Reminded of Our Own Possibilities: A Reflection on the Return of Brewing Traditions in New Albany, Indiana
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Type of Work17:38 minutes
ProgramMA in Cultural Sustainability
RightsCollection may be protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. To obtain information or permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Goucher Special Collections & Archives at 410-337-6347 or email email@example.com.
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
New Albanian Brewing Company (Indiana)
Bank Street Brewhouse (New Albany, Ind.)
Cultural sustainability -- Capstone (Graduate)
New Albany (Ind.) -- Brewing industry -- History.
Beginning with Scotsman Hugh Ainslie in 1840, European immigrants to New Albany, Indiana brought their brewing traditions with them. Local breweries thrived as a part of daily life in the city's early neighborhoods for over 80 years until the advent of Prohibition in the 1920s. Only one New Albany brewery, known locally as Ackerman's, survived the 13-year-long alcohol ban. Unable to fully recover from years of financial strain, Ackerman's, too, succumbed to bankruptcy in 1935. The long absence of brewing in New Albany, as was the case in many cities and towns around the country, generally coincided with the decades-long period of widespread suburbanization that soon followed. The rise of commuter culture, expansion of mass production and non-local, "big box" retail, and the redefining of success as something that happens away from the city center left older, more traditional urban neighborhoods in distress. As financial and political power concentrated on the periphery, laymen and experts alike identified and theorized about the loss of urban social cohesion and an increased sense of societal alienation in historic, inner city neighborhoods. By the 1990s, though, the full costs of suburbanization were becoming more clear-- not just in the inner city but in the suburbs themselves. Realizations that the financial and environmental strain of sprawl were unsustainable, combined with the disconnectedness of cul-de-sac life from the broader community, found some starting to seek alternatives. New Albanian Roger Baylor's travels in Europe in the 80s and 90s had acquainted him with the brewing and pub traditions long missing from New Albany and the communities that often developed around them. He began to see potential for their reinvention at home as a way of resisting the bland hegemony of mass production and suburbia. Initial success in the 90s with a beer focused, European style pub on New Albany's northern edge led to the addition of a small brewing operation at that location in 2002. The New Albanian Brewing Company was the city's first commercial brewery in 67 years. With a few years' brewing experience and a growing local brand, Baylor then focused his attention on New Albany's neglected downtown, where a brewery expansion might more fully realize traditional brewing's potential as a catalyst for creative placemaking and local cultural development. The New Albanian Brewing Company's Bank Street Brewhouse opened downtown in 2009.
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