New Display Part of “FOOD: Transforming the American Table”

 

Boulder, Colo.  – The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will explore the history and industry of brewing in the United States in a new showcase located within the “FOOD: Transforming the American Table” exhibition beginning Oct. 25.

“FOOD: Transforming the American Table” is an existing, permanent exhibition that explores the history of food and eating in the United States since 1950. The exhibition’s fall update will highlight new stories about changes in food itself and how Americans produce, prepare and consume food and drink. One of four major new sections is “Brewing a Revolution.

The history of brewing in the U.S. is a story of immigration, urban change, technological innovation and evolving consumer tastes. During the nation’s early years, Americans drank ales, mostly brewed by women and enslaved people, at home. The arrival of European professional brewers—nearly all men—in the 1800s created a nation of lager lovers. While Prohibition in 1920 banned the production of intoxicating beverages, the story of American beer was far from over.

Visitors will see artifacts, archival materials and photographs that originated in the homebrewing and microbrewing movements of California and Colorado in the 1960s through 1980s—the beginning of the craft beer “revolution.”

The “Brewing a Revolution” showcases are the work of curator Theresa McCulla, who has led the museum’s American Brewing History Initiative since 2017. She has been mining the existing collections and traveling across the country researching, collecting, preserving and sharing this history to expand the collections with a focus on brewing in the 20th and 21st centuries.

“The artifacts featured in this new display convey histories of innovation, creativity and risk, as well as deep pride and pleasure in the processes of brewing and drinking beer in the United States,” said McCulla. “Beer is a thread that runs throughout the fabric of our nation’s history and culture.”

Part of the Smithsonian Food History project, the museum initiated the American Brewing History Initiative in 2016 with funding from the Brewers Association, the Boulder, Colorado-based not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers. The Brewers Association recently funded an extension of the initiative through 2022.

“The craft brewing revolution in America has had a profound social, cultural and economic impact on this country,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO of the Brewers Association. “America is a beer nation, and we are honored to support this effort and work with the National Museum of American History to chronicle and showcase the significant achievements small and independent brewers and homebrewers have made throughout our nation’s history.”

A wooden home-brewing spoon that belonged to Charlie Papazian, past president of the Brewers Association and founder of the Association of Brewers, a microscope used by Fritz Maytag at Anchor Brewing Co. and the travel notebook that helped inspire Kim Jordan and Jeff Lebesch to found New Belgium Brewing Co. are among the artifacts on view. McCulla has also recorded oral histories with more than 75 members of the brewing industry.

More information about the initiative and beer history at the museum is available at  http://s.si.edu/BrewHistory.

The Last Call: Brewing History After-Hours

In conjunction with the exhibition opening and as part of the three-day Smithsonian Food History Weekend, Nov. 7–9, McCulla will moderate a conversation among several key figures in the history of craft beer to reflect on beer’s past, present and future during “The Last Call: Brewing History After-Hours” event Friday, Nov. 8. Participating are Maytag, former owner of Anchor Brewing Co.; Ken Grossman, founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.; Papazian, founder of the Association of Brewers; and Michael Lewis, professor emeritus of Food Science and Technology at the University of California, Davis.

The following breweries will pour beer tastings: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, Delaware, 60 Minute IPA and Slightly Mighty IPA; Anchor Brewing Co., San Francisco, Anchor Steam Beer and Anchor Porter; Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, California, and Mills River, North Carolina, Pale Ale and Celebration Fresh Hop IPA; Raleigh Brewing Company, Raleigh, North Carolina, New Albion Ale and Hell Yes Ma’am Belgian Golden Ale; and New Belgium Brewing Co., Fort Collins, Colorado, and Asheville, North Carolina, Fat Tire Amber Ale and Voodoo Ranger IPA.

Tickets for The Last Call are $45 for beer tastings, appetizers and a one-night-only display of brewing-history objects out of storage, including recent acquisitions. To purchase tickets and for more information, visit https://s.si.edu/LastCall.

Leadership support for “FOOD: Transforming the American Table” is made possible by Warren and Barbara Winiarski (Winiarski Family Foundation), the Brewers Association, the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, the Land O’Lakes Foundation, the 2018 Food History Gala Supporters and History Channel.

The National Museum of American History explores the infinite richness and complexity of American history. The museum helps people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more humane future. For more information about the museum, visit http://americanhistory.si.edu. Explore the museum’s social media on Twitter (@amhistorymuseum), Facebook (@National Museum of American History) and Instagram (@amhistorymuseum). #SmithsonianFood and #BeerHistory

The museum is located on Constitution Avenue, between 12th and 14th streets N.W., and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.

