Most Americans see the Labor Day weekend as the last long weekend that we spend saying goodbye to summer. It’s a time for one last family barbecue, one last swim in the pool, or one last road trip before we send the kids back to school and go back to the routines of work for the rest of the year (or at least until Thanksgiving). However, looking back at its history, Labor Day is more than just summer’s last hurrah; rather, it’s a celebration of the contributions and achievements of the hard-working American men and women that have helped make our country so wonderful.   

Immigrants arriving in America in the late 19th century.

At the height of the Industrial Revolution in the late 19th century, men, women and even children as young as five years old worked 12-hours a day, every day of the week, just to make enough money to scratch by. Most of these people were also recent immigrants and very poor, and as a result, they often took jobs in factories and mines throughout America often working in extremely unsafe working conditions with little or no access to fresh air, sanitary facilities or breaks.

Breaker boys who worked in the Pennsylvania mines, some as young as 5 years old.

Enter labor unions that grew more powerful as factories took the place of farms as the main source of income for most American families and it didn’t take long for them to start organizing protests against poor working conditions and force employers to provide better hours and better pay.

It also didn’t take long for these events to turn violent like they did during the notorious 1886 Haymarket Riot when many Chicago policemen and workers were killed. It was also around this time that the first Labor Day Parade took place in New York City when, on September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took time off of work without pay to march from City Hall to Union Square – a day that would lead to the creation of a “workingmen’s holiday,” celebrated on the first Monday in September in many states. Congress would go on to make it a federal holiday 12 years later in 1894, but only after  a watershed moment happened that would bring workers rights directly into the public conscience.

1886 Haymarket Riot

On Friday, May 11, 1894, workers at Chicago’s Pullman Palace Car Company went on strike to protest wage cuts and the firing of their union representatives. Over a month later, with protest continuing, Eugene V. Debs, a prominent leader in the American Railroad Union, would call for a boycott of all Pullman railways cars. The boycott left American railways incapacitated. Trying to quell the protest, the federal government sent military troops into Chicago, only adding fuel to the fire that cause a firestorm of riots and resulted in more than a dozen workers dead.

A train destroyed during the Pullman Strikes

As the smoke cleared, Congress passed an act making Labor Day a federal holiday in the District of Columbia in an attempt to repair ties with American workers. U.S. President Grover Cleveland signed it into law on June 28, 1894.

We still celebrate Labor Day 126 years later in cities and towns all across the United States with parades, picnics, barbecues, fireworks displays and other public gatherings. So, if you’re one of those hard-working men and women who help make this country great, enjoy your day by barbecuing, road tripping or even just sitting home relaxing and sipping on a nice, cold beer to celebrate.

That’s right. Treat yourself to a pint of your favorite oat soda, because not only is today Labor Day, but it also happens to be National Beer Lovers Day! And is there really anything that pairs more perfectly with Labor Day than National Beer Lovers Day?

Looking for ideas to quench that hard-working thirst of yours? How about trying one of those new pecan brews everybody’s talking about these days? (C’mon, we’re Stuckey’s! What else would you expect besides pecans?). Here’s a few that’ll wet your whistle:

Abita Pecan Ale

Brewed with pale, Munich, biscuit and caramel malts, and Willamette hops,  Abita’s Pecan Ale is made with real Louisiana roasted pecans that are added in the brewhouse, giving this ale a subtle, nutty flavor and aroma, not to mention a great taste!

The Dudes’ Grandma’s Pecan Brown

Grandma knows best and her Pecan Brown Ale is an English Style Brown Ale that hits you upside the head with a nose chock-full of toasted pecans followed by a rich, full bodied finish.  This one will have you coming back for seconds, just like Grandma’s pecan pie.  

Abita Bourbon Street Maple Pecan

Another great one from Abita, this Bourbon Street Maple Pecan brew is a nut brown ale with a combination of pale, Munich, biscuit, and caramel malts aged in Bourbon barrels for 8 weeks with roasted pecans and maple syrup added in the brewhouse to give this brew its sweet, nutty taste and full body.

O’Connor Winter Pecan Porter

A traditional English-style Porter, the Winter Pecan Porter is infused with Toasted Pecans, giving it a full-bodied, semi-sweet flavor that finishes off with hints of toasted pecans. It’s called Winter Pecan Porter because it’s the perfect brew for winter months.

High Water Sugaree Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie

High Water Brewing outdid themselves with this delicious ale brewed with Vermont maple sugar, Bourbon barrel oak chips and pecans. You’ll wish Grandma put all of these flavours in her famous Thanksgiving pie. In the meantime, sit back, relax and enjoy a wonderful bottle of liquid love known as Sugaree Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie.

So, there you have the finest pecan brews in the country to help you celebrate Labor Day.

Remember, if you’re 21 or older, enjoy your pecan adult beverages responsibly and please don’t drink and drive.

If you’re under 21 or a teetotaler, why not stop by Stuckey’s for one of their delicious pecan shakes?

Why your there, why not pick up some of Stuckey’s Pecan rolls – now in a whopping 10 oz. version –  or any of our other fine pecan candies to take to the folks back home? After all, they make great gifts and Christmas is only 109 days away.

And don’t forget there’s still time to grab a Stuckey’s t-shirt from our website during our Labor Day sale. Offer ends at 11:59 p.m. Labor Day, Monday September 7, 2020.

 Then stop by one of Stuckey’s locations near you or visit us on the web and we’ll deliver Stuckey’s pecan log roll and other unique treats right to your door.

Stuckey’s – your hard-working highway stop since 1937!

Have a Happy and Safe Labor Day!