider Lost Rhino Brewing Companyinstead: The regional brewery out of Ashburn, Virginia sources supplementary local hops as often as they can. BONUS: They have a vested interest in the community, because they are a part of the community.

Because craft beer can teach you something macro beer cannot.

Just a few months ago, Hop & Wine columnists ventured to Port City Brewing Company (Alexandria, VA), where we had the chance to learn about the history of the brewery; about the process — the craft, if you will — of beermaking; and about the rich beer culture. Betcha can’t do that with a brewing company based in Belgium.

Because you never have to drink the same beer twice.

If you want to be boring, go ahead, drink macro. But when you drink craft beer, you can drink something different at every party, with every meal, and with the changing of the seasons. That’s part of the fun, don’t you think? Expand your horizons. Tantalize your tastebuds. Drink craft beer.

Because it’s good for your health.

That’s right. Craft beer is basically health food. While all beer drinkers are exposed to polyphenols — an antioxidant found in hops that help to lower cholesterol and fight certain types of cancer — all beer is not created equal: Craft beer contains up to 30 times more hops than that macro stuff. Drinking craft beer can also help reduce stress; it has bone-building benefits; and has been shown to help with cognitive function.

To us, the choice seems clear. Drink craft beer.

Drink Beer for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner: It’s Saint Paddy’s Day!

The Feast of Saint Patrick finds its origins (Where else?) in Ireland in the ninth or tenth century, and was placed on the Catholic Church’s liturgical calendar in the 1600s. Once a solemn holy day, March 17 has grown into something much more fun: An occasion to drink as the Irish do. All day long.

Who needs green beer, when you’ve got stouts and ales?


Founder’s Brewing Company Kentucky Breakfast Stout

It’s got breakfast in the title: Why wouldn’t you drink Founder’s Brewing Company’s Kentucky Breakfast Stout for breakfast on St. Patrick’s Day, or any other day for that matter? It’s the coffee lover’s consummate beer. Brewed with an abundance of flaked oats, bitter and imported chocolates, and two types of coffee, this stout has an intense fresh-roasted java nose topped with a frothy, cinnamon-colored head that goes forever.

Second Breakfast

Dogfish Head Black & Blue

Fermented with black raspberries and blueberries, Dogfish Head Black & Blue goes down easy; maybe too easy: The high alcohol content in this Belgian-style golden ale will sneak up on you, so maybe have just one with your French toast.


Water. Drink water.


Bell’s Expedition Stout

Today, the Russians are Irish, too!

One of the earliest examples of the Russian Imperial Stout in the United States, Expedition Stout offers immensely complex flavors crafted specifically with vintage aging in mind, as its profile will continue to mature and develop over the years. A huge malt body is matched to a heady blend of chocolate, dark fruits, and other aromas. Intensely bitter in its early months, the flavors will slowly meld and grow in depth as the beer ages.

Afternoon tea

Water. Drink water. The best is yet to come.


North Coast Brewing Company Old No. 38 Stout

Named for a retired California Western Railroad steam engine on the Fort Bragg to Willits run through the Redwoods, Old No. 38 Stout — a genuine Dublin Dry — is a smooth, firm-bodied stout with the toasted character and coffee notes of dark malts and roasted barley.


Great Lakes Brewing Company Conway’s Irish Ale

This traditional Irish Ale pays homage to Saint Patrick — of course, as all good Irish Ales do — but also to Patrick Conway, grandfather of co-owners Patrick and Daniel, and a Cleveland policeman who directed traffic near the Brewery for nearly 25 years. This sweet, roasty brew pairs best with a well-deserved hot meal after a hard day’s work. (Err, drink.)

Wheat Malts, Saison, and Citrus: There’s No Seasonal Like the Spring Seasonal

Thank Mother Nature, spring has sprung! After too many long, cold, dark months, the days are getting longer. Windows are opening. Grass is growing. Temperatures are climbing.

Beer is flowing. But not just any beer… SPRING beer.

Finally, it’s the season for wheat malts, saisons, and citrus. Oh, the citrus.

There’s nothing better than a great spring seasonal.

Oberon Ale (Bell’s)

Though technically a summer beer, Oberon makes its debut at the end of March, and there’s just no way — no how — you’ll convince us to wait two more months to pick up a six-pack, or to order a frothy draught of this wheat ale fermented with Bell’s signature house ale yeast. Mixed in, you’ll find a spicy hop character with mildly fruity aromas, and the addition of wheat malt for a smoooooooth mouth feel, making it a classic summer beer.

Swing Session Saison (Victory Brewing Company)

Hopped with German and American hops; spiced with peppercorns, orange peel and fresh lemon zest; and finished with saison yeasts, this Belgian-style ale from Victory Brewing Company kicks off the season with citrus swagger, spicy refreshment, and a jazzier than jazzy jolt of joy. Swing Session Saison is just begging for a pint glass, and a patio.

White Ale (AleWerks Brewing Company)

Light and hazy: Just how we like to spend a breezy spring day. AleWerks Brewing Company’s take on a Belgian white ale offers a pungent aroma of coriander and orange peel, followed by flavors of wheat, orange, coriander, and fruit.

