Sightlines — BA Working with Feds to Make Craft History — Smithsonian Museum seeks to hire Beer Historian

Michael Kiser

THE GIST
The Smithsonian National Museum of American History is looking to hire a beer historian for a position that will last for three years in a scheme that will be funded by the Brewers Association. The successful applicant will be tasked with charting the history of America’s beer movement, with a particular focus on the post WWII era and the modern craft beer movement. 

WHY IT MATTERS
We often talk about craft beers crossover into the mainstream and perhaps nothing cements this position as firmly as when efforts are made to record its history. And The Smithsonian will be paying someone almost $65k a year to document it.

This follows the news announced in May at this year's Craft Brewers Conference that the BA will fund a three year project that aims to collect and document the beer history of America and its craft brewers.

According to the press release, the scope is wide reaching: "beer production for the past 30 years has been connected to significant social, cultural, economic and environmental movements across the country. The team will explore the unique connections between brewing and broader themes, including advertising, agriculture, industry, innovation, business and community life." 

Following successful lobbying efforts by the BA last week to achieve significant protections from the AB-InBev/SABMiller merger, this effort to document America’s brewing history could prove to be invaluable to the continued growth and success of the industry. The research could help small brewers make a lasting case that craft brewing is critical for many areas of American life and business, giving credence to some of the revolutionary rhetoric of the past thirty years, but also perhaps helping us move beyond it once and for all into a more legitimate conversation. 

— Matthew Curtis + Michael Kiser


READ MORE
he Smithsonian is Hiring a Beer Historian. Is it You? – Via Washington City Paper