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Good Beer Hunting

Jan 27, 2024

American craft beer is old enough to have “good old days,” which means it's no stranger to retirements or its best and brightest moving on to new careers. In October 2023, Theresa McCulla announced she’d conclude seven years of work with the American Brewing History Initiative at the Smithsonian Institution, wrapping up an effort that saw her collect artifacts, design exhibits, interview nearly 100 icons of American brewing, award-winning stories, and more.

Theresa’s departure leaves a distinct void—her job was literally to trace the history of beer's ups and downs through all kinds of change–global pandemics, industry trends, demands on behalf of the marginalized, climate change, and of course the beginnings, middles, and occasional ends of important breweries and people who made American craft beer what it is. Without her and the American Brewing History Initiative, our risk of forgetting will be that much greater.

So, before she could move on to her new position as curator at candy giant Mars, Incorporated, I sat down with her for one last interview. A symbolic exit interview.