About the Brewers Association

The Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The BA represents 5,000-plus U.S. breweries. The BA’s independent craft brewer seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers by small and independent craft brewers. The BA organizes events including the World Beer Cup®Great American Beer Festival®Craft Brewers Conference® & BrewExpo America®SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food ExperienceHomebrew ConTMNational Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The New Brewer® magazine, and Brewers Publications® is the leading publisher of brewing literature in the U.S. Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at CraftBeer.com® and about homebrewing via the BA’s American Homebrewers Association® and the free Brew Guru® mobile app. Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital/familial status. The BA complies with provisions of Executive Order 11246 and the rules, regulations, and relevant orders of the Secretary of Labor.

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resilience ipa

Growing up on Lake Michigan, most of my formative memories include water: getting up on skis, hunting in the shallows for crayfish, night swims. Even in my first memory I’m bobbing up and down in water, floating outside North Manitou in my mother’s arms, eyes fixed on the horizon’s infinite line. The water was healing; communion. Encounters with fire on the other hand were strictly “play.” We contained aerosol can flamethrowers to bursts of pyromania. Raging bonfires were extinguished by a couple buckets of water. Surrounded by the safety of its elemental opposite, I never imagined fire as a threat.

Last month, California was on fire and no one could put it out. For weeks on end the Camp Fire ripped through communities, swallowing forests with its the hellish maw. Now doused, the damage is done and the fire has earned its place as the deadliest in The Golden State’s history. Upwards of 80 people lost their lives and around 20,000 buildings were destroyed. At a minimum, the economic cost will exceed billions.

Perhaps struck hardest by the devastation, the city of Paradise was lost almost entirely to flame. As a Michigan native, this kind of disaster is difficult to comprehend. We complain about snowfall and cool summers, but only on the rarest occasion does nature come for our homes. Just recently the Butte County Sheriff’s Office lifted evacuation orders, permitting survivors to salvage and rebuild what remains of their city. In a majority of cases, families will return to nothing but ash.

Chico, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s home base a couple towns over, was spared a similar fate. Even so, they weren’t left unscathed. With more than 40 employees losing their homes to the fire, Ken Grossman, Sierra Nevada’s founder, felt compelled to do something in the best way he knew how: brewing a beer. And so Resilience Butte County Strong IPA was born. From its inception, Sierra Nevada promised to donate every penny earned from draft and can sales directly to Camp Fire relief, but they also released the beer’s blueprints, hoping others in the industry would brew the same recipe and chip in to the fund. This grassroots movement to recruit local breweries quickly grew into the largest display of synchronized philanthropy the craft community has ever seen—over 1,400 breweries worldwide will donate 100% of the proceeds from their batches of Resilience IPA.

From the sidelines, it’s pretty heartwarming to see craft beer band together like this, and while our reputation for “Midwest Nice” precedes us, the number of Michigan breweries who signed up for the cause still impresses. The Mitten Brewing Company were early adopters, the 19th of all and the first in Michigan. After spotting the call to action on Facebook, brewer Jeff Williams immediately reached out to participate. “We do a lot of charity work as is, so this jives with how the company works,” Williams said. “The grain is getting donated, the hops are getting donated, basically we’re just donating our time, so why wouldn’t we do this? It’s unfathomable what that fire did, gulping down football fields in seconds.”

Williams’ nonchalance makes the project sound like a no-brainer, but his attitude reveals how ingrained cooperation is into his, and craft beer’s, core values. Extending help to strangers thousands of miles away exemplifies the spirit of craft beer as a means of aid, not selfishness. As co-brewer at the Mitten, Jon VanderPloeg puts it, “One of the reasons I’m here is because of that culture. Not just to make a huge pile of money. We didn’t do anything but make a batch of beer, but there was an organization willing to say this isn’t all about profit, this is about helping people.” Available on draft Thursday, December 20th, their recipe deviates to feature 100% Michigan grown ingredients: hops from Michigan Hop Alliance, malt from Empire and Motor City Malt, and yeast they’ve cultivated in house. Essentially, it’s a big high five from a group of Michiganders who have come to care about their community at large.

With their version of Resilience set to hit draft lines this weekend, City Built Brewing Company’s head brewer, Dave Petroelje, joined the chorus of support as well. In our conversation, Petroelje shed light on his personal connection to fire. “The Resilience IPA project has a special meaning to me because I grew up in Northern California. One of my sisters lives an hour away from Paradise. Now every time I go to visit her, I always think, when is a fire going to come through her part of California?” As the climate continues to warm, and droughts and fires intensify, it’s a scary question to ponder. “Everybody thinks about earthquakes when it comes to California disasters, but fires are quickly becoming even more destructive,” Petroelje said. If this is only the prelude to what California can expect in the coming decades, it’s at least a comfort to know that there’s a global net of goodwill waiting when the going gets tough. “Corporate social responsibility is a big part of the brewing culture here in West Michigan and Founders and Vivant have set that standard in a lot of ways,” Petroejle said.

