Brewseum: A Museum of Beer Not Yet Built in Chicago

If you’ve been to Amsterdam as a tourist and weren’t solely interested in getting stony baloney, you probably went to a museum dedicated to Heineken beer called The Heineken Experience. If so, you wandered through the exhibits, paid a bit of attention to the history and then finally got to the end where you were served a cold glass of beer, which made you feel like you spent your money well. It’s an experience that makes for at least a decent time.

The Netherlands isn’t the only country to have a museum devoted to brews; Ireland, Germany, Belgium and even Japan all have temples of suds. Missing from the list however is the United States, that is, until now. Thanks to a group of enterprising individuals, a beer museum is sprouting in, where else, but the city of Chicago.

Chicago’s version of a beer museum plans to be more complex than these other ones, which truthfully are marketing plays rather than actual educational museums. The “Brewseum,” as it’s being called, won’t just cover one type of beer, but will cover beer on a much larger scale, hence the overarching name. But besides its differences in coverage, the Brewseum is conceptually quite similar to other beer museums. It plans to concern itself with showing how beer is made, explaining why it’s important, and granting insight into its culture. Also, it plans on having its own bar where carbonated, alcoholic golden liquid will be offered to guests if they are interested – and why would they not be? After all, they’re at a museum devoted to beer.

How can a single museum cover such an expansive range of beer? Well, to be fair, it won’t. Chicago’s Brewseum is instead going to concentrate on Chicago beers which is still a huge category since Chicago’s beer industry and culture has influenced other major beer hubs around the world.

Indeed, a broad range of beer plans to be covered by the museum. But, the type of beers they’ll be serving in their first floor bar will be local craft beers brewed by the best local breweries in Chicago. These breweries include Goose Island, Metropolitan Brewing, Half Acre, and Two Brothers. The museum also plans on having its own in-house brew master whose unique concoctions will be on tap.

The museum is seemingly fully conceptualized, but remarkably it’s barely funded. Even though it has a stacked board including the likes of John Hall, founder of Goose Island Brewery, and Josh Deth, founder of Revolution Brewing, the museum has had to set up a GoFundMe with a goal of raising $25,000. Due to the lack of current funds, the museum will start out in an RV in 2017, where it will attempt to raise money as well as inform visitors about beer.

Yes, you read that correctly. The Brewseum will start in an RV, making it blatantly obvious that this museum is 100% American. The board of directors hope that by 2019 the museum will leave the RV, ground will be broken, and the actual brick and mortar building will start getting built. But who knows, with an RV fully stocked with beer, they may not want to leave.

Header image via Anton_Ivanov /