Exhibit fun is brewing at Lakeshore Museum Center

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– Photos by Cynthia Price


By Cynthia Price

People who think that the latest local breweries are a new thing for Muskegon will be interested to visit “Cheers!”, the new beer exhibit at the Lakeshore Museum Center.

Indeed, the Muskegon Brewing Company was here long before Unruly and Pigeon Hill, and it was one of the largest breweries in Michigan.

A sad fact revealed by the exhibit is that, although Muskegon Brewing Company managed to lie dormant through the Prohibition era and reopen in 1933, it was the victim of a fire shortly after (in 1934). It originally opened in the 1860s.

The exhibit, which is on view at the main Lakeshore Museum Center building downtown until May 18, has a kind of hands-on feel about it, though free beer samples are not in the offing. It includes a mock bar set-up, a station where brewing ingredients can be smelled (and the hoppy odor wafts through the exhibit), and a place where kids (or adults) can design and color in either beer or soda labels.

The beautiful exhibit design is reminiscent of the era when Muskegon Brewing Co prospered. It includes visuals and information on the related Muskegon Bottling Co., with its clear glass artifacts,  leading up to the present. Exhibits also honor Unruly Brewing Co. and Pigeon Hill Brewing, joined by the new Rake Brewery Project, all of which are contributing to the economic resurgence of Muskegon.

Pigeon Hill’s co-founder Michael Brower, was instrumental in setting up the exhibit, which also borrowed from the Muskegon Heritage Museum.

Of course, beer is not all the museum has to offer. In addition to standing historical and science exhibits like the Science Center, the STEM Center, and “Coming to the Lakes” with its mastodon, the center has focused on more programs.

Coming up soon are Friday Family Fun Night’s “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” (Jan. 17 5:30-7:30 p.m., outdoors) and, on Jan. 18, a recurrence of ASD Sen-
sory Saturday, which focuses on enhancing the experience of visitors on the autism spectrum and was the focus of a 1/25/2019 Examiner article.

Also on Jan. 18, from 1:00-3:00, I-Try at the Museum invites folks to explore the hands-on aspects of the museum through a scavenger hunt.

There will be “Hackley Attic Escape Room” events all year, with the next Feb. 7 and 8. Capitalizing on the trend which invites people to solve puzzles in order to “get out,” these take place at the affiliated Hackley House site and cost $15.

And there will be a tour of the Cheers! exhibit Feb. 23 5:30-7:00 with Pigeon Hill’s Brower, Co-founder of Pigeon Hill Brewing, and exhibit project manager, Aaron Mace, for a guided tour of our newest exhibit!

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