Some of you may know I do historical brewing here in PA , I was lucky enough to be a guest curator for a year long exhibit in Bethlehem PA.
"Roll out the Barrel" Bethlehem Brews History - Is the name of the exhibit, it runs for a year long . I built/ put together a 1820's style brewery system , made out of 110 year old washing machine parts , it's a 1 bbl system ( although on display, it's not complete because of limited space ) .
The challenge with non-profits this year is what is effecting the whole general state of the economy, no money . The other challenge is , attracting new visitors to museums in general, kids attend thru school programs for field trips, seniors ( my parents generation), have the time and relish the past .However, our generation , for the most part , just doesn't get out to see much history, other than the large Smithsonian type places. Having an exhibit devoted to beer has been somewhat of a home run.
I live in a historically significant area when it comes to brewing, 10 miles from Weyerbacher Brewery, 30 miles from Yuengling Brewery, and in town here, my friends at the Allentown /Bethlehem BrewWorks . I worked with the BrewWorks recently, to make a batch of historic Old Ale , the idea here, was " go see the exhibit on brewing down the street, and come back to our brew pub to have a pint of history " , tasting history in a glass is a unique experience, it is different than just looking at relics behind some glass , it's truly dynamic.
In addition, for people who join the museum ( like $50 per/year ) , we are also doing a multitude of other events , like beer and food pairing dinners ( historically themed) , I am brewing several old recipes for tastings, and lectures on historic brewing , etc.. It's a different type of approach to the regular run of the mill exhibit, and so far it's working . And a decent alternative to just trying to get people to come in , see the exhibit and leave . For a small membership , it's really a good value.
I portray ( reenact ) a famous Moravian brewer, and HBT member Bob Davis( NQ3X ) is my assistant . We have also done several brewing demonstrations , using old recipes, brewing on period equipment ,at some of the towns many festivals. The feedback we receive is really rewarding , people are interested in brewing and history. I would encourage anyone to research their own town, cause chances are there was a brewery close by ( at least on the East Coast ).
If you get a chance to visit Bethlehem, stop by the exhibit , let them know you are a HBT member , and I have arranged a special discount for your admission.
Also ,the exhibit is only a 1/2 block away from the Bethlehem BrewWorks , which it's a fantastic place to have quality craft beer, and a great meal .
The Brew Works » Bethlehem Brew Works
Here's a few links :
Historic Bethlehem Partnership
Here are a couple of shots of the exhibit :