Tradition is the foundation for what we do at Mudshark Brewery and Public House in picturesque Lake Havasu City, Arizona. After all, what is more American than good beer and a place where friends gather to share a hearty meal?

From the very inception of the United States and establishment of the presidency under the constitution, beer has been an important part of the story. The story of beer and its association with the presidency is bubbles up from the annals of history, frothing with anecdotes of founding fathers and their passion for ale or cider. When we pour over the presidential history of beer and brewing, a story that’s as rich and robust as a finely crafted ale.

The presidential history of beer begins with George Washington, the first president after replacement of the Aricles of Confederation by the Constitution. Washington’s passion for beer is often overlooked.

He recorded a beer recipe in his military notebook during his time as a colonel in the Virginia militia in 1757. This was a “small beer” as low-alcohol brew were known in the colonies. This brew was consumed by men, women, and even children. Washington’s recipe, a simple concoction involving bran hops and molasses, is a testament to the utilitarian nature of beer in colonial America.

Fast forward to Thomas Jefferson, the third president and a Renaissance man who, after his presidency, turned his attention to the art of brewing. Jefferson’s passion for wine is well-documented. But lesser-known is his experimentation with brewing, and establishment of his own personal brewhouse five years after leaving office.

James Madison, the fourth president, known as the “Father of the Constitution,” also had a frothy relationship with beer. He was such a staunch supporter of American brewing that he proposed the creation of a national brewery and the appointment of a Secretary of Beer to promote the interests of the burgeoning industry.

The narrative of presidents and beer continues through the ages, with each president adding their own flavor to the mix. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, for instance, won the hearts of many beer drinkers during the Great Depression by ending Prohibition. For the first time in more than a decade this allowed beer to flow freely and legally again in America.

In more recent times, the White House saw its first in-house brewery with former President Barack Obama. He brewed a White House Honey Brown Ale. This earned him a lifetime membership from the American Homebrewers Association. It also hinted of his personal enjoyment of beer and support for the homebrewing community and the craft beer revolution.

And speaking of honey infused brews, our award winning BUZZ Honey Lager is now available at many bars, taverns and saloons in northwestern Arizona. And that leads us to something special that we have brewing to celebrate the Route 66 centnennial. But that is a story for another day.

The presidential history of beer and brewing is a reflection of America’s cultural and social evolution. It’s a story that’s been fermenting for centuries, from the modest “small beer” of Washington to the craft ales of today. It’s a narrative steeped in tradition, innovation, and the American spirit. So, the next time you raise a glass at Mudshark Brewery and Public House , remember the presidential tradition of enjoying a cold brew.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America