UNH to Host History of Beer Lecture Series during NH Craft Beer Week

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Release Date: 
Thursday, March 22, 2018

During NH Craft Beer Week, UNH invites the public to learn about beer’s significant social, cultural, economic and environmental contributions to the U.S. at a lecture series sponsored by the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture and the Department of History in the College of Liberal Arts. The series “is a unique opportunity to learn about the history of beer that’s not to be missed,” says Cheryl Parker, UNH’s brewery manager and one of the coordinators.

On Friday, April 6 at 5 p.m., Theresa McCulla, the brewing historian for the American Beer History Initiative at the Smithsonian Institution, will give a talk titled “Last Call? Prohibition and American Brewing.” McCulla will explore the unique history and legacy of Prohibition with respect to beer using objects from the collection of the National Museum of American History, concluding with a discussion of the museum’s new brewing history archive. Registration for this free event, which is funded by a grant from the William L. Dunfey Endowment, is highly recommended due to limited space.

On Tuesday, April 10 at 6:30 p.m., the lecture series wraps up with talks by Butch Heilshorn, co-founder of Earth Eagle Brewings and author of Against All Hops, and Emerson “Tad” Baker, professor at Salem State University and author of The Devil of Great Island. This lecture and discussion will encompass local beer history from both the academic and industry perspective.  

“Butch Heilshorn uses locally sourced and foraged ingredients to create unique and historic beers, unlike anything else currently on the beer scene, and Tad Baker has been a contributor to these recipes, using his expertise to develop modern takes on historical ales,” says Parker.

The event includes tours of the new UNH Brewing Science Laboratory starting at 5:30 p.m. and beer baked treats inspired by Heilshorn’s brews. There is a $10 fee andregistration by April 3 is required.

“Beer is at the heart of human history, and brewing is a significant segment of New Hampshire’s economy,” says Cynthia Van Zandt, associate professor of history. “We’re delighted to host historians and brewers who are at the forefront of new directions in research on the history of food and commodities, both at the national level and here in New Hampshire. Beer isn’t just good to drink; it has much to teach us about our past.”

In Fall 2017, UNH debuted its brewing minor, answering the call of a growing number of students interested in the craft beer industry. The program compasses all aspects of beer brewing, from agricultural production of raw ingredients to quality control and distribution of the final product, and includes hands-on instruction at UNH’s Brewing Science Laboratory.

New Hampshire Craft Beer Week is April 6 – April 15, 2018. The 10-day celebration of New Hampshire’s craft brewers is sponsored by the New Hampshire Brewers’ Association and Brew New Hampshire and features more than 150 events, including beer tastings, tours and live music at breweries, beer stores and restaurants statewide.