Bearded Iris Brewing
People Power, an American Wheat from Bearded Iris Brewing in Nashville celebrates the 4th of July, America’s Independence Day. Technically, the United States approved a resolution to separate from Great Britain on July 2, 1776, but it took two more days to truly declare independence. After the July 2nd resolution, colonial representatives became focused on the Declaration of Independence which had already been prepared by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Livingston, Roger Sherman and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson is considered to be the principal author and this group is commonly referred to as the Committee of Five. After two days of debates and revisions, Congress approved the Declaration of Independence making the separation from Great Britain official. To this day, however, experts debate the date on which many of the signatories actually put pen to paper as the document may actually have been signed by some representatives as much as a month later.
Many of America’s early leaders believed that the 2nd of July would become a day of celebration across America and John Adams even turned down initial offers to join celebrations on the 4th. As colonists often celebrated the birthdays of various British kings by throwing parties, making speeches and ringing bells, early 4th of July parties looked very similar except they now often included mock funerals of King George III as a symbol of the end of Great Britain’s stranglehold over the colonies. Philadelphia was the first city to officially recognize Independence Day on July 4, 1777, while still in the midst of the Revolutionary War.
Early festivities looked a lot like today’s celebrations. People decorated themselves and their homes in red, white and blue, held large feasts, drank a few beers, organized parades, played music, held bonfires, honored their soldiers, fired guns and enjoyed dazzling displays of fireworks. George Washington famously served up a double-dose of rum for his men on July 4 1778, Massachusetts made it an official holiday in 1781, and in 1783, Salem, NC became the first town to hold a government-sponsored Independence Day celebration.
As America grew, so did their 4th of July parties and after the War of 1812 the day took on even more significance. It was finally declared a national holiday in 1870 and all federal employees were granted an unpaid vacation. It wasn’t until 1941 that it was changed to a paid holiday.
Today’s 4th of July celebrations rarely take time to commemorate the overthrow of the British monarchy but the spirit of patriotism still rings true. Many cities across the country offer spectacular 4th of July celebrations including New York City whose incredible fireworks show is sponsored by Macy’s; Houston, who puts on America’s largest land-based fireworks display in the country; Boston, where fireworks are launched to patriotic tunes played by the Boston Pops Orchestra; New Orleans, who rings in the 4th with vintage bands and a “Dueling Barges Fireworks Extravaganza” over the harbor; St. Louis, which launches over 15,000 lbs of fireworks every year; Salt Lake City, where the 4th is celebrated western-style with rodeos and country music; and Washington, D.C., which brings in over 500,000 people to the Capitol lawn every year with a dazzling display that honors America.
A few notable smaller celebrations include Bristol, RI who has the longest-running July 4th celebration in the country, held every year since 1785, and Seward, NE who has been declared by Congress as “America’s Official Fourth of July City—Small Town USA”. Nashville also often makes many lists of America’s best 4th of July celebrations with their annual Music City July 4th which includes one of the largest fireworks shows in the country accompanied by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra as well as many smaller celebrations and, of course, a whole lot of great music.
From the Brewer: In honor of Independence Day and all our fellow Americans, this American Wheat, spangled with a generous hop of Mandarina Bavaria, Motueka, and Citra, raises its voice! Every purchase of People Power benefits the ACLU and their voter mobilization initiatives. ABV 4.4%