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David Lissner
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Chicago toasts Prohibition’s repeal

Protesters call for the repeal of Prohibition in the 1930s.

Protesters call for the repeal of Prohibition in the 1930s.

At one minute after midnight, Dec. 5, 1933, Chicago celebrated the ratification of the 21st Amendment, ending Prohibition, with first legal tapping of a beer keg. The event took place at the Bismarck Hotel in the Loop, now Hotel Allegro, where revelers in beer mug-shaped caps gathered in the hotel’s Walnut Room to sing “Happy Days are Here Again.”

On Monday, Dec. 6, the hotel’s Encore Liquid Lounge will host a beer dinner honoring Repeal Day and Chicago’s German heritage.

The five-course, $40 menu will feature beers from local brewers Two Brothers and Metropolitan Brewing, including The Bismarck, a Munich Dunkel brewed by Doug Hurst of Metropolitan and Andy Pishko of Encore, which will be available only at the dinner. Chef Randy Spriggs’ menu, inspired by the 1930s-era restaurants of The Bismarck Hotel features Bavarian pretzels and Dusseldorf mustard paired with Bismarck Dunkel Rye, cold potato salad paired with Krankshaft Kolsch, German lentil soup paired with Domaine Dupage French Country Ale, breaded pork chop, paired with Dynamo Copper Lager and German chocolate cake paired with Northwind Imperial Stout.

The menu will be available all night, but from 6 to 8 pm, Andy Jenkins from Two Brothers and Doug and Tracy Hurst of Metropolitan Brewing will be on hand to talk about the brews, which are much better than the 3.2 beer that would have been tapped in 1933. For reservations, contact Pishko at or (312) 325-7125.

Faith & Whiskey in Lincoln Park also commemorates Prohibition’s repeal with a party on Friday, Dec. 3.

Events begin with a free tasting and informational session from Canadian Club, 6:30 pm to 8:30 p.m., including Canadian Club Sherry Cask (aged first in white oak barrels for at least eight years and then in casks from the Sherry wine region of Spain), Canadian Club Classic (aged for 12 years), and Club Canadian Club (aged for six years). Afterward, Canadian Club shots and mixed drinks will be $5 all night.

The Faith & Whiskey party continues with a Prohibition-themed “Video Power Hour” at 8 p.m., burlesque shows at 10 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. and a costume contest offering $100 in cash prizes to the “Best Female Flapper” and “Best Male Gangster” at 1 a.m. Admission is free.