An exhibit of New York's beer history

May 24, 2012 6:43:33 PM PDT
Beer is something that at one point in New York's history was safer to drink than the water. Whole families, including the kids, used to drink it because of its nutritional value.

While this is not the case nowadays, the city still has a long history when it comes to beer.

In many ways, farming devices had a big impact on what New Yorkers were drinking back in the 1800s. The equipment helped the farmers grow hops, and from hops came lager or beer. An exhibition at the New York Historical Society is all about the history of beer.

Nina Nazionale and Debra Bach co-curated a show that traces the rise of breweries in New York City. Many breweries originally opened on the Upper East Side and at one point there may have been as many of a 100 breweries in the area, along with saloons and taverns.

Thanks to a bottle capping device, beer became portable. This allowed people to have beer in bottles and transport them.

Later came cans, along with plenty of advertising, and pretty women selling beer.

The beer industry helped employ thousands of New Yorkers, but prohibition put a stop to that and the beer industry in New York was never quite the same even after prohibition ended.

However, if you wander through the galleries of the New York Historical Society, you'll get a taste of what things were like and where the industry is headed. You can even hear a brewmaster speak and even have a taste or two.

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