Did you know that beer brewing is a presidential legacy? An argument can easily be made that Mudshark Brewery and Public House, an award winning microbrewery in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, has direct links to George Washington?
Okay, that may be stretching a point. But did know that some of the US presidents, including George Washington, were not only beer drinkers, but also beer makers? That’s right, there is a long and fascinating history of presidential brewing that goes back to the founding fathers.
George Washington the first president under the United States Constitution was also one of the first brewers in the new republic. He had a recipe for a porter-style ale that he brewed at his Mount Vernon estate. He also ordered large quantities of beer from England and other colonies. He even had a special brew house built on his property, where he experimented with different ingredients and methods of brewing.
Thomas Jefferson, our third president was a man of many talents with a diverse array of interests. One of his passions was the brewing of beer.
He learned the art of brewing from his wife Martha, who had inherited a family recipe from her father. Jefferson grew his own hops and barley at Monticello. And he experimented with the brewing of a variety of beers including ales, porters, and stouts. He also shared his passion for beer with his friends and guests, who often wrote glowing reports of his brews.
James Madison, the fourth president, was a strong advocate for the establishment of a national brewery. He even proposed the creation of a cabinet-level Secretary of Beer.
He believed that beer was essential for the health and happiness of the nation, and that it would reduce the consumption of hard liquor. He also enjoyed drinking beer himself, especially the dark and strong ones.
With this rich tradition of beer brewing it is rather surprising that Barack Obama, the 44th president, that made history by being the first president to brew beer in the White House. He and his staff brewed a honey ale similar to the award winning BUZZ Honey Lager from Mudshark Brewery.
Obama’s beer used honey from the White House beehive. A honey porter and a honey blonde were brewed. The beers were served at various events and occasions, such as Super Bowl parties and state dinners. Obama even gave a bottle of his beer to a homebrewer who requested it through the Freedom of Information Act.
These are just some of the examples of presidents that liked beer and presidents that brewed beer. There are many more stories and anecdotes that show how beer has been a part of American history and culture. So next time you raise a glass at Mudshark Brewery, toast to the presidents who shared your love for this delicious beverage.
Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America.