Rabid Duck (The Duck Rabbit Craft Brewery)

The Duck-Rabbit’s Imperial Stout is extremely big and robust. This special beer is thick, jet black and oily in texture. Complex flavors of roast malts dominate: bitter chocolate and espresso coffee especially. There is also a very big hop presence both for bittering and for aroma. Sip, and savor. It’s spring!

Ice Breaker (Lost Rhino Brewery)

Oh, how long we’ve waited to do just that. And now, we can. An American-style Imperial IPA, Lost Rhino’s Ice Breaker spring seasonal release is packed with an intense rush of citrus, hop bitterness, and a slowly emerging malty sweetness.

Rubaeus (Founders Brewing Company)

Okay yeah, technically, this is another “summer” beer, and won’t make its debut until April, but it’s too wonderful to leave off our list. Optimizing the flavor of fresh raspberries added at multiple stages during fermentation, this stunning berry red masterpiece is the perfect balance of sweet and tart.

Little Hump Pale Ale (Highland Brewing Company)

This American Pale Ale is meticulously handcrafted for full floral hop aroma and flavor. Brewed with grains from America’s heartland — Simcoe® for bittering, Amarillo® and Cascade (both dry hopped) for aromatics — this beer finishes crisp and clean. Have a few, and your freshly mowed lawn will still have arrow-straight lines.

Always drink craft beer responsibly.

How Does a Microbrewery Differ From a Normal Brewery?

As the term ‘micro’ might suggest, the difference between microbreweries and breweries is a matter of scale. A ‘traditional’ brewery like MillerCoors produce millions of barrels of beer a year. According to U.S regulations, a microbrewery can make no more than 15,000 barrels of beer a year. There are exceptions to this law, but those microbrewers have been grandfathered in.

Microbreweries are primarily known for their “specialty beers.” They are typically small-batch “boutique” beers, which might be made only for a certain season or theme, or designed to showcase special ingredients. Microbrewers also love to experiment with different styles of beer, different ingredient proportions or different fermentation processes. Every day is a delicious science experiment at a microbrewery.

A microbrewery doesn’t get taxed as heavily as bigger breweries, so the character of microbreweries we know and love is preserved. A microbrewery has limited, if any, distribution, generally only though regional distributorships like Hop & Wine. When a microbrewery gets popular and in high demand, they are sometimes picked up by national distributorships, but when that happens they lose their microbrewery classification. If they maintain their tradition of specialty beers, however, they are sometimes known as ‘craft brewers’.

Because microbreweries are so small, their options for getting their names out there are limited. Most microbreweries have a tasting room. If they are ambitious, they are attached to a ‘brew pub,’ a pub or restaurant that’s attached to the brewery so that patrons can get to know and appreciate their craft. The other option is beer festivals. Beer festivals allow microbreweries to seek recognition and set themselves apart. Beer aficionados love beer festivals for the sheer scope and variety of their favorite beverage, all in one convenient location.

Microbreweries have a character and craft that regular breweries just can’t compete with. What’s your favorite microbrew? Or can’t you pick only one?

What Does IPA Stand For?


If you’ve ever had an IPA, you know they can be both strong and bitter. They’re not for everyone. What, exactly, is IPA, and how was it created? Here are the basics.

What Does IPA Stand For?

IPA stands for India Pale Ale. As we’ll see in a moment, India played an important role in the creation of IPA. It’s not the country that invented the brew, though.

How Was IPA Invented?

IPA was allegedly invented by the British during their efforts to colonize India. Again and again, the beer they sent their troops failed to endure the sea voyage all the way around the cape of Africa. Extreme temperatures and prolonged storage without the benefits of refrigeration were less than ideal conditions for transporting beer. As a result, it kept spoiling on the trip. The British had two tools to work with: alcohol and hops. Both of these work as preservatives. According to legend, it was George Hodgson of East London’s Bow Brewery who eventually created the first IPA. It was bitter and highly alcoholic, but it could make the long ocean trip.

Breweries eventually sprung up in more locations. Refrigeration was invented. The original hurdles IPA was created to clear were no longer an issue. IPA has stuck around, however. It has even gathered its own pack of diehard fans.

IPA Today

The IPAs we encounter today are characterized by an abundance of hops. Several varieties of hops may be used at different times throughout the brewing process. Hops affect flavor, aroma, and bitterness. IPAs often smell like citrus, pine, or flowers.

There are three main styles of IPA produced today. They are American-style, English-style, and Double or Imperial. There are also plenty of sub-styles, including Black, Hybrid, Wheat, and Belgian White IPAs. Each style and sub-style has its own characteristics. In addition, many craft breweries have created their own unique twists on the classic. This proliferation means there is plenty of variety in what falls under the IPA label today.

Modern IPAs tend to have ABVs (alcohol by volume) between 5.5 and 7.5 percent. They go well with strongly flavored foods, including salty dishes, spicy curries, and grilled meats. If you’re already an IPA fan, you’ll know what we mean. If you’d like to try an IPA, we encourage you to do so. Find your favorite local brewery and see if they offer an IPA. Just be aware that many who love this style of beer admit it can be an acquired taste!