Harvard Scholar To Become The Smithsonian's New Beer Historian

RealClear Contributor


Beer is such an important contribution to American history, even the Smithsonian has decided to document it. A new beer scholar has just been appointed to oversee the new Brewing History Initiative. We can all drink to that.

American Beer

Decades ago, business experts predicted that by the end of the 1980s, the United States would only have 5 beer companies left. They were completely wrong. Today, there are more than 5,000 breweries across the 50 states and craft beer is booming in all of them.

How has beer shaped American history? How has beer changed, and how has it helped to change the country? These are the types of questions the Smithsonian is planning to answer. 

Brewing History

The famous Institute has appointed Theresa McCulla to oversee the Brewing History Initiative. It will be housed at the National Museum of American History. McCulla says that "brewing is integrated into all facets of American history."

McCulla has a culinary arts diploma from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts and directed the Food Literacy Project for Harvard University Dining Services. She's about to receive her doctorate in American Studies from Harvard soon. 


She has already started combing through the Smithsonian archives to find beer-related artifacts. Soon, she'll embark on a trip across the country to visit various breweries, hop farms and other places where beer is created, produced and distributed. She’s also fully prepared to taste plenty of beers in her quest to becoming a defining voice for American beer history.

Have you been doing your own beer research all along? Share your thoughts on your favorite American beer when you share this story!



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