Connected \\ August 1, 2018

Brewing PEM

On a special evening this month, you can cool off with a cold one at PEM. If you are wondering what museums and breweries could possibly have in common, the answer is, more than you might think. At both places, creativity is part of the process. Special ingredients are carefully curated and teams collaborate to craft the perfect experience.

According to the Brewers Association, the number of breweries in Massachusetts alone has almost tripled over the last seven years. Meanwhile, the North Shore has become a hub for distilleries, breweries and, yes, even a few wineries – which are tapping success, pouring with passion and drinking in the love. (Even coffee places like Dunkin Donuts are getting in on the action!)


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© 2018 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Bob Packert.


It should come as no surprise then, that we are all hopped-up about collaborating with four local breweries — Bent Water Brewing Company, Cape Ann Brewing Co., Far From the Tree Hard Cider and Notch Brewing — to brew craft beers and a hard cider inspired by the PEM collection.

Staff from each of these breweries took a tour of the museum with Curatorial Scholar George Schwartz (the brains behind this event) as well as with Doneeca Thurston, one of our intrepid Creative Engagement Producers, for a little creative inspiration. The tour featured highlights and histories from our Maritime, American and Asian Export art collections and even a jaunt through Japanomania! Japanese Art Goes Global.

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© 2016 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Allison White.
At PEM, we are actively engaged in displaying artistic creativity and telling stories through objects,” notes George. “As an avid beer aficionado who enjoys connecting beer with art, history and culture, I thought it would be cool to see how a brewer would interpret the PEM experience through their craft. [The breweries] get what we are doing at the museum, so touring them around the galleries, they started to turn local and global tales into flavor profiles and draw inspiration from our collection.


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© 2018 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Bob Packert.


You can reap the benefits on Thursday, August 16 when we turn the museum into a beer garden and host a tasting of the PEM-inspired cider and beers. The event, called “Brewing PEM,” will feature pours from each of the four breweries, as well as some live music and light bites. It is a perfect chance to be inspired by local brews, chat with fellow beer-enthusiasts and learn a little bit about our collection.


We are living in a real beer renaissance in America, especially on a local level, and have some amazing brewers right in our backyard,” says George. “It will be exciting to see what they create and then share their brews and the objects and stories that they were fascinated by with the public, allowing attendees to have a synesthetic experience with our museum.


So, which collection objects will be “brewed” (and fermented) exactly? Let’s dive right in!

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© 2018 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Bob Packert.

Notch is brewing a hoppy pale ale, using a hop named “Ella” that has been locally sourced from Western Massachusetts. Infatuated by the front section of our American art galleries, which is currently titled “World of Women” and focuses on women's evolving roles into the 20th century, the Notch crew decided to take on a beer — which they are naming “Marguerite” after one of the paintings — that is a testament to straight-up lady power as well as the incredible history of women brewing beer. The added fact that a female brewer, Brienne, and a female maltster are behind the beer, just tops it off.


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Left: Capturing an artistic spirit on canvas: John Singer Sargent, Portrait of Sarah Lawrence Brooks, 1890. Oil on canvas. © Peabody Essex Museum. Right: Brienne of Notch Brewing. © 2018 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Bob Packert.


Brienne is a member of the Pink Boots Society, the female “movers and shakers” in beer business. The society encourages female industry professionals to advance their careers through education. Brienne opened up the local chapter of the Pink Boots Society which is now one of — if not — the largest chapter in the world with 120 members.

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Left: Brienne and her pink boots. © 2018 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Bob Packert. Right: Self-portrait in style: Marguerite Stuber Pearson, 1921. Oil on canvas. The Sheila W. and Samuel M. Robbins Collection. © Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Jeffrey R. Dykes.


“As a female brewer, it was important to highlight one of the great works at PEM painted by a woman,” says Brienne, “This beer is malted by a female maltster, brewed by a female brewer and utilizes a hop with a female name, and the self-portrait Marguerite immediately spoke to me personally, as well as the beer.” Adds co-owner Mary Ellen, “As a Salem brewery, it is always a pleasure to work with a world-class (and local) organization like PEM!”

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“Brewing Session Beer way before it was a thing.” Notch brewing PEM. © 2018 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Bob Packert.


Far From the Tree took notes from the worldwide spice trade stemming from Salem in the earliest parts of the 19th century, and ships like the Friendship that made 15 voyages to locations like Batavia, India, the Caribbean, Germany and Russia.

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Mr. Odell (American); Thomas Russell (American), Full-hull model, ca. 1804. Wood, cordage, bronze. On board the Friendship. Gift of William Story. © 2007 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Jeffrey R. Dykes.


Going through a long, cold and unique fermentation, this hard cider will hit the tastebuds with hints of nutmeg, allspice, clove, peppercorn and ginger. “It is going to be complex and interesting,” says cider maker Erik, comparing it to their autumn-infused, crowd-pleaser ‘Apple of My Chai’ cider. “We are incredibly excited about this.”

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© 2018 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Bob Packert.

Another great fact about models like that of the Friendship — courtesy of George — is that no period construction drawings of such vessels exist. Thus, this model was one of the main resources for naval architects working for the National Park Service when constructing the replica of the Friendship that sits in Salem harbor.

