Chicago’s first beer museum will highlight the dynamic culture and innovative history of one of the world’s most vibrant industries. By using stories of the past and tales of the present, The Chicago Brewseum will take a deeper look into one of the oldest beverages and its power to build community and its importance as an ongoing cultural force.
September 2015 – Present
Written and curated for the Elmhust History Museum, this exhibition focused on how beer built Chicago. We traced beer’s roots in the city’s business, social, cultural and political history. We took a look at the impact of beer on the Windy City, from the establishment of the town at a local tavern to the neighborhood bars and breweries to the current craft beer scene. The exhibition is currently traveling to various Midwestern history museums and libraries.
IN SEARCH OF THE STORY OF BEER
After getting to know my friend, John Hall, founder of Goose Island Beer Co., I found myself inspired by his story. A Chicago legacy was born because of a few inspirational trips to England and a plane delay. In 1986, John began to craft a plan to open a brewery and make a great English ale that he would call Honkers Ale. This one beer style set the tone for what would be a great Chicago company and would contribute to the beginnings of a craft beer revolution in the U.S. So that got me thinking: how do beer styles impact the history, culture and identity of the people and the places where they originated? The only way to find out was to go to these cities and talk to people about beer.
For three weeks I did just that. I consulted with my friend, Ray Daniels of Cierone and we mapped out a plan. I headed off to meet with brewers and historians and local experts in London, Burton-Upon-Trent, Edinburgh, Vienna, Salzburg, Plzen, Prague, Brussels, Cologne, Dusseldorf, and Munich. I not only got answers to my questions, but I experienced an amazing beer community that offered much information about the past and provided insight into the present.
To read more about In Search of the Story of Beer search for #storyofbeer on Twitter and Instagram. You can also listen to the Strange Brews podcast where I had the opportunity to discuss the journey.
FOR THE LOVE OF LINCOLN
In February 2015, an epic journey happened because we love Abe Lincoln. And we love beer.
As we approached the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s death I wanted to celebrate his legacy the best way I knew how. I partnered with my friend and fellow Lincoln lover, The Working Mom’s Travels, to create a unique journey. On February 12, 2015 we left our hometown of Chicago to visit sites that played important roles in Lincoln’s story. From birthplace to final resting place and everything in between, we explored Lincoln’s past and made important connections to present-day alcohol makers and drinkers. By creating this experience, we hoped to make our nation’s greatest president even more accessible (and interesting) to younger generations. And it was all possible through history, travel, and beer. Yes, beer.
Drinkin‘ with Lincoln? Absolutely.
January 2015 – March 2015
Chicagoans don’t like our flag, we LOVE our flag. Each component tells an important story of Chicago history, but each component also tells an important story related to Chicago drinking history. For five weeks I explored those four stars and those stripes to look at how Chicago’s flag is not only a window into our past, but also provides a thirst-free history. In collaboration with Choose Chicago and Capehorn Illustration.