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Celebrate the area’s beer history and the skills of today’s local craft beer brewers by raising a glass of this beautiful stout to help repair the statue of President William McKinley in Reading City Park.

Berks Brewers Guild members Broken Chair Brewery and Chatty Monks, both based in West Reading; Oakbrook Brewing Company, in the Millmont section of Reading; Saucony Creek Brewing Company, Kutztown; and the 1787 Brewing Company, Hamburg, have again collaborated for a great cause.

This time, the collaboration has produced McKinley's Prosperity Stout, a new brew to help raise funds for the restoration of the William McKinley monument that sits just to the right of the Frederick Lauer monument along Perkiomen Avenue in City Park. The statue itself is in pretty good shape, but the marble base is shifting a bit after a century – and we want to make sure the tribute to the martyred commander-in-chief will be in good standing for years to come.

McKinley's Prosperity Stout will be debuted at the annual Reading Fire + Ice Fest on January 18 and 19 in downtown Reading.  Beer aficionados can savor this great new brew – and simultaneously help fund the restoration effort – at the Saucony Brewing Company stand at the festival. 

Here is a description of the stout from its creators:

The William McKinley Prosperity Stout is a milk and honey oatmeal stout boasting rich flavors; it’s creamy and delightful. It is brewed with rolled oats, lactose, chocolate malts, and Pennsylvania wildflower honey. 6.7% abv

William McKinley was the 25th president of the United States, serving from March 4, 1897, until his assassination six months into his second term in September 1901.  He was the third president to be assassinated. McKinley was the last president to have served in the American Civil War and the only one to have started the war as an enlisted private in the Union Army and ending as a brevet major.

Edward L. A. Pausch, a Danish-born sculptor, was summoned to Buffalo to make a death mask of McKinley shortly after his death. Death masks, usually made of wax or plaster of Paris, were common for major personalities of the time. In 1903, Pausch was commissioned to create a sculpture of McKinley for a monument to be erected in Penn's Commons, now Reading City Park, by the Reading Board of Trade, a predecessor of the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce.  The death mask was used as a model for the face on the Reading sculpture, which shows the president in a double-breasted, knee-length coat holding a copy of the speech he delivered at the Pan-American Exposition. The monument was dedicated with great fanfare on June 8, 1905. It was the first McKinley monument in Pennsylvania.  A year later, on the fifth anniversary of his death, the McKinley statue was featured in a Page One article in The Washington Post.