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“Most apples don’t fall far from the tree…” Far from the Tree fermenting PEM. © 2018 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Bob Packert.
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“Most apples don’t fall far from the tree…” Far from the Tree fermenting PEM. © 2018 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Bob Packert.
fermenting notes
“Most apples don’t fall far from the tree…” Far from the Tree fermenting PEM. © 2018 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Bob Packert.
Far from the Tree cider
“Most apples don’t fall far from the tree…” Far from the Tree fermenting PEM. © 2018 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Bob Packert.
Far From the Tree brewing room
“Most apples don’t fall far from the tree…” Far from the Tree fermenting PEM. © 2018 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Bob Packert.

Cape Ann Brewing will be tapping a white beer with an assortment of spices and orange peel. With the ocean right outside their door, it is no wonder the maritime vibes are abundant in this one. Based on the objects and stories in our galleries that speak to Salem's booming 19th century trade, this beer captures the essence of vast imports that once passed through the bustling Salem Harbor.

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Trading across the globe with America, Fame, John, Prudent and Belisarius: George Ropes, Crowninshield’s Wharf, 1806. Oil on canvas. Gift of Nathaniel Silsbee. © Peabody Essex Museum.


“I love all of the stuff white beers incorporate,” notes head brewer Dylan. “Traditionally, whites are brewed using wheat and coriander, and brewers usually add another ingredient that they keep to themselves.” Dylan’s favorite addition when brewing his white beers is grains of paradise, and for the PEM batch he has added a dose of cardamom. “It felt natural with this beer to infuse things into the beer that would have been brought over on one of these ships,” he says.

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“Charting a course straight and true.” Cape Ann brewing PEM. © 2018 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Bob Packert.

Bent Water found inspiration from the model, painting and stunning interior reproduction of Cleopatra’s Barge in our Putnam Gallery. An opulent yacht, with distinct herringbone patterning along its hull, Cleopatra’s Barge was the epitome of luxury and leisure. On a grand tour of the Mediterranean, crowds gathered to see a boat fitted with the finest ornamentation, American furniture and decorative arts. Though, the mission of this particular voyage was to visit sites associated with Napoleon Bonaparte.

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Left: Reproduction of the main saloon of Cleopatra’s Barge at PEM with many of the original furnishings. © 2012 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Kathy Tarantola. Right: Detail of George Ropes, Cleopatra’s Barge, 1818. Watercolor on paper. Gift of Mrs. Francis B. Crowninshield. © 2006 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Mark Sexton.


In that spirit, Bent Water has crafted a golden-yellow French Saison which they have aptly named “Cleopatra.” Traditionally a farmhouse beer, Bent Water is excited by the juxtaposition between an ultra extravagant yacht from the 1800s and a low AVB beer that would have been consumed as a source of hydration by farmers and their seasonal workers (or “saisonniers”).

Adam Denny Golab, Brewer and Head Cellarman for the Lynn-based brewery (and honorary PEMstaff by marriage), took us through the composition, which is a traditional Saison recipe with traditional ingredients used in a different way. It will be peppery, with notes of lemon, floral and citrus and it is a genuinely good, light and crisp beer. It’s essentially, the perfect beer to swig on the sea. “If it goes over well with the crowd,” he continued, “we are hoping to can and distribute it.”


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Felix (Sarah and Adam). © 2018 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Bob Packert.


When asked what was the best part of this collaboration, Adam notes, “Beer is an art itself,” so the Bent Water crew looked to create something that spoke to every aspect of their artistic process as well as ours — from taste to design (check out some of their cans to see why that herringbone pattern fits right in) – adding, “It is especially awesome to see [Sarah and my] workplaces come together.”

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​“Every beer begins with water...” Bent Water brewing PEM. © 2018 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Bob Packert.​
Adam in Bent Water Brewing room
​“Every beer begins with water...” Bent Water brewing PEM. © 2018 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Bob Packert.​
Bent Water brewing process
​“Every beer begins with water...” Bent Water brewing PEM. © 2018 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Bob Packert.​
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​“Every beer begins with water...” Bent Water brewing PEM. © 2018 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Bob Packert.​
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​“Every beer begins with water...” Bent Water brewing PEM. © 2018 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Bob Packert.​

While this might be a one-time event, do not fear missing out. The PEM-inspired beers and hard cider will be on tap for a limited time at each of the four breweries! With that said: visit the museum, see the art, experience the culture, immerse yourself in the history and then (responsibly) grab a drink and let us know which craft beer or hard cider you believe captured the taste of our collection using the hashtag #BrewingPEM!

Brewing PEM is Thursday, August 16 from 6-9pm!

BUY TICKETS

(Members $25, Non-members $30). Ticket includes four pours (one from each brewery), light bites and live music. Please note that this event is for ages 21+ and takes place outside on the Axelrod Walkway, located to the left of the museum entrance.

And be sure to stop by Bent Water Brewing Company, Cape Ann Brewing Co., Far From the Tree Hard Cider and Notch Brewing at their respective tap/tasting rooms in Salem, Lynn and Gloucester!

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The four tap rooms: Bent Water, Cape Ann, Far from the Tree and Notch. © 2018 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Bob Packert.
Cape Ann
The four tap rooms: Bent Water, Cape Ann, Far from the Tree and Notch. © 2018 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Bob Packert.
Far From the Tree
The four tap rooms: Bent Water, Cape Ann, Far from the Tree and Notch. © 2018 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Bob Packert.
Notch Brewing
The four tap rooms: Bent Water, Cape Ann, Far from the Tree and Notch. © 2018 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Bob Packert.
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