The Mill’s $100 million restoration project includes a museum that will tell the story of American beer and its role in our culture. In the early to mid-twentieth century, regional breweries built awareness with brand art like motion beer signs, back bar chalkware sculptures, factory lithographs, tap handles and more. To collectors, this memorabilia is affectionately known as breweriana—a celebration of craftsmanship and iconic, long-forgotten beers–from the pre-prohibition era to modern times. Entrusted to us by collectors, the artifacts located within the Cone Top Brewery Museum tell the stories of past and present regional American breweries and their contributions to shaping local communities and beer culture. It will be a destination for serious collectors and casual visitors alike to discover one of the country’s most extensive breweriana collections.
We've partnered with National Association Breweriana Advertising (NABA)—an organization with members across the nation who celebrate and collect beer memorabilia. Together, our goal is to preserve brewery history in every way possible, through digital preservation in our growing online collection, physical displays in our historical downtown Vicksburg buildings, and eventually, at The Mill's museum space. NABA members are welcome to share their own collections, as well as written archives, stories and photos that capture the authenticity of the regional breweries we celebrate that have shaped American culture.
In July 2022, we traveled to Pittsburgh to celebrate NABA's 51st National Convention. Along the 1,000-mile road trip from Michigan to Pennsylvania, our video crew made a few stops at the homes of breweriana collectors to interview many of our notable NABA members and capture on video their spirit and stories about what they collect. Coined the "Collector Series," we aim to shine a spotlight on these folks and their accomplished collections while also fostering interest and growth in a hobby that brings joy to so many people.Read the full magazine article
Mike’s home is breweriana. The hobby began for him when he was a young, single guy living with friends in New Jersey. They turned the main level of their home into a bar, where he grew his collection to include tin-over-cardboard signs (his specialty), trays, reverse-on-glass and die-cut cardboard signs—many of which are the only known existing examples.
We shared beers with Larry & Amy while the couple told us stories about the thrill of the hunt at flea markets, auctions and antique shops. While Larry couldn't pin down a favorite item, Amy didn't hesitate to talk about dual collectibles—items known as both breweriana and works of art—hence her love of lithographs.
Tracey's collection is housed in an incredible historic building in an old industrial district in Pennsylvania. This makes for an ideal setting to display his historic artifacts that lean into breweriana from Western Pennsylvania.
Chip has what is regarded as the finest existing collection of Western Pennsylvania breweriana. Housed in an old stable building on Chip’s property, his collection is incredibly vast and impressive, and he describes it also as his personal sanctuary.
Matt's first-class collection focuses on a variety of eye-catching artifacts rather than a specific style or era. Housed in his home's downstairs bar and entertainment area, you'll find lighted, tin and reverse-paint-on-glass signs from many periods that capture his interest.
We recently co-hosted the first of many NABA + Cone Top Brewery Museum events honoring 93-year-old NABA member Stanley Summers and the vast breweriana collection he has entrusted to our museum. The two-day event in downtown Vicksburg gave friends, family and NABA members the opportunity to see Stan's collection on display in our downtown Cone Top Brewery Museum, participate in a friendly roast and attend a breweriana trade show where anyone could add to or start their own beer collection.
The Museums at the Mill will pay homage to Vicksburg’s rich history and that of its surrounding communities. From The Mill’s origin in paper making to beer and brewery memorabilia to the old stoves that made Kalamazoo famous, big plans are in the works to dedicate space at The Mill to each of these traditions. Read more about the future of The Mill museums and the rich history of a village and a mill all captured in artifacts in Encore Magazine.
If you have brewery artifacts you’d like to sell or display, work directly with our curator by contacting: firstname.lastname@example.org. Examples we’re curating: Lighted, Motion & Neon Beer Signs, Reverse On Glass (ROG) & Tin Over Cardboard (TOC) beer signs, Brewery Lithographs, One-of-a-kind Items & More
Come along as we share the compelling story of beer and its place in The Mill at Vicksburg, including the Cone Top Brewery Museum devoted to breweriana. See how this historic paper mill is transforming from the verge of demolition into a vibrant culture of music, beer and entertainment.VIEW OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL
Hear stories shared by prominent NABA (National Association of Breweriana Advertising) members Barry Travis, Stan Summers and Paul Cervenka as they talk beer, The Mill, breweriana and everything in between during a roundtable session held in Vicksburg, Michigan.
In addition to our physical space in downtown Vicksburg, Michigan, our artifacts are on display in our growing online gallery! Eventually, artifacts will be housed in a permanent museum at The Mill at Vicksburg—soon to be the ultimate entertainment destination in the Midwest.
Search our online Breweriana Museum by typing terms in the search bar such as brewery name, city, state, or type of sign (Lighted, Neon, Cardboard, etc.). Click on any image for details on the piece and to see a larger image.
The Museums at The Mill are currently in the hands of architects and construction crews. But that hasn’t prevented us from displaying brewery museum artifacts to the public! We are very active in restoring historic turn-of-the-century buildings in downtown Vicksburg, Michigan. While we work on planning, drawings and federal and state historic credit programs, we are using our buildings for work and display venues for artists and brewery history displays. Check out this website for dates of future public events.
In the early 1900’s, Vicksburg was home to one of the country’s most significant paper mills, and Michigan was one of the largest producers of antique stoves in the country. The Mill will pay tribute to these rich histories with additional collections focused on these trades.
When Chris was a kid, his Vicksburg childhood home was heated by a Kalamazoo Stove Co. parlor stove. In fact, Kalamazoo Stove Co. was one of the most prominent stove-making companies in the state of Michigan in the early 1900s.
At one time, Michigan was the state with the most production of antique stoves in the country. The Mill Museum will honor this rich history in the state of Michigan and the Kalamazoo area with the restoration and preservation of hundreds of old stoves that will be put on display for all to admire.
The Mill Museum will pay homage to The Mill’s roots as Lee Paper Mill: one of the largest paper mills in the country—and, for decades, the largest employer in the village of Vicksburg.
You can go back in time to the paper milling days through old photographs, memorabilia from former employees and guided tours explaining how each section of the campus assisted in the paper-making process. The Moore family worked at The Mill for generations, including Chris’ grandfather, his father, and Chris himself during the summers of 1983–1988.
Take a sneak peek inside The Mill as it begins to take shape with a video tour including insights and updates from the construction manager and crew.VIEW OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL
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