It seems that the law was very difficult to enforce indeed. In 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt enacted the Cullen-Harrison Act, which legalized beverages containing 3.2% of alcoholic content. Later that year, the Twenty-first Amendment was used to repeal the Eighteenth Amendment which sought to ban alcohol all over the country.
When the Prohibition started, most of these breweries went out of business, although a small number of them bottled soft drinks. Prohibition was a difficult time for people who just wanted to enjoy a cold glass of beer. Consumers had to resort to acquiring bootlegged beer which was often watered down and of poor quality. Interestingly, modern American beer is water down quite a bit in comparison to other European brews.
These weaker beers were aggressively promoted and advertised in the United States and the American consumer has become accustomed to them. Despite the low quality of American beer, the marketing companies were effective at making this brew an integral part of Americans’ lives.
Following the Second World War, many American companies engaged in wholesale consolidation of the American beer market. Brewing companies were acquired solely for their distribution systems, loyal customer base and brand. Despite of the fact that American experienced a population boom in the late 18th century, the number of breweries drastically decreased.