Culture and booze are currently colliding at the National Archives Museum in Washington D.C. From now until January 11, 2016, the museum is hosting an exhibit called “Spirited Republic: Alcohol in American History.”
According to the museum, the exhibit “uses National Archives documents and artifacts to show how government programs and policies changed over time and to illustrate the wide variety of views Americans hold about alcohol.”
Included in the exhibition are interesting historical documents such as the 18th and 21st Amendments (the 18th created prohibition and the 21st repealed it) as well as oddities such as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s cocktail shaker and Prohibition-era prescriptions for medicinal alcohol. Plus there’s a large graphic model showing how much Americans drank throughout US history, so you can see what year would have been the best fit for your drinking habits.
Unlike a visit to some of our favorite breweries, this tour doesn’t end with a tasting section. However, it may encourage you to up your drinking game. As the BBC points out, one of the most interesting revelations from the exhibit is how much alcohol consumption in the US has decreased. Turns out, American booze consumption peaked in 1830 at 7.1 gallons of pure alcohol per person a year. Compare that to the mere 2.3 gallons guzzled today and it’ll finally make sense why we’re so much more technically advanced than our sloppy forefathers.
The exhibit, which began on March 6th, is open to the public from 10am to 5:30pm daily. It’s also free, making it a much cheaper option than just drinking away the afternoon.