Theresa McCulla is Ready to Tell the History of Brewing in America

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Theresa McCulla
Theresa McCulla is the new brewing historian for the American Brewing History Initiative at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. (Credit: National Museum of American History)

Theresa McCulla is the new brewing historian for the American Brewing History Initiative at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

When the museum’s job posting went up in 2016, some misleading article headlines suggested the job would require drinking a whole lot of beer. Spoiler alert: that’s not what Theresa McCulla’s job is about.

(Dick Cantwell: Craft Brewers Have a Legacy to Protect)

So what does a brewing historian do? Recently back from her first information gathering trip — this time to research brewing roots in Northern California — Theresa chatted with Julia Herz, the Craft Beer Program Director at the Brewers Association (publishers of; the BA is a supporter of the new brewing history initiative).

During our Facebook Live chat, Theresa shares details about her new job, her plans to tell the story of beer in America, and the role small and independent craft brewers play in that story.



You can follow her research on Twitter @theresamccu as well as the museum’s feed @amhistorymuseum.

Jess Baker walked into a beer fest in 2010 and realized beer had come a long way from what her dad had been drinking since the 70s. She served as editor-in-chief of from spring 2016 to spring 2020, bringing you stories about the people who are the heartbeat behind U.S. craft brewing. She's a runner, a die-hard Springsteen fan, a mom who is always scouting family-friendly breweries, and always in search of a darn good porter. is fully dedicated to small and independent U.S. breweries. We are published by the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s small and independent craft brewers. Stories and opinions shared on do not imply endorsement by or positions taken by the Brewers Association or its members.