Hops and beer – the town of Spalt (south of Nuremberg) lies at the heart of a German hop-growing area that is not only steeped in tradition, but also home to a truly unique brewery.
A 500-year-old granary in the town houses a modern museum brimming with interactive installations. The features in the museum were given a neutral design to blend in with each room and accentuate the ambience. This was achieved by building on different perspectives, leading the eye and thus allowing the two-floor exhibition to add a touch of authenticity and presence to the history of the town. To appeal to visitors’ perceptions, their senses are stimulated with hands-on exhibits, each of which falls into one of four display themes. Actively immersing visitors in the experience helps expand the horizons of each piece, taking the exhibition to a new level.
Modern media are used to introduce each theme, starting with an oversized interactive folding map that takes visitors on a virtual tour of the town. In the same way that the annual cycle of hop growing dictates the rhythm of the town and its inhabitants, a ‘panorama of the year of a hop’ brings its natural cycle to life with a 180° video. Visitors are accompanied on a journey through time, tracing the twelve months of the hop in a traditional town like Spalt. In the section focusing solely on beer brewing, visitors can walk into a huge brew kettle and learn about the bio-chemical processes that take place. An interactive beer table explores the beer cultures of the different countries to which Spalt hops are exported and where these unique hops find their way into brewmasters’ recipes. To visualise this process, a beer bottle is placed on a sensor, activating a virtual journey of exploration on the media screen – a voyage that covers the entire table top. The table is then laid, with a treasure trove of interesting facts and anecdotes on the culture and history of beer in each country.