Two weeks ago we looked at the Lincoln connection to beer. In honor of George Washington’s birthday this week, we investigate the our first president’s relationship with beer.
First, we have proof that Washington was indeed a hero:
George Washington, a noted brewer and first President of the United States, had more than the British to battle during America’s war for independence. Upon enlisting, Washington had promised each of his soldiers a quart of beer as a part of their daily rations. As war progressed and supplies diminished, The Continental Congress threatened to eliminate the beer rations. Well, old George would have no part of that and argued to maintain the full beer rations. And we all know the final outcome of that war…sniff…That’s so beautiful, man…sniff
We, know that Washington’s favorite beer was Porter...
But did you know Washington was also a micro brewer. Here’s his recipe for what he called “small beer”:
Take a large Siffer [Sifter] full of Bran Hops to your Taste. -- Boil these 3 hours then strain out 30 Gall[ons] into a cooler put in 3 Gall[ons] Molasses while the Beer is Scalding hot or rather draw the Melasses into the cooler & St[r]ain the Beer on it while boiling Hot. let this stand till it is little more than Blood warm then put in a quart of Yea[s]t if the Weather is very Cold cover it over with a Blank[et] & let it Work in the Cooler 24 hours then put it into the Cask -- leave the bung open till it is almost don[e] Working -- Bottle it that day Week it was Brewed.I discovered here that this recipe will result in a beer that will kick your ass:
Following this recipe exactly will result in a beer with an alcohol content of about 11 percent -- making it at least twice as potent as most of today's commercially brewed domestic beers.It’s also been recorded that George once stopped at the Warren Tavern (witch still exists) in Boston to “have refreshments” with Ben Franklin. Here’s the sign that hangs outside the historic establishment.
Well, Lincoln seems to have been the more temperate of the two men honored this month. Hmmm…maybe we should take a look at Franklin’s beer adventures sometime. I have a feeling he could drink these two under table (and in Washington’s case, probably did).