Brewing Up Chicago: How Beer Transformed A City

A Chicago Brewseum Exhibition at the Field Museum

  DN-0003265, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago History Museum

DN-0003265, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago History Museum

November 2, 2018 - January 5, 2020

The Field Museum

1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605

JOIN US FOR OPENING NIGHT ON NOVEMBER 2ND!

In Chicago, beer is more than just a beverage — its history is part of what gives our city its unique flavor and identity. Brewing Up Chicago: How Beer Transformed A City is The Chicago Brewseum’s first exhibition, hosted at the Field Museum.

The exhibition is presented in four sections and views Chicago’s 19th Century urban development through the lens of its brewing industry, and by extension, the German immigrant community who built it. From the city’s founding in 1833 to the Columbian Exposition sixty years later, the German-American community evolved from strange ethnic outsiders to respected citizens essential to the fabric of the city’s existence. By telling the story of the immigrant experience in 1800s Chicago, will will make modern day connections to a wide audience. By presenting a beer narrative that has never been told before, we illustrate how beer is more than just a beverage and a strong cultural force capable of building community and a city.

Brewing Up Chicago: How Beer Transformed a City was organized by The Chicago Brewseum.

 

Each section of the exhibition will equate that stage of development to part of the brewing process:

 
  DN-0003264, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago History Museum

DN-0003264, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago History Museum

Section 1: The Raw Ingredients

1833 - 1850

Different elements coming together and setting things in motion. A small frontier village, Chicago begins to change with the arrival of the first German brewers.

  Chicago History Museum, ICHi-020527

Chicago History Museum, ICHi-020527

Section 2: The Mash

1851 - 1870

A heated, boiling stew that, in Chicago's case, was rooted in anti-immigrant sentiment and resulted in civil conflict.

 
  Chicago History Museum, ICHi-01691

Chicago History Museum, ICHi-01691

Section 3: Fermentation

1871-1885

A rapid growth and transformation. We explore how both immigrants and the brewing industry grew post Chicago Fire of 1871.

  DN-006433, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago History Museum

DN-006433, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago History Museum

Section 4: Maturation

1885 - 1893

Smooth integration of different elements into a cohesive, functional whole. Chicago, its immigrant community, and the beer industry are highlighted at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.


 
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