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Beer Histories, Now

In collaboration with the National Museum of American History

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Friday, October 22, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1L0429
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
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Gen. Admission
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Materials for this program

Americans have been brewing, enjoying, and thinking about beer for generations. But there is still new light to shed on the nation’s favorite libation. Join a conversation with several individuals who are working in innovative ways to share the stories and histories of beer.

Panelists hail from the fields of filmmaking, historical research, journalism, and brewing. They consider the unique potential of their diverse worlds—film, the archives, the classroom, the written word, even a glass of beer itself—to better understand this beverage, the people who brew it, and their lives. In a lively discussion they share what intrigues them about beer in the United States past and present and how they communicate with beer’s many devotees.

Director Atinuke Akintola Diver speaks about her documentary film in progress, This Belongs To Us, which explores the evolution of beer from an art form and craft created by women in Africa and the East to a beverage produced and consumed largely by white men in modern America.

Allyson Brantley, assistant professor of history at the University of La Verne and author of Brewing a Boycott: How a Grassroots Coalition Fought Coors and Remade American Consumer Activism, talks about using beer as a lens for historical research and teaching focused on consumer society, politics, and labor history.

Ruvani de Silva, a writer and reviewer living in Austin, Texas, and founder of the South Asian Beer Club, looks at the state of beer and travel journalism in today's fast-evolving media landscape.

Briana Brake, brewmaster and owner of Spaceway Brewing Co. in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, discusses how ingredients, brewing techniques, and beer and brewery design can serve as means of communication between the brewer and the beer lover. 

This program is made possible through the generous support of the Brewers Association.

Optional Craft Beer Box

Attendees have the option of purchasing a curated box of craft beer from Half Time Beverage Co., priced at a special Smithsonian rate, to be shipped to their home to enjoy during this streaming event. Please note this is not a guided tasting. Boxes contain six 16 oz. beers and are excellent for sharing:

Deadline Extended: Orders must be placed by October 10 at 12 noon ET. Alternatively, speakers will recommend a short menu of beer styles for attendees who would like to shop for themselves. Please note that Half Time can ship to most but not all states. Half Time is not able to ship to Maryland. If you live in Maryland and would like to order a box, please contact Customer Service at and we can arrange for the box to be shipped to our office (and available for pick-up) at the Ripley Center in Washington, DC.

Patron Information

  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
  • Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.