In a previous piece, I shared the story of how my wife and I made the 10-hour trip from our home in Columbus, Ohio, to Iowa State University, where the MBAA archives are housed. It was a wonderful experience to see what was there.
However, I was horrified to see what was...not there. In Iowa State’s descriptive summary of our archives, they mention that our first 60 years are only “sparsely documented.” I have been told by some of our more senior members that this is due to a combination of flood, fire, theft, and even malicious behavior.
My mission to Iowa State included finding and scanning two very important publications that I believe are critical to MBAA’s heritage. One publication celebrates our 75th anniversary year in 1962. The other celebrates our 100th anniversary year in 1987. They both include brief, yet wonderful histories of each of our MBAA local districts. For my home district, District Cincinnati, that means a 1962 piece written by then district president George Rubey. It also means a second, updated 1987 piece written by then district president Mark Phipps. Together, they provide a historical foundation, upon which, to continue to build.
I have heard many of our members refer to both elusive volumes as “special editions.” Some point to our own Technical Quarterly. Others point to the Brewer’s Digest and Modern Brewery Age. Yet, no one seems to remember exactly who published them. Sadly, neither volume was included in our Iowa State archives. But I know...I KNOW that some of our more senior members have these volumes stashed away in some box in the basement or stored with other treasures in the attic.
My primary goal as the heritage chair is to locate both volumes and scan them. Then I hope to combine the historical information contained within each by writing a “base” history for that district. This would provide a historical foundation, upon which, to continue to build.
Please!!! Give this a bit of thought. If you have these volumes, contact me. I will scan them for MBAA and I will ensure that they find their way to Iowa State. And I will begin the daunting task of writing and combining the material from both volumes into a readable, useable history for each of our districts!
In a Spirit of Hands-On Heritage....Cheers!