Beer, wine and liquors take center stage when Colonial Williamsburg presents “Good Spirits: Alcoholic Beverages in the 18th Century,” a conference taking place March 18-20.
During the three-day event, the staff from CW’s Historic Foodways program and top scholars and authors from England, Canada and the United States will examine the manufacture, trade, service and consumption of the most popular beverages of the period.
Speakers will discuss beer, cider and perry, fortified wines and punch as well as gin, rum and whiskey, and the variety of glasses, bowls and other paraphernalia of serious drinking. The afternoon will focus on the use of alcohol in cooking — both then and now — and culminate with a special version of the Williamsburg Lodge’s Wine, Wit and Wisdom.
Noted English food historian Peter Brown will give the keynote presentation. Additional presenters will include Daniel K. Ackermann, associate curator of Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Phil Dunning, material culture researcher of Parks Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; David J. Hancock, professor of history of University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.; Dennis Pogue, vice president, preservation of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, Museum & Gardens; and Frederick Smith, associate professor, anthropology of the College of William and Mary.
CW presenters include Rob Brantley, journeyman, Historic Foodways; Frank Clark, supervisor, Historic Foodways; and Rhys Lewis, executive chef, Williamsburg Lodge.
Registration is $349 per person, and preregistration and payment in full are required. The registration fee inlcudes the opening reception, two morning coffee breaks, two afternoon breaks, closing reception, and admission pass valid through the end of the day March 23.
Participants can register online at www.history.org or by calling 800-603-0948.