E.C.B.A. the KEG Winter 2013

 Craft Brewing Exhibit at the Philadelphia History Museum

 By Rich Wagner (ABA 2360)

   After a three year hiatus to renovate its interior space, what was the Atwater Kent Museum has become the Philadelphia History Museum at Atwater Kent. Located at 15 S. 7th St. the museum was actually the original home of the Franklin Institute.

 In keeping with its mission to promote Philadelphia history the museum has a rotating “Made in Philadelphia” exhibit. For the grand re-opening this fall, that exhibit was devoted to “Craft Brewing in Philadelphia – It’s a Beer Revolution.” And it’s fascinating at how much craft brewing is already “history.”

 Larry Handy and Dale Van Wieren contributed items from their collections of Philadelphia breweriana, which of course contains the tap knobs, bottles, labels, coasters, openers signs and that were issued by some already long-gone Philadelphia craft brewers.

 I supplied the museum with information in the form of a timeline of the history of craft brewing in Philadelphia from 1985 to the present. They also used my book Philadelphia Beer which contains a chapter on the role of craft brewing in the city’s brewing heritage. In addition I supplied them with images, a few of which were used to set the stage for craft breweries with the demise of the traditional regional and local brewers with nineteenth century roots. Larry supplied trays from Philadelphia breweries that came back after repeal.

 The museum did a wonderful job with the exhibit which is set in a room of its own on the second floor. They displayed some colonial-era tankards from their extensive collection of artifacts. They have panels devoted to Dock Street, Philadelphia Brewing and Yards Brewing which are complimented by a video containing interviews with each brewer.

Exhibits such as this not only give collectors a chance to showcase their collections to a wide audience, they help to promote the hobby and the E.C.B.A.’s motto to preserve history of brewing through breweriana collecting.

 The museum is located at 15 S. Seventh Street and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM. You can see the exhibit during Philly Beer Week 2013. Check out their website for future events. http://www.philadelphiahistory.org/

 Visit Rich's Flickr Photostream to see pics.


Philadelphia Craft Breweries 1985-2005 is available as a PDF or on disc.


It is a 200 page file of everything written on the subject in the local press and “beer-bloids.”