Utica Club History Highlighted During Local New Year’s Eve Party
Here's a little history lesson for you: in the 1920s, prohibition swept the nation by storm. It was the ratification of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution - which banned the manufacture, transportation and sale of intoxicating liquors.
It was very hard to enforce. The increase of the illegal production and sale of liquor (known as “bootlegging”), the creation of speakeasies (illegal drinking spots) and the rise in gang violence and other crimes led to waning support for Prohibition by the end of the 1920s. In early 1933, Congress proposed a 21st Amendment to the Constitution that would repeal the 18th. It was ratified by the end of that year, bringing the Prohibition era to a close, according to History.com.
During the time of prohibition, the West End Brewing Company, which is now better known locally as the F.X. Matt Brewery, did everything in their power to stay open and keep operating. In that time, they invented their non-alcoholic beverages. They also invented a malt tonic at the time called Utica Club, which had a disclaimer that read, "Caution: Do not ferment, do not add yeast, or you will create beer." This disclaimer essentially informed consumers how to create beer for themselves.
According to an article recently written by Think NY, Drink NY, West End Brewing Company, was the first brewery in the country to have a license, and the first to legally sell beer at the end of the era.
The Utica PCC recognizes that as a chance to celebrate as we head into the new year.
"That's exactly the reason we chose 'The Roaring '20s as our theme for our annual New Year's Eve party," said Artur Pyrda, president of the Utica PCC.
We have amazing history tied to our community from that time period. We wanted to be able to incorporate that as we head into the next 20s era.
The Utica PCC is located just across the street from the F.X. Matt Brewery on Columbia Street. They are hosting their New Year's Eve party at 8 pm on December 31st. Tickets are $80 for members, $90 for non-members, and is all inclusive. Appetizers, dinner, breakfast, dancing, DJ, and a champagne toast at midnight are all included with your purchase, along with open bar all night long.
"Of course we'll have Utica Club on tap for the evening, just like we always do. It will be highlighted. We have to, considering it was the first beer to be available after prohibition ended. There would be no other way to do it," said Janusz Mozdzen, treasurer of the Utica PCC.
We're heading back in time for our party. It's going to truly seem like you're in the '20s. Our entrance will make it seem like we're closed by police order, when you walk in it will be disguised. We feel so much pride that we're located across the street from a place that holds such a significant role in Utica's history and we'd love for everyone to come join us to celebrate that as we approach 2020.
There's a few different ways you can get your tickets. You can stop into the PCC at 810 Columbia Street in Utica between 4 and 8 pm Tuesday thru Friday, you can call the club during those same hours at (315) 732-0089, or you can purchase tickets online (fees apply.)
You can also click here to get more details about the party. Tickets are non-refundable and are on sale until December 26th.