Small Batch Beer Co., Old Salem Museums & Gardens Offer Limited-Edition Beer
Cheers to 242 Years!
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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (APRIL 7, 2015) – Small Batch Beer Co. and Old Salem Museums & Gardens have teamed to offer a limited-edition beer based on a historic recipe that dates to the late 1700s. Called “Salem Lot 93,” the beer will be available beginning Friday, April 10 exclusively at Small Batch, located at the corner of Fifth and Cherry Streets, in celebration of North Carolina Beer Month in April. Old Salem also will offer a special Bier Trinken Talk & Tasting on Saturday, April 18 to commemorate the release of Salem Lot 93.
“Cultural attitudes about drinking water produced a preference for beer and distilled spirits in early Salem,” Old Salem Museums & Gardens vice president of education Paula Locklair said. “In fact, the Single Brothers’ Brewery & Distillery is thought to be the first beer brewery in North Carolina and was located on the western edge of Salem on Lot 93. The tract of land served as the inspiration for the name of the beer now being offered at Small Batch.”
“Salem’s brewery and distillery opened 242 years ago in 1773 and operated until 1813,” she added. “Among the many records about the brewery is an original beer recipe, which is housed at the Moravian Archives. This is what Small Batch has worked hard to replicate. To my knowledge, no one has brewed beer from this Moravian recipe since the 19th century.”
Small Batch head brew master Jamie Mingia is the driving force behind the creation of Salem Lot 93. He attended an event at Old Salem last autumn where cider was served, inspiring him to think about beer from the early days of Salem.
“My wife Krissy graduated from Salem College and was a founding member of Old Salem’s New Benefactors,” Mingia said. “We were talking about the historic beers from the early days of Salem after attending an event at Old Salem last September, and I wondered aloud if it would be possible to recreate one of the beers. My wife said, ‘That’s a great idea’ and suggested that I contact someone at Old Salem.”
“I got together with PaulaLocklair and a few of her colleagues at Old Salem, and they were just as excited as we were about the notion of brewing beer using the authentic recipe,” he added. “Paula said that surprisingly no one had approached Old Salem about brewing the beer. Soon afterwards, Paula and others at Old Salem started sending us all kinds of information on the Single Brothers’ Brewery and the beer that was brewed there in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries.”
Small Batch wanted to wait until after the holidays to take on the task of recreating the historic beer and decided to introduce what would become Salem Lot 93 just in time for North Carolina Beer Month. Mingia said the brewers at Small Batch substituted hops, other grains and brewing methods as close as possible to what the Moravians would have used at Single Brothers’ Brewery.
“The beer is what we would today call an Old Ale. It is light brown in color, has very little carbonation and has flavor hints of caramel,” he said. “Salem Lot 93 is full-bodied with a heavy malt backbone. The beer has very little hops and a strong essence of wonderful fruity esters. It has been well received during initial taste tests.”
Mingia said the current batch of Salem Lot 93 is intended as a one-time special brewing to celebrate Beer Month. Small Batch has only three kegs of Salem Lot 93, each of which serves approximately 52 eight-ounce glasses. Salem Lot 93 is available at Small Batch while supplies last for $6 per serving.
“Brewing this beer is one of the coolest things I’ve done in my entire career,” Mingia added. “We certainly gained an appreciation for the historic brewing techniques as we worked on this project. What we now know as the science of beer brewing was being amazingly replicated by the Moravians in the late 1700s.”
In addition to the limited supply at Small Batch, Old Salem is offering a special “Bier Trinken Talk & Tasting” on Saturday, April 18 at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. The Bier Trinken event will offer discussion about the history of the Single Brothers’ Brewery and beer sampling of Salem Lot 93 alongside a comparable modern-day Small Batch beer. Small Batch’s brew master Jamie Mingia will be on hand to discuss how he recreated the beer and respond to questions about Salem Lot 93.
Old Salem’s Bier Trinken is limited to 30 attendees per session. The cost is $25 ($23/members) per person. For $45 ($40/members) per person, guests will also receive a beer mug handcrafted by Old Salem’s potter. Preregistration is required for the Bier Trinken. Call Old Salem reservations at 1-800-441-5305 for more information or visit oldsalem.org/LOT93.
About Old Salem
Old Salem Museums & Gardens is one of America’s most comprehensive history attractions. Its museums—the Historic Town of Salem, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA), and the Gardens at Old Salem—engage visitors in an educational and memorable historical experience about those who lived and worked in the early South. Old Salem Museums & Gardens is located at 600 South Main Street in Winston-Salem. For more information call 336-721-7300 or visit oldsalem.org.