The image shown above could very well be the first brewery photo ever.
Wikipedia suggests that it was taken in 1844 and, to be honest, it doesn’t look too different than a scene you may see in any modern day brewery. People having a great time, sitting at a table, with glasses of beer in front of them. It really summarizes what we all expect from the craft beer world, and I’m certain it has been re-created countless times without anyone knowing.
The skills involved in producing calotypes were not only of a technical nature. Hill’s sociability, humour and his capacity to gauge the sitters’ characters all played a crucial part in his photography. He is shown here on the right, apparently sharing a drink and a joke with James Ballantine and Dr George Bell. Bell, in the middle, was one of the commissioners of the Poor Law of 1845, which reformed poor relief in Scotland, and author of Day and night in the wynds of Edinburgh. Ballantine was a writer and stained-glass artist, and the son of an Edinburgh brewer. On the table we see a beer bottle and three 19th-century drinking glasses called “ale flutes”. One contemporary account describes a popular Edinburgh ale (Younger’s) as “a potent fluid, which almost glued the lips of the drinker together, and of which few, therefore, could dispatch more than a bottle.”
Let’s make a 2015 version of this exact image!
That’s your task. Re-create this exact image with a couple of friends and send it our way one of two ways.
1. Tag us on instagram with the #taptrail1844 hashtag. preferred.
2. Use the SEND A PHOTO form on the right side (bottom for mobile) of this page.
Click here for a full size view of the image you’re mimicking.