In the state of Massachusetts, a “Fifteen Gallon Law” was enacted in 1838 as an early attempt to limit alcohol sales and consumption. This odd law stated that people had to purchase at least 15 gallons of spirits at a time, which was much too expensive for the average Joe.
People found lots of ways around this law, but the most amusing way that enterprising retailers worked around it was a ruse called the “striped pig.” They would put a striped pig – a regular pig with paint on it – on display and charge a small admission fee. Those who paid admission were given a “free” sample of liquor. Since the booze hadn’t technically been purchased, the law had not been broken. Today, there are many taverns and breweries called “The Striped Pig” in reference to this era. Other variations include the “blind tiger” and “blind bull.”