Brewology and the history of the Point Brewery comes to UWSP
By Lucas Jagodzinski
STEVENS POINT – You can find many things in a museum of natural history. From skeletons of long extinct animals, to interactive exhibits featuring animal pelts and furs, museums of natural history have long since brought joy and wonderment into the communities they inhabit. The Natural History Museum on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) is no exception to this rule. However, if you take a trip down to the museum this December through April, you’ll have the opportunity to experience something quite unique.
The UWSP Natural History Museum, in conjunction with the Stevens Point Brewery, will be hosting an exhibit that showcases the fermentation processes required to brew beer and the overall history of the Stevens Point Brewery.
The Stevens Point Brewery, which first opened in 1857, has through the years become one of the linchpin businesses that support the greater economy of the Stevens Point Area. The Brewery has seen some great challenges and shifts in its many years of existence but has managed to adapt and prosper in many ways because of the challenges that it faced. During the Civil War, the Stevens Point Brewery provided beer to Union troops.
This was not only a great way to give troops a taste of their lives back home, it also came with the added bonus of positive publicity for the brewery. Prohibition, which banned the sale of alcohol for many years in the early 20th century, forced the brewery to develop a near bear product to stay competitive in the market. That product would become the inspiration for Point Brewery’s flagship product, Point Special. In 1973, Point Special beer was named the #1 American Beer during a taste test performed by Chicago Daily News Columnist Mike Royko. This news helped propel the sales of Point Beer to new markets and created a new demand for the product that lasts into the present. Through it all, the Point Brewery’s main objective remains to quell the thirst of it’s eager Stevens Point Areas customers.
You can find out much more about the history of the Point Brewery by going to the exhibit itself. UWSP Museum of Natural History Director Dr. Sarah Scripps notes that, “Students and the public alike will learn not only about the history of one of Stevens Point’s most important businesses, but also the science of fermentation.” The UWSP Museum of Natural History will be hosting a free exhibit opening event on December 10, 2021. The event includes an opportunity for those of age to sample some Point Brewery products and will also include a unique panel discussion entitled “The Art and Science of Point Beer.” The exhibit itself will be viewable in the Museum of Natural History at UWSP from Dec. 10, 2021 until the end of April 2022.