The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, in our nation’s capital of Washington D.C., is an institution dedicated to the research, collection, and preservation of all things American. At the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America, held in Philadelphia on May 4th, the museum announced an exciting new venture – a project to document brewing history in America. This initiative is expected to take about three years and will involve researching and collecting artifacts and memorabilia of craft beer, with the goal of preserving the art and the history of brewing. Thanks to a donation made by the Brewers Association of Boulder, Colorado, the initiative will be a part of the “Smithsonian Food History,” a project that has researched and documented food and beverage history in America for over two decades. Their findings will be added to the museum’s, already established, small collection of the history of beer dating from the late 19th century to the early 20th centuries.
The brewing of beer is something that has impacted American history in many ways and has therefore created quite the story to tell. The history of brewing beer in this country dates all the way back to the founding of the nation and has had a significant impact on the culture and society in the United States and around the world. That impact continues to exist today with the smaller, independent craft breweries. President and CEO of the Brewer’s Association said, “The craft brewing revolution in America has had a profound social, cultural and economic impact on this country. America is a beer destination. 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 have made throughout this nation’s history.”
Through this donation from the Brewers Association, the already existing, yet small collection of brewing history at the Smithsonian Museum, will now be able to demonstrate the impact and importance of the smaller and more independent breweries of the craft beer world in their collection. We look forward to seeing the outcome of this new project!