Daniel Van Voorhis (1751-1824), Tankard, ca. 1793. Silver. The New-York Historical Society, Bequest of Waldron Phoenix Belknap Jr., 1950.256

Yesterday, the New York Post reported that Mayor Bloomberg and the Department of Health may be pairing up to reduce “alcohol retail outlet (e.g. bar, corner store) density” in this fair city. Mayor Bloomberg’s spokesman has since said the Mayor doesn’t back that part of the proposal (he does support cracking down on illegal drinking), so perhaps Bloomberg remembered the special place beer holds in the hearts of (legal) New Yorkers. While limiting our access to alcohol may make New Yorkers healthier, drinking and producing beer is a longstanding tradition in New York!

On May 25 the New-York Historical Society will be opening the exhibition Beer Here: Brewing New York’s History, which explains just how New York went from a beer brewing capital during the time of Dutch settlement, how the upstate hop farming industry was essential to the state’s growth, and the revitalization of New York City’s beer brewing scene. And on July 7 we’ll be hosting  Beer Appreciation Night, with Garrett Oliver and Steve Hindy of Brooklyn Brewery, who along with our curators will discuss the resurgence of beer brewing, practiced in New York City and State since the days of its earliest European settlement.

Of course New York went through Prohibition, and the 405 breweries New York had in the 1880s have been reduced, but New Yorkers love their beer! And considering the popularity of many newly-formed local breweries, it won’t be going away without a fight. We’ll toast to that.

Related: Occupy 1765

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