Bowing to growing pressure from thirsty and curious Americans in both parties, the White House on Saturday released the recipes for President Barack Obama’s homemade beers, revealing the executive branch’s penchant for honey-flavored brews.
In a blog post entitled “Ale to the Chief,” White House Assistant Chef and Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives Sam Kass said that “with public excitement about White House beer fermenting such a buzz, we decided we better hop right to it.”
“To be honest, we were surprised that the beer turned out so well since none of us had brewed beer before,” Kass wrote.
The key ingredient for the White House Honey Brown Ale and the White House Honey Porter, though, may be tough to come by — the honey is straight from the White House’s first-ever beehive.
Kass wrote that the “honey gives the beer a rich aroma and a nice finish but it doesn’t sweeten it.”
However, Brandon Skall, the chief executive of local brewery DC Brau, said it would “pump up the alcohol and give it some sweetness.”
The ale would likely pair well with a spicy and savory dish such as pork tenderloin or roast duck, said Skall, who added he would like to make the beers in his District of Columbia brewery. The porter would work well with a dessert or even floated with ice cream, he added.
The audacity of hops
The recipes were released as Obama headed to campaign in Colorado, a swing state that is embracing small, independent beer producers. The birthplace of Coors beer currently has the third highest number of craft breweries in the country, behind only California and Washington, according to the web magazine Atlantic Cities.
The commander-in-chief bought a home brewing kit last year and, according to media reports, has served the beer at St. Patrick’s Day and Super Bowl celebrations. Obama is now part of a growing movement – 28,835 people currently belong to the American Homebrewers Association.
Although George Washington brewed beer at his Mount Vernon home, there’s “no evidence that any beer has been brewed in the White House,” Kass wrote.
Last month, Obama told a man in Iowa that his campaign bus was stocked with White House beers, and even shared a sample. Curiosity came to a head in the last few weeks as recipe requests poured onto the White House’s online petition site known as “We the People.”
Obama’s opponent in the November election, Mitt Romney, belongs to the Mormon faith, which shuns alcohol. But the Republican Party could still tap voter interest – its vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan hails from Wisconsin, a major beer-making state, and he has professed affection for micro-brews.