Molly Belmont, Marketing Director
Discover Albany
Phone: 518-434-1217 x 203

July 3, 2018

Proost! events serve up a delicious pint of history  
C.H. Evans Brewer Collaborates with Albany Beer Historian to Recreate Historic Beer

Albany, NY – Proost! the popular event series that recreates and serves beverages from Albany’s past at local historic sites, continues to attract visitors.

The most recent installment, “Proost! A Brewed and Boozy Sampling of Mid-19th Century Albany,” took place at the Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence, once a stop on the Underground Railroad. The third in this series, the event offered the famous Albany Ale, a double-strength XX ale that made Albany beer-famous.  The beer was created at CH Evans Brewing Company and will be available at the Albany Pump Station at the end of July.

The June 22 event included a Siena student art show, theater readings, and virtual reality tour of the Residence. The event raised over $1,500 for this important historic site.

Event organizers say the Proost events make history more palatable and broaden our understanding. “Events like Proost! expand the opportunities for equating fun with learning and expand our contemporary understanding of the full lives engaged in by mid-19th century Albany residents,” says Mary Liz Stewart, co-founder of the Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region.

The Proost! events are moderated by culinary writer and historian, Deanna Fox. Panelists include beer historian and co-founder of the Albany Ale Project, Craig Gravina, C.H. Evans brewer Sam Pagano, and distiller, John Curtin. The events are sponsored by Discover Albany, All Over Albany, and Albany Archives.

“The panelists were fun and entertaining,” says Stewart. “They were serious about their history, but were still able to  interject levity into the night.”

“What Sam, Craig and the rest of the ‘Proost’ storytellers are doing is so important,” says Maeve McEneny, Discover Albany Education Coordinator. “Albany has incredible history and beautiful architecture to back up it up, but food and drink humanizes these stories. When we’re given the chance to taste what our descendants might have drank or we eat the food they would have had access to, it brings us that much closer to our past and a better understanding of our roots.”

“Beer and Albany go hand in hand. Brewing has been part of Albany's history and culture since the earliest Dutch settlers, and by the 1800s the city had become one of North America's most prolific brewing centers. Albany Ale could be found all over the Western Hemisphere!” says Beer Historian Craig Gravina. “But to really understand beer and spirits role in history you need to look at what else was happening at the time. That's what I love about the Proost! events. They help contextualize beer and spirits into the greater history. The development of the Erie Canal, industrialization, the social reform movements of the era, and even the Civil War, shaped how Albanians, New Yorkers, and really all Americans, viewed and consumed alcohol in the 19th century.”

“Proost!” part of Discover Albany’s “Tastes and Traditions”, a year-long initiative celebrating Albany’s culinary accomplishments and excitement. Previous Proost events took place at Crailo State Historic Site, and Ten Broeck Mansion. The next Proost event is scheduled for September.

ABOUT Discover Albany

The Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. was established in 1976 to promote the civic and commercial progress of the community through increased development of conventions and tourism. Today, the organization is known as Discover Albany. Discover Albany currently represents more than 300-member businesses and assists each year in hundreds of regional meetings. Discover Albany also operates the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center, Henry Hudson Planetarium, and the Albany International Airport Information Center.  The Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau Foundation was established in 1993 to provide educational opportunities and work with other organizations to secure grants and funding to advance regional travel and tourism projects.  For more information, call 518-434-1217 or 800-258-3582 or visit