US: Brown-Forman to celebrate “end of prohibition”

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Brown-Forman is to hold a six-month long celebration of the 75th anniversary of the end of prohibition.

Prohibition in the US officially ended on 5 December 1933 when Utah approved the 21st Amendment to the constitution, becoming the last state needed for a three quarters majority to enact the provision.

The 21st amendment repealed the 18th amendment to the constitution, which on 16 January 1919 outlawed the production and sale of beverage alcohol - except for "medicinal purposes."

Brown-Forman, founded in Louisville in 1870 by George Garvin Brown, survived prohibition when then-company president Owsley Brown I secured one of ten federal licenses to continue to sell its Old Forester Bourbon whiskey for medicinal purposes.

By 1929, all supplies of whiskey made before prohibition had been tapped out and the US government began allowing companies with the special licenses to sell medicinal whiskey and to make new whiskey at a Louisville distillery operated by the federal government.

"Today, Brown-Forman is the only US company in the spirits and wine business that existed before, during, and after prohibition" the company said, and to celebrate this, it will undertake a series of activities to mark the occasion.

Old Forester, Brown-Forman's original brand, has created a gift pack with a prohibition-era replica bottle, and Jack Daniel's has created a two-bottle gift pack, one bottle commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of prohibition and the other observing the 70th anniversary of the re-opening of its distillery.

Paul Varga, Brown-Forman's CEO, will join with members of the Brown family and other company executives to ring The Closing Bell at the New York Stock Exchange on 5 December 2008 - the day in 1933 when national Prohibition in the US officially ended.

Sectors: Spirits, Wine

Companies: Brown-Forman

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