Montag, 06.04.2020 19:34 Uhr

Beer Exhibition opens in Amsterdam for visitors

Verantwortlicher Autor: Paola Testoni x Charlotte de Groot Amsterdam, 28.02.2020, 21:15 Uhr
Nachricht/Bericht: +++ Reise & Tourismus +++ Bericht 9709x gelesen
Beers
Beers  Bild: Amsterdam Museum photo courtesy

Amsterdam [ENA] Starting Thursday, 9 April 2020, the Amsterdam Museum presents an exhibition on beer, the age - old fuel of Amsterdam. Many mayors in the history of Amsterdam were brewers, the city saw the rise of breweries such as Heineken, and today it i s home to no less than 45 beer breweries.

Visitors of Beer. Amsterdam, city of beer and brewers will discover everything there is to know about beer history in the capital, including a broad contextualization and critical side notes. Through cultural-historical objects ranging from contemporary and historic art as well as archeological treasures, it tells the story of the brewing process, the image surrounding beer, and the café culture that arose from the 17th century onwards. After the exhibition, visitors can enjoy a specialty Amsterdam Museum beer at the museum café. The exhibition will run until 6 September 2020.

Backwards through beer history

Amsterdam is an evergreen in the top-5 lists of ‘European beer cities’. The city is home to over 45 breweries, and this number is still growing, just like the number of specialized beer cafes. The development of modern-day Amsterdam beer culture has gone so fast that it might be called a revolution. However, this did not happen overnight. The exhibition guides visitors from the present to the past: from the recent craft beer revolution, through the era of industrialization and the rise of pale lager in the late 19th century, to the late-medieval foundations of Amsterdam’s later trade successes that were laid with the import of German hopped beer.

Brewing process and ingredients

There are about 400 known types of beer worldwide. They differ in taste, but are all created using the same procedure. This process is illustrated with historical objects such as bushels, bottling machines, a malt cart, microscopic samples of ingredients, and hop aromas. In addition, contemporary brewers share their perspectives on taking up the age-old craft of beer brewing: Brouwerij de Prael creates beer out of rainwater, for example, and the organic brewery Troost turns surplus potatoes into Pieperbier (‘Spud Beer’).

Sleds, ships, horse wagons and later motorized vehicles have been used in the course of history to bring beer from brewery to consumer. In order to tempt the latter into a purchase, brewers have traditionally spent much money on posters and advertisements. These promotional materials also tell the story of how the image of beer has changed over time. A number of female-unfriendly advertisements that can be interpreted in a sexist manner, for example, illustrate that beer was strongly positioned as a men’s beverage in the 20th century.

Beer consciousness

In the Middle Ages everyone drank beer: men, women, children, the elderly. Beer had positive effects on anemia and stomach weakness, and it was considered helpful during sickness. Until the early 20th century, beer had a largely harmless image. It was even suggested as an alternative for jenever, or Dutch gin, in the battle against alcoholism. But today’s perspectives on the impact of alcohol consumption on health, traffic safety and relationships are very different. One room in the exhibition Beer. Amsterdam, city of beer and brewers is dedicated to the dark sides of the beer industry.

One last round — the café

In 1806, 1793 places in Amsterdam were registered as a tavern of beer house. The city is still filled with brown cafés, theme bars, pubs catering to specific groups such as LGBTQI+ persons, women or students, karaoke bars and stage venues, après-ski cabin bars and other party cafés. You couldn’t have a beer exhibition without a café. This includes the legacy of café culture in the arts: from Gabriël Metsu’s 17th-century portrait of an old drinker to Gijs Assmann’s contemporary vanitas sculptures with beer bottles. A 17th-century still life with a drinking-game glass full of beer by Jansz. van de Velde was reconstructed for this exhibition, using archeological findings excavated from Amsterdam soil.

The exhibition Beer. Amsterdam, city of beer and brewers will be on show from Thursday, 9 april, to Sunday, 6 September, 2020. It is compiled by guest curators Irma Enklaar and Edo Dijksterhuis. Dijksterhuis has written several books about beer and brewers.

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