Thursday, October 6, 2022

Colonial Williamsburg to celebrate the history of beer

Photo of beer making at Colonial Williamsburg
(WYDaily photo/Courtesy Colonial Williamsburg)

History and beer have been intertwined throughout the ages, and Colonial Williamsburg will celebrate that heritage with a special conference this fall.

From Oct. 18-21, “Ales Through the Ages” will bring together beer craftsmen and scholars who will share insights, techniques and an appreciation for the beverage, Colonial Williamsburg said in a news release.

The conference will cover the “hidden corners of beer’s rich history from antiquity to craft brewing’s resurgence,” Colonial Williamsburg said. This will be accomplished through a series of talks by world-renowned beer experts and live demonstrations.

“This year’s ‘Ales Through the Ages’ conference promises new insights for anyone passionate about beer — whether brewing it, or just drinking it,” said Frank Clark, brewer and Colonial Williamsburg’s master of historic foodways.

During the conference, Valley Malt owner Andrea Stanley will host a live preparation of porter malt, while Clark will demonstrate 18th-century brewing techniques.

Conference sessions will be held in the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, 326 Francis St. W. Here are some notable highlights:

  • A presentation by Pete Brown, author of “Hops and Glory: One Man’s Search for the Beer that Built the British Empire” and “Miracle Brew: Hops, Barley, Water, Yeast and the Nature of Beer.”
  • A talk about the historical impact of hops from brewer, journalist and author Stan Heironymus.
  • The history of beer in Great Britain, told by food historian Marc Meltonville.
  • Scholar and Avery Brewing Co. cellar manager Travis Rupp on beer in the Roman Empire.
  • An examination of flavoring mixtures from Butch Helishorn.
  • A joint presentation by Clark and Lee Graves on “Molasses, Beer, Hops and the Enslaved: Brewing in 18th-century Virginia.”
  • Author Ron Pattinson will talk about the yeast Brettanomyces, commonly called “British fungus” and found commonly in certain Belgian beers.

Tickets are $375 and can be purchased on the Colonial Williamsburg website or by calling 1-800-603-0948 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Discounted tickets to the Historic Area will be available for $20 with the purchase of a conference ticket.

For more information, visit the Colonial Williamsburg event page.

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