Carillon Historical Park

Beer Traveling Back to the 1850s

Carillon Historical Park, in Dayton, Ohio, provides an opportunity to taste beers from the 1850s. One of the park’s 30 buildings houses the Carillon Brewing Company, which uses historically accurate, mid-19th-century techniques. Visitors can enjoy traditional German food and other offerings at the brewery’s restaurant; while eating, they can watch employees and volunteers feed the fires, ladle the beer, and fill the barrels.

Carillon’s ales, made using techniques that predate refrigeration and mechanization, have a traditional sourness that some will consider an “acquired taste.” (Those who like the beer can buy growlers to take home.) The brewery’s flagship product is a coriander ale made from an 1830s recipe. Another Carillon beer, a porter, is made with malt hand-roasted over the fireplace coals; and because yeast strains vary seasonally, it will taste different throughout the year.

History, in Liquid Form

Carillon Historical Park in Dayton, Ohio, is set to become the first American museum to make its own beer using equipment and techniques from the mid-19th century. The $3 million brewery, to be housed in a new building in the museum’s Kettering Family Education Center, will turn out a variety of both ales and lagers. The brewery will be tended by costumed actors. There will, of course, be a brewer in charge, and the museum is looking for someone who will not only make the beer but also help design the facility.

If all goes well, Carillon’s brewery will be operational by year’s end.

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