There is no evidence that any president brewed beer in the White House until Barack Obama made a White House Honey Brown Ale in 2011. It created quite a buzz in the beer world, and the American Homebrewers Association made him a lifetime member.
Obama isn’t the first U.S. commander in chief to openly express his love of beer. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were known as avid homebrewers (and whiskey and winemakers). They made far more beer and spent far more time thinking about beer than Obama could ever spend in today’s world. (Lucky for him, the White House didn’t exist back then, so his place in presidential beer history, and in Washington D.C.’s brewing history, is forever cemented.)
For beer-soaked tributes to our past presidents, one must look not in Washington D.C., but in America’s first capital: Philadelphia. There, a local craft brewer and a historic tavern linked up nearly two decades ago to brew a series of beers called the “Ales of the Revolution.” Using notes and recipes gathered from letters and journals, Yards Brewing Co. and City Tavern recreated the beers of our founding fathers, including General Washington’s Tavern Porter and Thomas Jefferson’s Tavern (Strong) Ale.
Historic City Tavern Makes a Call to Arms
It all started in 1999 at City Tavern, a pub that was, amazingly enough, operating at the time George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin all walked these cobblestone streets. Back then, it was simply a tavern of the times, one of many. Today, nearly 250 years later, it’s the last of its kind, and to step through the doors is to travel back to the city’s colonial days. The atmosphere and menu are completely dedicated to the era of the American Revolution.
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