Brewed in History: Rich Wagner's Colonial Reenactment

The Historic Odessa Brewfest offers it all; with refreshing beer from local breweries, friendly people and great music, it's a winning combination you're destined to enjoy. The star of the show, however, are the historical touches that set the Odessa Brewfest apart from others. Set on the beautiful grounds of the Historic Odessa Foundation, the annual brewfest aims to take advantage of its rich past with one of its most popular features, a colonial reneactment by beer historian Rich Wagner.

A Taste From the Past

If you've ever wanted to know how the colonists brewed beer, Rich Wagner is your guy!

Wagner presents 18th century brewing methods in a historically accurate manner from start to finish, including the use of copper kettles and wooden barrels to transform hops and grains. He even utilizes sunlight to measure cooking times, while in full period dress. He'll pour the hops and grains from a wooden barrel into a cauldron heated by a burning fire and stir vigorously.

This historically accurate re-enactment even references Odessa, Delaware's past as an important grain port back in the 18th century on the Appoquinimink River, where no doubt much of the grain was used in the process of making beer!

Watching the demonstration is a must-see, if only because it's a true display of skill and insight into how America's founders used to enjoy their beer. Back then, you'd have to wait three weeks for brewed beer to be ready for consumption! Thankfully, now, you can sample a variety of beers from the prestigious breweries at Odessa Brewfest without waiting so long. You can sip on your ice-cold beer, close your eyes and imagine yourself transported back to the 18th century.

Keeping the Tradition Alive

Help fund those who are truly dedicated to the history of craft beer!

After watching Wagner's fascinating demonstration, you can even check out his book Philadelphia Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in the Cradle of Liberty, which brings you through a journey about the earliest ales to today's craft brewing renassiance. We also suggest donating to the Historic Odessa Foundation, who not only maintains the beautiful homes and grounds in the historical district, but is the official host of the annual festival as well!