How Larger Breweries Managed To Stay In Business During Prohibition

On October 28, 1919, Congress passed the Volstead Act, the popular name for the National Prohibition Act, which prohibited the sale of alcohol. Suddenly, thousands of breweries found themselves in quite a predicament. Their previously legal operations were now forced to adapt or die. Rather than shut down, many breweries began to manufacture alternative products. Yuengling, a Pennsylvania brewery, opened a dairy best known for its ice cream, while Pabst Brewing Company of Milwaukee made a processed cheese called Pabst-ett. Kraft was so threatened by the Velveeta-esque product that it sued Pabst and won. Coors in Colorado became the world’s largest supplier of malted milk, which it sold to soda fountains and candy companies, and Anheuser Busch produced more than 25 different non-alcoholic products, including soft drinks, corn syrup, and frozen egg product. Finally, on Dec. 5, 1933, Prohibition was repealed and the breweries went back to making what they made best: beer.