Prohibition ruined everything. The 18th Amendment was passed on January 16, 1919 banning the "...manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors…” Lots and lots of beer was literally dumped into the Hudson. After extreme public outrage, prohibition was repealed in 1933 but by then it was too late for New York – and American – beer. Only the bigger breweries survived, often by producing other beverages like soda and, in some cases, malt extract which was definitely not intended for illegal home brewing. Throw in the financial strains of World War II and most breweries were forced to cut back on quality ingredients and swap out barley for cheaper corn and rice. The result was the standard issue light American lager that many of us mass-consume on a fairly regular basis.