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‘Brewing Up Texas’ Exhibit Showcases History of Beer in The Lone Star State

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Many Texas children have memories of visiting The Institute of Texan Cultures in downtown San Antonio. Laying on the carpet to see Texas history projected on the ceiling or attending the Texas Folklife Festival, there is always something interesting being showcased there. One of the newest exhibits appeals to an older audience, those of legal drinking age and up.Brewing Up Texas” was opened October 21, 2017, and runs through October 28, 2018; it displays the history of Texas brewing from the 1840s to today. This exhibit is guest-curated by writer Travis E. Poling.

Institute of Texan Cultures

Photo by Honky Tonk Foodie

Beer, like many great staples of Texan culture, arrived in this fair state via immigrants and the story continues from there. Elements highlighted in the exhibit are the state’s earliest breweries, the impact of prohibition, home brewing, and today’s modern craft breweries, as well as the brewing processes, associated technology, and advertising. Historic photos also show memorable Texas saloons, ice houses, and bier gartens. The museum will hold tastings, lectures and homebrew classes as well as off-site brewery hands-on programming, demonstrations, and special events.

“Beer may not be the first thing you think of when you think of the Institute of Texan Cultures,” said Sarah Zenaida Gould, the lead curatorial researcher at the institute. “But if you associate Texas with football, barbecue, ice houses, dance halls, and honkytonks you end up with beer.” Check for event postings relating to this exhibit at and through the institute’s social media channels.

How many do you recognize?

Photo by Honky Tonk Foodie

The museum is a component of The University of Texas at San Antonio and is on the UTSA Hemisfair Campus, a short walk from the Alamo and the River Walk. The 182,000-square-foot complex features 65,000 square feet of exhibits and displays that tell the stories of Texans. Originally opened as the Texas State Exhibits Pavilion, built for the 1968 HemisFair celebration, the museum is family-friendly and includes many hands-on elements.

Found at 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd., regular hours are Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults (12-64); $8 for seniors (ages 65+) and children (6-11); children 5 years of age and under are free. Those with membership, UTSA or Alamo Colleges identification enter for free. There is something for everyone at The Institute of Texan Cultures!