Beer Commemorating 150th Anniversary of American Civil War

We’ve talked about digging up old beer recipes on this site before, and it seems it is being done again, this time to brew nine beers to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War.

The first of nine beers to commemorate the 150th Civil War anniversary — Antietam Ale — is now on tap.


The concoction was derived from a number of beer recipes from the 1800s and researched by National Museum of Civil War Medicine researcher Terry Reimer.


Monocacy Brewing Co. in Frederick bottled the first batch Sept. 28 for distribution.


Antietam Ale is based on a recipe for an English-style ale once brewed by Brewer’s Alley — a style commonly referred to as an ordinary bitter, Brewer’s Alley marketing manager Jim Bauckman said.


The National Museum of Civil War Medicine provided brewmaster Tom Flores with a variety of historic recipes that likely resemble the flavor profile of Antietam Ale, Bauckman said.


“What I like about this museum is we not only educate about and interpret the Civil War, the story we tell is really about the lives of the individuals during that period, and a great part of that experience was camp life,” Price said.


Actual fighting consisted of 45 days out of 1,500 days over four years, Price said. And as the saying goes, “war is an organized bore,” so there was a lot of idle time.


A picture of soldiers and Gen. George Custer and empty beer bottles and pipes was used for the beer bottle emblem.


Beer bottle collectors may have something special to add to their collection. For the second time in American history, the federal government has allowed the American flag to be on a beer bottle, Price said.


Federal regulators initially balked at the idea, Price said, but he made the case that the flag is part of the museum’s logo and the project is about educating the public about an important part of American history, and they yielded.


Brewer’s Alley co-owner Phil Bowers said he is excited about the idea.


“It’s a great way to celebrate the Civil War anniversary, the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, and downtown Frederick,” Bowers said, “and it’s a great opportunity to keep pushing the great things we’re doing in Frederick.


“Phil understood that if visitors come to the museum, they would go try a Civil War beer afterward,” Price said. “And we knew that a Civil War beer would get our brand and our logo into people’s hands who wouldn’t ordinarily come to the museum, plus it gives us huge exposure.”


Bowers will donate $1 to the museum for every case of beer sold.


The beer is on tap at Brewer’s Alley and Price has already received orders from as far away as California for cases of beer.


The plan is to brew nine beers over two years — one every three or four months, Price said.


The next beer, “Proclamation Porter,” will be released in January to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.


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