Upcoming Events & Classes

History A-Brewin’


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.

For only $100, you can have your name printed on a beer bottle and featured in our upcoming “History A-Brewin” exhibit!
Visit cchmuseum.ejoinme.org/99bottles to become a sponsor!

Click HERE to purchase tickets for the next History on Tap.

Clark County Historical Museum unites history and hops as part of its interactive program, “History on Tap.” Each event features a trivia quiz, a Q&A segment, a talk on a popular historical topic, and — of course — a selection of local brews. Events are held at the Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, 1011 Main Street. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the event begins at 7 p.m.

Admission to “History on Tap” is $15 in advance, or $18 the day of the event. Tickets can be purchased at the Kiggins Theatre Box Office, the Clark County Historical Museum, or online at kigginstheatre.com/movies/history-on-tap. Audio support for “History on Tap” is provided by the Courtney Irvin Trust, and marketing support is provided by Zzoom Media. Additional support is provided by Vancouver’s Downtown Association.

2019 Program

January 17: From Lucky to Loowit: The Fall of Lucky Lager and the Rise of the Craft Brewing Industry

The closing of Lucky Lager Brewery in 1985 seemed to signal the end of more than 100 years of beer production in downtown Vancouver. Over the last two decades, however, passionate local brewers have come together through small bars, pubs, and microbreweries to create a culture of craft brewing in our community.

April 18: Pat Jollota Presents “The Murder of JoAnn Dewey in Vancouver, Washington”

Local historian and author Pat Jollota presents the chilling details of the tragic 1950 murder of JoAnn Dewey in downtown Vancouver, and the subsequent arrests and trial. This talk is based on Jollota’s newest true crime history book, “The Murder of JoAnn Dewey in Vancouver, Washington”

July 18: Stuff we used to believe — Strange stories from our past

Presented by CCHM resident historian, Brad Richardson, this talk will explore once popular theories, beliefs, and ideas that have since been challenged or debunked. Presented in the style of a late-night comedy newscast, topics will include the truth behind Benjamin Franklin’s “discovery” of electricity, the histories of bizarre medical treatments, and local folklore.

October 17: Campfire Tales — The haunting history of Clark County

Presented by local historians Brad Richardson, Pat Jollota, and Jeff Davis, this talk will explore the modern folklore of Clark County through historical interpretations, personal stories, and folktales related to our history and various haunting accounts.

The Clark County Historical Museum First Thursday Speaker Series runs from February to November of each year. These engaging talks feature a variety of topics ranging from popular local stories to broad organizational histories and much more. The CCHM First Thursday Speaker Series is sponsored by Clark County’s Historic Preservation Commission. General admission is $5; seniors and students are $4; children under 18 are $3; and the evening is free with a CCHM membership. Doors will open at 5 p.m., and the event will begin at 7 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early, as it is first-come, first-served seating.