What is the first thing that pops in your head with the word “Happy Hour “ ?

For many, it’s considered the best hour; a period when drinks are sold more cheaply than usual to encourage people to come to the bar. It is tied directly to the triumphant feeling you get when you realise that the work day is, in fact, over! The best possible period of hours to enjoy more of your favourite alcohol on the half price. Making it to a bar with ‘Happy Hours’ on as it is becomes a grand reason to celebrate and often we realise that we drink too much than the usual during the happy hours. Usually, these golden hours are kept between 5 to 9 pm and is a common technique to boost the sales of the drinks at bars. Considered to be the easiest way of gathering more crowd, the Happy hour is an old tradition which is still adored.

Have you ever thought what brave soul pioneered the way for the rest of us to enjoy cheap beer and cocktails after a long day of reports and meetings?

Well, here is a brief history of Happy Hour!

  • The ideology of happy hours goes back to the early 19th century. The first ever happy hour was registered in 1914 as a form of entertainment program to help alleviate the boredom of the U.S. naval. A typical Navy slang which meant activities like boxing and wrestling matches. Not that these premises did not serve alcohol, there was an organization of Wine messes for the navy.
  • But it wasn’t until the Prohibition era, that the term got associated with the drinking culture. After the 18th amendment was brought into effect the Happy hour movement slowly started evolving. Well, in the initial days there was a drop noticed in the liquor consumption. But soon, people started moving into speakeasies where they used the term “happy hour” as “a euphemism for drinking sessions ahead of dinner in public restaurants where serving alcohol was illegal.”
  • It was only when the 21st amendment was ratified which ended the prohibition era,  the concept of happy hours was restored with the sales and distribution of alcohol.
  • While the Prohibition played an important role in the development of what we know as happy hour, it wasn’t until the 1960s that the term was actually adopted by civilians following an article on military life in The Saturday Event Post in 1959.
  • The civilians slowly started adopting the popular term. Restaurants and bars saw this as a glorious opportunity to scale up their sales.

Right from the origin to its continuity in the bar world, the concept of Happy Hour has been evolving, loved yet also hated. 

A quick fact for all you Happy Hour lovers to remember is that there are several states in the U.S which have long banned happy hours, Massachusetts being the first state to do it in 1984 with the hope that eliminating reduced-price drinks would lead to a decline in the number of drunk driving related incidents.


Happy Hours Evolution 

Post-work drinking has evolved and totally have become a new stress buster trend especially amongst the millennials.

These days, many modern companies and startups are offering up generous office drinking liberties or even sponsoring drinking Fridays/Saturdays for its employees. This new way of thinking about alcohol’s place in the office has allowed for extracurricular drinking to falls both inside and outside the defined parameters of happy hour.

Happy Hours in India

  • Started off as a marketing strategy, Happy hours slowly caught an impressive speed in the hotels and pubs across the cosmopolitans of India.
  • With social media catching pace and the changing habits of urban lifestyle has effected the happy hour concept in India.
  • Menu attracts the majority of crowd. Combinations of food with drinks are the best selling and high profiting ones too.

Even after years, happy hour is still a popular strategy by restaurant owners to pull crowd on especially weekdays.

The next time you are out with your friends. Try to catch up on the happy hour schedule. Why not respect the history of happy hours and pay our tribute to the sailors? Sail away guys!!!