Thank You, BEER! is a temporary exhibition that will be open free with general admission.
The exhibition is a collaboration with the local brewing community, and is guest curated by
beer expert Steve Smith, Chief Beer Geek at Hopcat. On the first floor immersed in a beer-garden atmosphere throughout the Streets of Old Grand Rapids, the exhibition will explore the 19th-and 20th-century ethnic and pre-prohibition history of brewing in Grand Rapids. The first floor exhibition will also look at the closely related history of root beer, with root beer served for all ages at the soda fountain inside the Rudell Drug Store display on weekend afternoons during the run of the exhibition (excluding Oct 20-21) In the Lacks Gallery on the Museum's third floor, Thank you, BEER! will inspire people with the history, science and language of brewing and beer. Sections will focus on the ingredients and chemistry of brewing, the cultural contributions of beer, the failure of prohibition, the role of beer in pop culture, the current craft brewing and home brewing revolutions, and the culinary possibilities of beer. Artifacts will be drawn from the Museum's historical collections, West Michigan mega-collectors of Breweriana, and from the region's many micro-breweries, and will include bottles, cans, lithographs, photographs, signs, brewing equipment and other amazing relics of brewing past and present. The exhibition will also include nostalgic beer ad videos, matching games, maps of West Michigan brewery locations, and charts that show the family tree of beer styles. A marketing and social media campaign will promote the exhibition and related events as fun, engaging, and relevant to young adult audiences in grassroots and unexpected ways.