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Amana Businesses Celebrate 80 years Since Prohibition Ended

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- Eighty years ago, July 10, 1933, Iowa approved ratification of the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which repealed the 18th Amendment, and thus, Prohibition.

The Amana Colonies pride themselves on heritage. One of Amana's industrial roots is alcohol.

"Wine making has been a big part of the Amanas since Prohibition ended," said Lanny Haldy, Amana Heritage Society executive director.

Haldy said even before the 1920s, the community made wine for the people living there.

"Each adult member, men and women, were allotted a certain amount of wine per week," Haldy said.

That practice ended when prohibition began, but families like the Ackermans picked it back up and have been around ever since.

"I'm 62 and the winery is 60, so you figure it out. We've been at it awhile," Ackerman Winery owner Les Ackerman said.

Since the end of Prohibition, Iowa's wine and spirits industry has grown to a $1.6 billion dollar economic impact, providing more than 10,000 jobs across the state, according to the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America.

"We're a small part of that pie, but we're blessed with a good business," Les said.

Not just wine, but the beer industry has grown in the Amanas and all of Iowa.

"Whenever there is a microbrewery popping up, it just re-surges all that energy into craft beer," said Teresa Albert, Millstream Brewing Company co-owner.

Millstream Brewing Company is Iowa's oldest microbrewery, and the business just keeps growing -- 17 percent last year.

Teresa has to wonder where she would be if things happened differently 80 years ago.

"We are so glad in 1933 that Prohibition was lifted," Teresa said.
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