History of brewing at Midway Village

The Midway Village Museum presents, “Tipsy History: Brewing from the 1800s to Today,” 6:30-8:30 p.m. May 11, 6799 Guilford Road.

The first part of the program is Sara Pfannkuche, a home-brewer and Midway Village historic interpreter, presenting on how and why women in the 19th century commonly brewed beer for the health of their family.

In order to stay healthy, most people believed that they could make the water safer by “brewing” it into beer or wine. Open fire brewing (or cooking on the stove) was a typical chore for women during this time. Sara will perform a live demonstration on how open fire brewing occurs, showcasing the ingredients used and the process by actually cooking up the first-stage of beer production which is called wort.

The second half of the program will be a presentation by Prairie Street Brewhouse. Discover the beginnings of one of the first breweries in the nation, with Jonathan Peacock starting the Rockford Brewery in 1849, grinding malt in a hand-turned coffee mill, brewing mash in a bathtub, and delivering ale in his wheelbarrow. By 1857, he was successful enough to open the Brewhouse and Bottling Plant, which evenly grew to producing 75,000 barrels a year and competing with brewing capitals such as Milwaukee.

Tickets are $8 for general admission, $6 for members. Beer samples are included with ticket purchase. Must be 21-and-over to attend. Tickets must be bought by May 4.

For more information call 815-397-9112 or visit midwayvillage.com.

–Midway Village Museum

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