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Get a free lesson in beer brewing at Old Economy Village

Mary Pickels
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Autumn cider making, beer and wine classes are part of the historical education opportunities at Old Economy Village.

Area beer fans interested in learning how to make their own brew are in luck.

Old Economy Village, 270 16th St., Ambridge, in Beaver County, is offering a free, two-day beer-making seminar. Classes will be held 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 17 and 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 31.

During the first class, experienced brewer Zack Ruskin will explain how to create beer from scratch, with water, barley and wheat as ingredients. The mixture will then be allowed to ferment. Students will return for the Aug. 31 session to sample their product.

“Going back several years, we would typically offer a trades workshop in fall and spring,” says David Miller, museum educator.

Last year the museum received grant money for its “Bringing History Alive” initiative.

According to its website, the historical site is dedicated to the interpretation and preservation of the 19th-century religious community Harmony Society. The society sought to create a utopia inhabited by German Lutheran separatists who subscribed to the mystical religious teachings of their leader, George Rapp.

“They did brew beer here in the town and were from a part of Germany that produced wine, and they made wine themselves. They also made cider and hard cider and whiskey,” Miller says.

The museum uses a cider press for demonstrations and making apple cider during its fall harvest festival, he says.

“Zack Ruskin had done a beer-making class last year for us. We thought it went well and decided we wanted to offer it again,” Miller says.

Getting visitors onto and intriguing them with the property also has another mission, he adds.

“Our hope is (class participants) would enjoy what they are doing and learning enough to become a volunteer,” Miller says.

The beer-making class size is limited to 25. Registration is requested by Aug. 10.

Details: 724-266-4500, ext. 110, or email David Miller at [email protected]

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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