History and…Beer?

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When you think of museums, you think of history and exhibits.

But, do you think of drinking and beer?

Sault Ste. Marie Museum hosted their “Drinking Through History” event Saturday evening as part of National Historic Sites Day – partnering with local brewery Northern Superior, and showcasing brewing history in Sault Ste. Marie.

“Being in a historic building (the old post office), we wanted to celebrate in a fun way. SSM Museum Executive Director Julia Piskiewicz told SaultOnline. “So we thought, since we love to partner with different people, it would be exciting to do a beer event.

“And Northern Superior, they have such a historic background connected to Soo Mills and Dorans, so we wanted to feature them and showcase what they have going on.”

Northern Superior Brewing Co. bought the rights to the Soo Mills/Doran’s recipes in 2015 (after Doran’s Northern Breweries declared bankruptcy in July of 2006), keeping the local brew in Sault Ste. Marie.

Participants got to enjoy beer from Northern Superior, take a look at the pop-up exhibit showcasing brewing history in the Sault, as well as partake in a scavenger hunt and beer-related games such as beer pong and flip cup.

Northern Breweries, founded in 1907, began in Sudbury as Sudbury Brewing and Malting Co. It began to expand in 1911, with the purchase of the Soo Falls Brewing Co. here in Sault Ste. Marie, and again in 1913 when Fort William-based Kakabeka Falls Brewing Co. was acquired.

In 1919, the company established its Doran’s Brewery division in Timmins, and it acquired Port Arthur Beverage Co., in Port Arthur, in 1948.

Each of the breweries operated under their original names until 1960, when they were all consolidated under one management, becoming Doran’s Northern Breweries.

The company switched hands between 1971 and 2004, eventually declaring bankruptcy in July of 2006. By this point, the brewery was $7 million in debt. By December of the same year, the company was non-existent.

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