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.

Eighty Years Ago Today Delaware Voted to Repeal Prohibition


Eighty years ago today Delaware was among the first of 36 states to ratify the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ultimately ending Prohibition and repealing the 18th Amendment. Marking this occasion, the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) released a detailed economic snapshot of the industry’s multi-million dollar impact in the state.
Today, the Delaware wine and spirits industry supports more than 2,200 direct jobs, as well as over 1,700 supplier and ancillary jobs related to the industry, for a total of nearly 4,000 jobs statewide. The industry generates a total economic impact of $431,703,100, a direct economic impact of $203,535,600 and pays more than $163,845,400 in wages to workers each year, according to an economic analysis released by WSWA and prepared by New York-based John Dunham & Associates.
Beyond wages and economic impact, the wine and spirits industry in Delaware generates $48,225,200 in business taxes for state government ($36,963,400 for the federal government) and $15,138,700 each year in consumer-paid state taxes on beverage alcohol products.
“The 21st Amendment paved the way for the creation of the modern three-tier beverage alcohol regulatory system that today delivers the widest variety of products available to consumers anywhere in the world in a manner that is safe, well-regulated, and ensures reliable revenue streams for state and federal government,” WSWA President and CEO Craig Wolf said.
Wolf pointed out that even today in Europe, Asia and Latin America, consumers regularly suffer because of unsafe, adulterated or counterfeit beverage alcohol. He said these issues are non-existent in the United States largely because of the regulatory framework enacted by the states and federal government under the 21st Amendment.
WSWA is the national trade association representing the wholesale tier of the wine and spirits industry. It is dedicated to advancing the interests and independence of wholesale distributors and brokers of wine and spirits. Founded in 1943, WSWA has over 350 member companies in 50 states and the District of Columbia, and its members distribute more than 70 percent of all wines and spirits sold at wholesale in the United States. More information is available at

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