Blog: Beer Here Brewing New Yorks History
Beer is more than just a sudsy beverage that gives you a buzz. It is literally a history lesson in a bottle. And one of the biggest homes of this popular libation is right here in good old New York City. The New York Historical Society is paying tribute to all things beer, with an in-depth exhibition that will survey the social, economic, political, and technological history of the production and consumption of beer from the seventeenth century to the present. LocalBozo.com headed to the ‘Historical Society’s’ stunning Upper West Side facility to take in this eye opening exhibit, one beer at a time.
Beer Here: Brewing New York’s History is a highly visual experience. If you are beer connoisseur or even a casual drinker there’s a plethora of insight from which to partake. For example, two of the many topics discussed in this multi-room showcase explore the innovations in infrastructure and the importance of access to clean water to creating beer. Speaking of clean water, one of the curators mentioned that in the past, tap water was so filthy that beer was one of the only options from which to drink. Side note: get me a time machine. But in all seriousness, this factor is a direct result of the heat needed in the brewing process, which ultimately kills dangerous bacteria.
The exhibition will also tackle subjects such as prohibition, bottling, canning, refrigeration and other technological advances. While walking the tour, I had to stop and stare at the variety of beer trays from the late nineteenth-century brewers, and a selection of advertisements from Piels, Rheingold, and Schaefer- each of which are old school, hometown New York brewers. If you think you have the best collection of beer signs, think again! And, if all this delicious history isn’t enough, the exhibit concludes with a small beer hall that will feature a selection of favorite New York City and State artisanal beers. I bet you’ve have never been to a museum, where you get to drink at the end of the tour!
Our crew was fortunate to visit the The New-York Historical Society prior to the opening of ‘Beer Here.’ A celebration was held on its behalf with the local brew legends from ‘Heartland Brewery’ serving two excellent ales to guests. The kind Brewmeister was happy to walk us through each selection, taking his time to explain the complexities of each. We kicked off the tasting with a pint of the ‘World Class – Farmer’s Market French Saison.’ The pale brew had an earthy taste with a clean refreshing finish. Without hesitation we moved on to the second offering which was a ‘Pre-Prohibition Style – Buffalo Bock.’ The taste profile was a mellow sweetness with a touch of caramel to round it out. The richly colored mahogany was an attractive cherry on top of an exciting brew we returned to for repeat tastings. It was an interesting experience to both taste beers while getting a visual lesson of its history. I only wish everything else in life went hand in hand like this! Don’t waste any time- make sure you check out this exhibit today. Take the train uptown and learn more about the beverage you love. Beer Here: Brewing New York’s History, will be on display at the New-York Historical Society from May 25th through September 2nd. Cheers!
- Jay Rubin