Museum's Conversations Series Starts the New Year with the Story of Beer in Philadelphia, January 24, Press Release

The Philadelphia History Museum will kick off its popular Conversations series with a program on the city’s brewing legacy. The discussion and tasting will be held on Thursday, January 24, 5:00-7:00 p.m., at the Museum (15 South 7th Street). Admission is $10. Beverages from the represented brewing companies will be served.

Held in conjunction with the Museum’s current exhibition, Craft Brewing: It’s a Beer Revolution, this brewing-themed history presentation and discussion will feature three Philadelphia-based beer experts: Rosemarie Certo, owner of Dock Street Brewing Company; Tom Kehoe, owner of Yards Brewing Company; and Rich Wagner, beer Historian and author of Philadelphia Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in the Cradle of Liberty. Jeffrey R. Ray, Philadelphia History Museum, Senior Curator and organizer of the exhibition, will serve as moderator.

The program begins at 5:00 p.m., with visitors invited to view the Museum's exhibition, featuring ephemera from Philadelphia breweries and other special objects from the Museum’s collection, such as Benjamin Franklin’s tankard from 1775. At 6:00 p.m., the program takes an introspective look into Philadelphia's brewing past and celebrates its thriving future by exploring the history behind the craft.

Philadelphia, once called the "Workshop of the World," was home to 94 breweries. By 1793 Philadelphia was shipping more beer than all other American seaports combined. The influx of German immigrants to the city throughout the 1800's, brewing was taken to the next level and considered a major industry. The 20th century brought new challenges for brewers, including the need for costly modern technologies, rising taxes, and rationing during World War II and the Korean War (making it hard to purchase materials). Massive, national breweries, like Pabst, Schlitz, and Anheuser-Busch, also posed fierce competition. The final four Philadelphia breweries to close were: Gretz (1960), Esslinger’s (1965), Ortlieb’s (1981), and Schmidt’s (1987).

Since 2011, the Museum’s Conversations series has brought together diverse adult audiences around relevant historic topics. Notable speakers discuss a range of issues from political cartoons, historical documentaries, and doo wop and jazz, to restaurants, brewing, candy, and antique samplers.

Conversations series tickets are $10 and are available online or by calling 215-685-4827. Museum Members are admitted free. Please RSVP to events@philadelphiahistory.org.

About The Philadelphia History Museum
Reopened to the public in September 2012 with the completion of a total interior renovation, including all new building systems, the Philadelphia History Museum unveiled redesigned galleries to showcase its outstanding collection of historical objects, art, and artifacts. The Museum, founded by City Ordinance in 1938 to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution in Philadelphia, is housed in an historic 1826 building at 15 South 7th Street, designed by John Haviland as the original home of the Franklin Institute. The Museum provides historical context for issues of contemporary urban life using its premier collection of over 100,000 objects, paintings, and photographs in exhibitions, programs, and interactive media.