What’s missing from that list? Craft beer, duh.
Or it was missing. The Smithsonian recently launched a Brewing History Initiative at its National Museum of American History. And now they’ve hired a beer expert to run the show.
I know — you weren’t even told the job was open. Which is totally unfair. You’d be perfect. Like, did they even post it on Craigslist?
But, you can rest assured that no matter how many IPA’s you’ve tried, the person they chose is way more qualified than you. Theresa McCulla is a Harvard scholar specializing in the history of food in the U.S. from the early 1800s to today.
“We really feel quite strongly that beer is a very effective lens into much bigger questions about American history,” McCulla told Smithsonian.com. “If you look at the history of beer, you can understand stories related to immigration and industrialization and urbanization. You can look at advertising and the history of consumer culture and changing consumer taste.”
Analyzing what craft beer says about our country’s history is a great idea. But what we really want to know is: How much drinking of the beer is involved?
McCulla’s work will involve at least some sampling of the brews she’s studying — a task she’s more than prepared to undertake. And while she’s cognizant of her role as a historian for all American beers — and is hesitant to pick a personal favorite — she’s deeply committed to the philosophy that the best beers are ones that blend both a time and a place into a complete experience.
Godspeed, Theresa McCulla. You’re drinking for America now.