My marching band visited Disney World when I was in high school. One day, while I was exiled in Epcot, I killed an afternoon in an exhibit where you could sample different sodas from across the globe. The Spiritmuseum in Stockholm is updating that experience for adults with an exhibit dedicated to the art of craft beer.
The exhibit teaches visitors about the science behind craft beer and gives guests the chance to sample a few for themselves. Stockholm design group Form Us with Love worked on the installation. They state that the clean, tiled exhibition space is meant “to illustrate dimensions of observation and experimentation by combining clinical materials and theatrical lights.” It’s fun and educational! the adult version of a children’s science center.
As modern consumption becomes overrun with artisanal everything, it’s refreshing to see that craft beer isn’t succumbing to snobbery as quickly as everything else. The goal is to educate the guest without condescending to him or her. The Spiritmuseum has a fun and laid-back approach to teaching laypeople about craft brewing, which fits the vibe of responsible beer drinking very well.
Modern beer’s defining characteristics are aroma and flavour, not alcohol content. Neglected beer styles are being revived, reinterpreted and given their rightful place in our gastronomy. Wine has had to cede some territory at the table, and the shops barely have enough shelf space for all the new products. IPA, APA, DIPA, IPL, Geuze, Lambic, Dunkel, Tripel, Trappist – the constantly expanding flora of beer is turning into a jungle that requires a guide. Bloggers discuss, analyse and chaperone those most eager to learn. And the thirst for knowledge is great. We want to know what we’re drinking, where the beer comes from, why it tastes the way it does. In the wake of the beer nerds, an even bigger wave is forming: a new Swedish beer culture.
We wouldn’t expect anything less from an organization that has a page dedicated to Swedish drinking songs.
Bill Rodgers is the General Editor of cfile.
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