To see Founders throw their hat in the ring only proves him right. Their Resilience IPA went on at the Grand Rapids taproom December 15th, providing much needed optics for the relief fund. Jeremy Kosmicki, head brewer at Founders, shared his reverence for the Californian operation. “Sierra is one of the most respected brewers in the country, so when they ask for help, they have a lot of pull.”

That sentiment has echoed from many participants. “Growing up in California, Sierra Nevada’s a big part of my beer history and education, so to be a part somewhat in collaboration with them is pretty awesome,” Petroejle said. There’s no question that Sierra’s Pale Ale is one of craft beer’s foundational pillars. Their portfolio may appear simple or streamlined compared to other more outlandish breweries, but their quality control has always stayed top notch. Resilience IPA is another example of their commitment to high caliber beer. “It’s a fairly straightforward recipe so as many breweries as possible could get their hands on the ingredients,” Kosmicki said. That said, the simplicity doesn’t imply a lack of substance. “It should turn out tasting like Sierra’s Celebration Ale which is an absolute favorite of mine.”

Yes, taste matters, but ultimately the motivation behind this IPA is more important than its flavor profile. While many of us in Michigan enjoy a white Christmas, we should make effort to find Resilience IPA and support those who have endured such tragedy. We can show, even through our drinking choices, that Michigan is always ready to lend a helping hand.

Find a list of participating breweries here. 

 

 

resilience ipa

Every brewery in America invited to brew fundraiser beer and donate 100% of sales.

Chico, CA—Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. announced today that the company will brew Resilience Butte County Proud IPA to raise funds for those impacted by the Camp Fire. Sierra Nevada will donate 100 percent of Resilience IPA sales to Camp Fire relief, and is asking every other brewery in the country to brew the beer and do the same.

Sierra Nevada will brew Resilience IPA on Giving Tuesday, November 27. The company has asked other breweries to create their own versions of Resilience on that day and donate 100 percent of the sales to Camp Fire relief. Sierra Nevada is working with hop and malt suppliers to secure ingredient donations to participating breweries nationwide.

“Although Chico and the Sierra Nevada brewery were spared, the Camp Fire has devastated neighboring communities where many of our friends, families and employees live,” said Sierra Nevada founder and owner, Ken Grossman. “This community has supported us for 38 years and we’re going to do everything we can to support them back.”

The Camp Fire, now the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history, started on November 8 in the hills above the brewery’s Chico facility. At the time of this release, the fire had burned 142,000 acres, killed more than 60 people and left hundreds missing, destroyed more than 9,700 homes, and displaced nearly 14 percent of Sierra Nevada’s Chico employees.

Days after the fire, the brewery established the Sierra Nevada Camp Fire Relief fund, which will provide much-needed long-term support for community rebuilding efforts. All donations from Resilience IPA will go to this fund. Additional donations towards this effort can be made here.

Sierra Nevada will release their version of Resilience IPA in early January with limited distribution in cans and on draught.

 

gabf

Back in 1982, the craft beer revolution was becoming something exciting, marked by something new—a premier, national festival and competition. 24 breweries, 50 beers, and 800 attendees seemed like small potatoes, but it was grand on a different type of scale. It was the first Great American Beer Festival, after all.

Now it’s 2018. Over 800 breweries, 4,000 beers, and 60,000 attendees over three days of craft madness reflects a different kind of picture, if not the same revolution. If you’ve been drinking craft beer these past few years, you know what the market looks like—unlimited options of craft from all over America. Craft beer is a good thing, so there can’t be too much, right? Right.

GABF, annually organized and put on by the Brewers Association, marks the still-growing and ever-changing craft industry across the world. The all-encompassing nature of the experience is overwhelming (in a positive way), but here’s what we took away as enthusiastic representatives of Michigan and our own craft mitten lifestyle.

Navigating the Colorado Convention Center is like navigating a small city. Countless rows of breweries from A-Z are stacked end to end with large endcap booths marking the beginning and end of another section. In the heart of it all is a meet-the-brewer neighborhood with extra industry folk, extra beer, and hey, it’s extra crowded. Outlying spaces are filled by seminar space, local food trucks, stages for music, walls of merchandise, and casual seating.

Every step and every direction there is something to catch the eye, the interest, and the taste buds. One brewery brought its own break-dancers. One seminar highlighted a bug and beer pairing featuring traditional bug dishes from Mexico. Jameson, as in the whiskey distillers from Ireland, had the biggest festival setup—at a beer festival!

