Friday, August 24, 2012

Beer Here Museum Exhibit

Yes, they have t-shirts!
[link to podcast page]
WFMU's Beer Hear! with Bob W. and B.R. from 8/27/2012

You'd expect the NY Historical Society Museum to put together exhibits on things like the socioeconomic impact of the Erie Canal on NY State in the late 1800s,  the transition of New York City from the Dutch to the British in colonial times, and other such subjects which, while definitely interesting, can be a bit academic and dry.
A 1779 ledger of Wm Faulker's brewery, showing no discrimination
between Revolutionary and Redcoat customers.
Well, this is the last week of an exhibit that opened in May at the NYHS that is anything but dry! "Beer Here: brewing New York's history" will have its last-call on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012.

B.R. and I sat down with one of the exhibit's curators, Nina Nazionale (notice the "ale" in her name!), who put together the exhibit with Debra Schmidt Bach (sounds a lot like "bock"!). Nina told us how they conducted research and acquired materials to display for this extensive, educational, in depth, visually stimulating and extremely entertaining exhibit.
BR and Nina in the exhibit's beer hall.
Anyone who is a fan of beer, brewing culture and history mustn't miss this! And if a pure "museum experience" isn't your thing, there is an functioning bar/beer hall as part of the exhibit! Yes -- you can buy a beer and enjoy it there with some pretzels, after getting your thirst whetted while learning about the history of beer in New York! There is also one last beer event, featuring Greenport Harbor, this Saturday Aug. 25, 2012 -- one session starting at 2pm and another at 4pm.
That's what museums have been lacking -- beer!
As you might expect, there's lots of beer memorabilia on display -- old photos of beer halls and breweries, vintage bottles and cans, and beer artwork. There are also plenty of antique implements and brewing equipment on display. You can even listen to classic radio commercials for beer and view vintage TV beer ads, including a hilarious Piels animated ad from the 60s featuring cartoon hucksters Bert and Harry Piel (voiced by radio legends Bob and Ray). The audio and visual quality at the exhibit is of "broadcast quality", unlike the youtube clip linked just prior. We only posted 1/4 of the photos we took, and we only photographed a fraction of the countless, wide-ranging items on display.
Bert and Harry Piel, with Philippe Dupré at MSG -- lost in translation, or found in inebriation?
We have a few special passes offering 2-for-1 admission to the exhibit ($15 for two people, as opposed to $15 each). Email us if you would like one, and we'll snail-mail you the discount pass, or we'll arrange a drop off at a NYC location, as long as supplies last. The museum hours are listed on their website, and on Fridays it's "pay-as-much-as-you-like" from 6pm-8pm. Also, there are some very swank exhibit-related items for sale, should you care to exit through the gift shop.

Early 1700s license for a tavern to sell beer in NYC.
1700s ad -- not too similar to the Spuds McKenzie campaign some years later.
Tavern sign from 1700s.
A huge brewing complex near 110th St. and 10th Ave. in the 1800s.
This Bowery beer hall could serve 1,000 volks at a time!

That's an awful lot like Kulmbacher...

Box o'hops.
The Schaefer brewery on Kent St. in Williamsburg.
Vintage bottle capper.

During Prohibition, Schaefer sold .5% abv "near beer".
A Staten Island brewery.
The exhibit's bar.
The museum beer hall.
Gift shop!
At first I thought that they misspelled "Beer Hear!"

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