Was looking for information on oral histories connected to brewing prior to preparing our own oral history interviews on the same theme, when I found this interesting project in Brooklyn, New York, all about local brewing and its heritage.
There’s an interesting film to accompany this here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2121820817/brewed-in-brooklyn-0
And, after two years of conducting interviews, director John Weber is ready to tell the story:
“There were close to 90 breweries at the turn of the 19th century,” he said.
“Brooklyn was known as the beer capital of the world… and it went from 90 to zero in the 1970s.
“As things have turned around in Brooklyn it’s the beer industry that’s helping to lead the renaissance.”
Weber — a New Jersey native who decided to make the documentary along with Kim Bjorheim and Bennett Aube after a Brooklyn beer tour — said he was shocked the “fascinating story” had not yet been filmed.
Weber’s team interviewed Columbia University historian Ken Jackson, Brooklyn Brewery founder Stephen Hindy and local homebrewers as he sought to understand the dramatic evolution of beer in the area.
He even spoke with a former “Miss Rheingold,” the title given to the winners of Rheingold Beer’s bygone beauty pageant used to select a model who would appear on its cans.
“The Miss Rheingold contest could take a girl from the sticks and make her into a superstar,” said Celeste Yarnall, the 1964 winner who acted with Elvis Presley after her victory in the pageant.
“More people voted for Miss Rheingold than for the presidential elections in the New York area,” said Weber of its popularity.