Beer Was Safer Than Water Thanks To Aaron Burr, and Other Brew Tidbits

05.25.12 David Lumb

As if learning that Pabst upper-ups contracted typeface luminary Frederic Goudy for PBR’s iconic logo wasn’t enough history for you beer nerds, Central Park’s got a sweet summer lined up.

You’ve got three months to jog through the New York Historical Society’s “Beer Here” exhibit to get to the “artisanal beers” at the end. The New York Times has a run-through of the historical shoulder-brushing New York deserves for leading the country in hops production from 1840 til the early 20th century, when a mildew blight ruined the state’s dominance and Temperance forced breweries to abandon the beer ship.

Other treats while you’re salivating for the post-tour brews: pub artifacts of yore, medicinal applications of hops to aid nerves and pregnancies, and the bungling of a water project by Burr’s Manhattan water company that paved the way for Brooklyn’s breweries to achieve primacy. Also, if the Brits had their way, we’d be drinking warm ales, but the Germans needed it cold. Which lead to a need for ice. Hell, there’s actually a lot to learn about the beer you’ll never enjoy since Big Beer absorbed the last local breweries in the 70s. “Beer Here” is open ’til Sept. 2 at the New-York Historical Society at 170 Central Park West, 77th Street.

(photo: elvissa/Flickr)