By Pints Templars Staff Blogger Dave Drury
Last year it was announced that there would be a huge 20,000-foot new interactive beer museum built in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The museum, named Brew, won’t be open until early 2018 but they will brew their own beer and let visitors drink as they traverse the halls. And it looks pretty sweet. I’ll talk more about them later.
But that got me thinking. Surely there are other museums dedicated to the great beverage we all love? So I did some digging and, sure enough, there were…but they’re few and far between and most are attached to a specific brewery (you can see the full list here but I didn’t want to focus on those).
The oldest independent museum I can find dates back to 1952 and is located in Munich, Germany. Deutsches Brauereimuseum (or German Beer Museum) is part of the city’s local museum. At the German Beer Museum, they focus on the historical and technical evolution of brewing beer but also have glassware, jugs, models, a micro brewery, and a sweet drinking vessel from around 4000 BC!!
As long as you’re in Munich though you should also stop at the other beer museum located in the city: The Beer and Oktoberfest Museum. This two-story museum is located in a building that has been around since the early 1300s…however, the museum only opened back in 2005, so it’s still pretty new. On the first floor, you can learn all about the history of beer and brewing, not just in Germany but from around the world. The second floor houses a history of Oktoberfest and focus more on the German side of beer production.
A short trip from there in Brussels, Belgium (it’s only a 7-hour drive after all) is the Schaerbeek Museum of Beer. Naturally, Schaerbeek focuses on Belgium’s impact on the beer world. They began back in 1993 and now house about 2000 bottles and their accompanying glassware, old beer-making tools, pub and beer signs, various publicity materials, and old documents from current and defunct breweries.
We all know that Germany and Belgium have had huge impacts on beer and brewing over the course of history so museums there aren’t too surprising…what is surprising is where our next museum comes from…South Africa.
The South African Brewers, or SAB (which is owned by AB InBev…boo!!), opened up a huge palace of beer history in 1995 in Johannesburg now called World of Beer. It features attractions like the history of beer/brewing in South Africa, beer tasting, lunches that focus on beer/food pairing, a multitude of other exhibits, and even has a taproom where you get two free brews just for taking the tour.
But let’s say you’re in America…where can you go to see the history of beer. Well…for now, there are just two places.
The first one is located in East Taunton, Massachusetts and is The Beer Can Museum. This smaller scale place has a surprising amount of memorabilia though. They house more than 5,000 different beer cans, beer can arts and crafts, beer can clothing, beer can telephones/radios, and even have a library dedicated to the humble beer can.
The second museum in America, The Museum of Beer and Brewing, does not yet have a permanent location and, instead, travels around to a few venues with their memorabilia and exhibits until they are able to finish their permanent locale. Founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin this moving museum looks to “preserve and display the proud history of beer and brewing throughout the world” and has a virtual museum that users can “walk through” right now.
And that brings us back to Brew, the beer museum that America needs. Brew intends to be interactive, comprehensive, and use state-of-the-art equipment to immerse visitors while teaching them the history of beer…in a space as large as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Plus let’s not forget you can drink on the tour and they’ll be making their own beer! So yeah…once they finally open next year, I’ll be taking that trip to Pittsburgh. It sure is cheaper than going to Germany or South Africa after all.
To see if/when I make it out to Brew (or any beer museum) follow me here as well: