The Fugitive Brewer

Season 7
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beer and mug

A skill for brewing beer and $100 reward for her capture. Those were the clues in an old newspaper ad that got Smithsonian brewing historian Theresa McCulla hooked on the story of Patsy Young, an enslaved African American woman who fled to freedom in 1808 and made a life for herself brewing beer. In this episode of Sidedoor, we follow McCulla as she scours historical documents to retrace Young's life and find out who she was...and what happened after her escape.



  • Theresa McCulla, Curator with the Smithsonian's American Brewing History Initiative at the National Museum of American History
  • Mary Elliott, Curator of American Slavery at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • Frank Clark, Master of Historic Foodways at Colonial Williamsburg

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