December 1933

21st Amendment Ratified, Prohibition Ended


December 5, 2017 marks 84 years since the United States ratified the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and paved the way for the modern three-tier beverage alcohol system.

Okrent Addresses Attendees During WSWA 68th Annual Convention & Exposition


Orlando, Fla.—Daniel Okrent, author, editor and actor, addressed attendees of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) 68th Annual Convention & Exposition. As the author of the recently published Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition (2010), Okrent gave a unique perspective of how the repeal of Prohibition in 1933 with the ratification of the 21st Amendment led to the evolution of the modern alcohol distribution system.
“Okrent’s unique perspective on Prohibition and the background of the details leading up to the three-tier distribution system was fascinating,” WSWA President and CEO Craig Wolf said. “His speech this morning just reinforced the important role wholesalers have in getting product into the hands of consumers.” 
Okrent talked about the reason the United States adopted prohibition, why it failed and lessons learned. For more on Okrent’s presentation, visit Okrent’s 40-year career has encompassed nearly every form of mass media. In book publishing, he was an editor at Knopf, Viking and Harcourt. He founded the award-winning New England Monthly and was editor of Esquire Magazine and chief editor of the monthly Life Magazine. Okrent was also the first public editor of the New York Times. He has appeared as an expert commentator on many television network shows and was featured in the Ken Burns documentary, Baseball.
Competitions have also been a main attraction at the convention. The Wine & Spirits Tasting Competition sponsored by The Tasting Panel magazine on Sunday selected double gold, gold and silver winners in a blind tasting of wine and spirits labels. Today, the top three cocktails were chosen in the “Call for Cocktails”: Mixology Competition, also sponsored by The Tasting Panel magazine. Judges for both competitions included acclaimed sommeliers and spirits professionals: Derek Brown, Cheryl Charming, Aidan Demarest, Ava Kopieczek, Jonathan Pogash, Todd Thrasher, Ann Tuennerman, Paul Tuennerman, Jenny Benzie, Roberto Colombi, Cara Crown, Lyn Farmer, Scott Greenberg, Tim McDonald, Justin Wilson, Yusuf Yildiz and The Tasting Panel magazine’s Meridith May. The best in show winners of the Wine & Spirits Competition and the winners of the Mixology Competition will be released tomorrow, and the complete list of all winners from the Wine & Spirits Competition will be posted tomorrow to our convention blog at
Also today, the new Wholesaler “Iron Mixologist” Competition attracted an audience as mixologists from WSWA member companies mixed their latest creations for a group of judges from the wine and spirits industry: Kit Codik of, Tobin Ellis of BarMagic, Camper English of and Eric Gladstone of The Tasting Panel magazine. The complete list of winners will be posted tomorrow to our convention blog at 
For more information about the WSWA 68th Annual Convention & Exposition, visit, Facebook (, Twitter ( Blog ( and YouTube (

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