Michigan represented well. We saw pioneers like Bell’s Brewery, New Holland Brewing Co., and Short’s Brewing Co. boldly stake their claim on the floor with eye-catching endcap booths and, as always, delicious beer. Short’s setup screamed northern Michigan, with a booth decorated in waterskis and bright colors. New Holland brought aspects of their original Holland location with them and created a mini, brick-layed pub that created just the right ambiance to highlight their most popular brew, Dragon’s Milk.

Michigan also had some great newbies there, like Eastern Market Brewing Co. and Grand Armory Brewing Co. representing from Detroit and Grand Haven respectively. As first-timers, these breweries were excited to get fresh feedback on their beers and brands from national consumers.

How does all of this come together? How does it connect? Craft beer has always been about fun, but beneath that are attributes that have defined the industry since the beginning—aspects like quality, independence, local, community, collaboration, creativity, hard work, and innovation. This universal language of craft strives to bridge gaps everywhere. Local to global. Professional to amateur. Community to community. Brewer to retailer. Brewery to consumer. Craft to other craft.

Some new offerings at GABF this year definitely fell under the above characteristics and practices. New this year was both a Pro-Am Brewer Competition as well as a Collaboration Competition.

The Pro-Am united professional breweries with homebrewers to collaborate on recipes to compete for top, national honors. This exchange of skill sets, opinions, and experimentation reflects the creativity and transparency of the craft industry. Craft workers always strive for better quality, new ideas, and further education. Most professionals and commercial breweries now are marked by homebrewing pasts. It’s a cycle that keeps craft as dynamic as ever and challenges the industry to go down new pathways.

Also new this year was the Collaboration Competition, which connected multiple breweries in the creation of one great recipe to win national honors. In the spirit of community, this brings two brands, two missions, and two businesses into a new practice with each other. Open communication has always marked workers in craft beer—there is no information hoarding here. This competition just ups the ante on the creativity and collaboration that already defines the craft beer community.

GABF’s evolution reflects craft communities across the nation—how they grow, adapt, and change. What stays the same is the enthusiasm. Brewers create because they love the craft of beer. Consumers drink because they love the liquid and the experience. It all begins and ends with actual beer. Everything in between can change and evolve at anytime. This mystery and guessing and experimentation are how we all get our next steps.

This is how the craft industry boomed with New England IPAs this past year. The demand and craze was so big nationally that GABF added it as a beer style category for the first time ever; and as it turns out, it broke the record for the most submissions in a category. The style that originated on the east coast picked up traction nationally—uniting brewery communities, cultures, and practices. New things created from old. New spins on traditional styles. This was just this year’s example.

What comes next? Breweries always have their ears to their consumers and to fellow brewers elsewhere for inspiration. Whatever it is, it will surely taste great and will represent something bigger than just beer in a glass.

 

Photography © Brewers Association

brewers association

 

Boulder, Colo. —To educate beer lovers about the craft brewing community and what it means to be independent, the Brewers Association—the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent craft brewers—is launching a new national awareness campaign, “That’s Independence You’re Tasting.” This integrated advertising campaign is part of the Brewers Association’s ongoing efforts to distinguish and promote America’s small and independent craft brewers. The videos will be presented across a variety of media platforms.

“That’s Independence You’re Tasting” takes a proud and positive tone, focusing on independence and choice—both key tenets of craft brewing culture—and tells the story of the country’s more than 6,600 independent craft brewers. These hard-working women and men are entrepreneurs, innovators, collaborators, risk takers and underdogs who advance the beverage of beer.

“Independent craft brewers are a success story for American industry,” said Bob Pease, president & CEO, Brewers Association. “Each of the over 6,600 U.S. craft breweries is a unique contributor to its community and should be celebrated. As a national campaign, ‘That’s Independence You’re Tasting’ generates awareness beyond any one individual brewery or beer and touches the spirit of independence that is a core American value. We are proud to be able to do for all our BA members what would be extremely difficult for them to do individually. Together we are united in independence.”

The initial phase of the awareness campaign launched in June 2017 with the introduction of the independent craft brewer seal. Featuring an iconic beer bottle shape flipped upside down, the seal indicates that a brewery is certified to be independently owned. The seal has been adopted by more than 3,700 craft brewing companies—representing more than 80 percent of the volume of craft brewed beer.

“‘That’s Independence You’re Tasting’ is designed to keep independent craft brewers and their beers top of mind. Our hope is that after being exposed to these stories, beer lovers are moved to support independent breweries and seek the seal when making their beer purchases,” added Pease. “By choosing a beer that has the independent craft brewer seal, the beer drinker knows that they are supporting a brewery with ties to the community.”

To learn more about “That’s Independence You’re Tasting” and the independent craft brewer seal, visit CraftBeer.com—the Brewers Association’s website for beer lovers—follow along and join the discussion at #SeektheSeal.

 

 

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