As the birthplace of Colorado’s craft beer revolution, Boulder has had a love affair with bubbly brews since the late 1970s that continues today: The city is home to the Brewers Association, a national trade group; the American Homebrewers Association; the second-oldest brewery to have formed after World War II; and, of course, a bustling beer scene that includes everything from Coors-loving college students to at least twenty tap rooms and brewpubs — with plans for new ones being announced nearly every month.
But it wasn’t always that way. Although Boulder’s first brewery was founded in 1875 during Colorado’s mining days, the city went dry in 1907, years before the rest of the nation, and stayed that way until 1967 — long after Prohibition had ended.
All of those subjects will be covered in Beer! Boulder’s History on Tap, which opens March 1 at the Boulder History Museum, covering not just the city, but all of Boulder County’s brewing history, from the late 1800s to today. “We have been talking as a staff for a couple of years about doing something, because it has become a hotter and hotter topic,” says museum curator Julie Schumaker. “Every day you see another article on a new brewery opening.”
It’s partly for that reason that the exhibit will already be a little out of date: Organized in 2012, it was supposed to debut last fall in time for the Great American Beer Festival, but was postponed. In the meantime, several new Boulder breweries have opened.
Beer! opens today at the museum, 1206 Euclid Avenue, and runs through October 27; several adjunct events will be scheduled during that time. General-admission tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children. For more information, go to www.boulderhistory.org.