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October 4, 2014 / Charlie McNabb

Beer in the Archives

Yesterday afternoon I had the pleasure of attending an event at my institution called Strange Brew: Beer and Brewing in Philadelphia History. As part of the Dig into the Archives series, Digital Scholarship Librarian Mike Zarafonetis shared some fascinating historical materials from Haverford Special Collections. It was a full house, with local homebrewers, archivists, history buffs, and Haverford students and staff in attendance. If you’re in the area, do visit our Special Collections– there are some real hidden gems!

By the way, October is American Archives Month. Philadelphia (and surrounding) residents, check out Archives Month Philly for a list of archival happenings.

Here are some pictures I took:

A white bearded man in his 30s stands in front of two tables with books and photographs displayed on them.

Mike is a homebrewer himself.

A finely detailed hand drawn map of the Philadelphia waterfront with buildings and boats in the water.

A finely detailed map showing the location of important buildings in Philadelphia, including the first brew house.

A copy of an old document detailing the location and architecture of Philadelphia's first brewery.

The Malt-Houfe is three ftories high.

A copy of a legal agreement between a maltster and a malting company.

Brewers were called “maltsters”!

A stereoscope photograph of a building.

Lovely old stereoscope of a brewers building.

An old book with a typed page with a choice quote: "I would wish to introduce the drinking of beer in this country, for the common drink; knowing by experience that it is the most wholesome beverage made use of; therefore recommend it to private families to brew their own beer. If the farmers were to let their men have good beer or ale, at harvest and hay time, to drink instead of cider or spirits, they would be able to go through double the labor, with half the fatigue to themselves."

Beer: nutritious and helpful for effective labor.

Close-up of a bottle of beer labeled "Yards Ale of the Revolution. Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce."

The event ended with a taste of local beer, flavored with molasses and spruce tips.



Leave a Comment
  1. renelabibliotecaria / Oct 4 2014 4:48 PM

    I saw this advertised on the Archives Philly website and all I could think was: I. Want. To. Go!!!

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