OPENING IN JANUARY 2020
The story of brewing, distilling, temperance, and prohibition in Clark County and Southwest Washington started long ago. Dr. John McLoughlin grew barley and used a large portion of it for brewing in 1826; Star Brewery would begin its production of beer in 1890; and, many longtime residents remember the large “L” of Lucky Lager that ended its 35-year run in 1985. Today, brewers, distillers, and winemakers in Clark County have turned to a craft and artisan style that creates beverages of unparalleled quality. However, the road for these industries has not always been paved with Hop Gold.
To showcase the fascinating history of beer, liquor, and the 100th anniversary of the 18th Amendment, we will explore the following: brewing in the time of the Hudson’s Bay Company, the multitude of early breweries and brewers (such as Henry Weinhard), prohibition, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, Dry vs. Wet counties and states, the transformation of bars and pubs, and the contemporary brewing and distilling scene in Clark County. This is only a fraction of the potential topics. As we involve community partners and stakeholders, these topics will evolve and expand.
To tell these stories, we will employ the use of interpretative panels surrounded by interactive display cases and other visual guides. The panels will tell a story through text, historical photographs and images, while the display cases and other mediums will invite the patron to not only use sight, but also touch and smell.
Beyond the objects in our own collection, other museums, businesses, and historical organizations will be involved in this exhibit. The intent is for the exhibit to be representative of the entire county and drive people to visit these other amazing sites.
A foundational piece of exploring local brewing history will be partnering and engaging with the community. As we talk with community stakeholders, new topics and avenues for exploration will appear. To facilitate this, we will meet with and discuss components of this exhibit with partners. As a result, this will create a dialogue that produces a community-driven exhibit.
The goal of this exhibit is to produce an educational and engaging exploration of Clark County’s brewing and distilling story from yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Visitors will not only discover the narrative and living history of this important industry in Clark County and Southwest Washington, but maybe change the flavor profile of this area in the future.