The Chicago Brewseum is an innovative educational organization focused on the dynamic culture and fascinating history of one of the world’s oldest and most popular beverages: beer. Chicago Scenic was honored to manage and execute the fabrication and installation of the Brewseum’s unique exhibition at Chicago’s Field Museum, titled Brewing Up Chicago: How Beer Transformed a City.
The exhibition focuses on how beer played a central role in much of Chicago’s 19th century history. “By presenting a beer narrative that has never been told before, this exhibit illustrates how beer in Chicago was a strong cultural force capable of building communities and driving change” said Liz Garibay, Brewseum founder and organizer of the Field Museum exhibition.
The exhibition is presented in four sections and each takes a stage of the brewing process and reflects on Chicago’s 19th Century urban development through the lens of beer, and by extension, the immigrant community who built it.
“The planning and execution of this exhibition was a learning experience on many levels,” said Chicago Scenic’s Jim Mallerdino, a longtime veteran of the museum industry. “Transforming an existing gallery space at the Field Museum into a historical showcase of Chicago’s beer legacy was, while challenging, a very rewarding project due to the amazing team Liz assembled.”
The exhibition features a fascinating range of great interactives, videos, and authentic artifacts—including the original Siebel brewing kettle and items recovered from the Chicago Fire. “Let’s just say beer provides a ‘taste’ for everybody—the exhibit provides a unique historical flair to immerse the audience in a storied past and a powerful understanding of the impact of one of the world’s most popular drinks,” said Mallerdino.
Angle Park’s Martin Baumgaertner developed the media for the exhibition. “There are three distinct media components to the exhibit— the ‘1855 Lager Beer Riot’ video, a ‘Brewing Vessels’ projection-map wall, and a digital interactive titled ‘Create Your Own Beer Label’.
“The Field Museum was thrilled that the exhibition’s fabrication and installation were in the hands of such consummate professionals” notes Janet Hong, Field Museum Project Manager for Exhibitions. “We are glad to continue our work with Chicago Scenic.”
Brewing Up Chicago is a prelude to the Brewseum’s launch of a 30,000 sq ft museum dedicated to beer, which is currently in funding stages and planned for a 2021 opening.
Brewing Up Chicago runs through January 5, 2020. To learn more about the Chicago Brewseum and how you can support the effort please go to www.ChicagoBrewseum.org.
Brewseum Credits: Brian Alberts (curatorial); Randy Mosher (curatorial & graphic design); Dan Oliver and Markus Dohner (exhibit design); Chicago Scenic Studios, Inc. (project management, fabrication, and installation); Angle Park (media development & photos)