If you like beer and LiDAR (and who doesn’t?), boy do we have a story for you. The Cedar Rapids Gazette is reporting that the Iowa Society of the Archaeological Institute of America is scanning the beer caves below Iowa City. Their ultimate goal is to create a virtual reality experience of these historical spots and raise interest in historical preservation efforts.
What is a beer cave? You may know them as nothing more than that jazzed-up walk-in fridge your local convenience stores the larger cases of beer in. However, back in the mid 19th century, real caves for beer storage were still a vital part of the brewing process. Taking a cue from old-world brewing processes in Germany—where at least one of Iowa’s most prominent brewers came from—many American breweries before prohibition used beer caves for the cooling and aging barrels.