Ultimate Variety 12-Pack | Beers for Presidents of the United States
July 4th is celebrated throughout the United States in honor of the ratification of the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress. Since the first rager to signify us cutting ties with the British Empire, drinking has always been apart of the festivities. Today the day is most commonly celebrated with backyard barbeques, fireworks, and of course beer. We have a long history of beer lovers in our highest government office, and those original Founding Fathers would be proud of how far we have come.
Lion Bridge Brewing Co. | Compensation
Our very first president wrote a recipe for “small beer” on the back of a Military notebook, and thankfully that recipe survives today. While Blue Point Brewing once made a modern day copy called Colonel Brown Ale at 3.6%, and Coney Island Brewing made their Fortitude’s Founding Father Brew in conjunction with the New York Public Library, neither are still in production. However, Lion Bridge Brewing Company makes an English Mild Ale with a sessionale ABV of 4.5%. It has also won two gold medals at GABF in 2014 and 2016.
Yards Brewing | Jefferson’s Golden Ale
Thomas Jefferson, our third president, had a decided love for beer. When he retired from politics, he took over the home brewing that his wife Martha had been doing for decades at Monticello. They had a spring and fall brewing season and led to a informal brewing school. Jefferson constantly had people requesting to know his recipe for beer and the practice by which he brewed. We would allow friends to send servants and slaves to learn underneath his brewers, Joseph Miller and Peter Hemings. Yards Brewing out of Philadelphia has a copycat recipe, their Jefferson Golden Ale in their Revolutionary Series.
Yuengling Brewing | Yuengling Lager
James Madison believed so deeply in brewing culture in America that he wanted to create a national brewing that would be government run. Possibly by the new cabinet post he also proposed ‘Secretary of Beer”, trying to make sure that the new interest in brewing would be cultivated and America would no longer rely on imports. Which is why he enacted the “Tariff Act of 1789” hoping to sway the advantage in American brewers favor. Cheers to Madison. Yuengling may be the closest thing to a national brewery that we have, having been established in 1829, and is still family owned and operated.
Some Historians may call Pierce our drunkest President. Having a famous penchant for drinking in his days in the House and Senate, he tried to take to his wife’s passion for the temperance movement when they married. However, when Democrats didn’t support him for re-election, he reportedly stated, “What can an ex-president of the United States do except get drunk?” He died at the age of 65, from cirrhosis of the liver.
Two Roads Brewing | Conntucky Lightin’
While Wilson may have tried to veto the Volstead Act of 1919, he was the president when the teetotaling decade that was prohibition came down on America. The illegal act of making any sort of alcohol fueled the long standing tradition of moonshine for oneself, into a full blown operation. Wilson still was known to have stashes of alcohol around the White House and even weekly drunken poker games. So he would have appreciated this moonshine inspired sour mash bourbon ale.
21st Amendment Brewery | Brew Free or Die IPA
Thirteen years later Roosevelt came to save us all. “I think this would be a good time for beer,” Roosevelt famously said on March 12, 1933 on one of his first fireside chats. He quickly signed a Beer-Wine Revenue Act to allow 3.2 percent beer and wine in April of 1933, then in December, helped push through the 21st Amendment that once again made it legal to drink. As a man who pushed through the repeal it seems only fitting that he get a beer from the Brewery named after the act. Happy Days Are Here Again was his campaign song, and he sure lived up to that promise.
Carton Brewing | Boat Beer
Grover loved to drink beer, and a lot of it. During a campaign he promised to keep himself to four beers a day. However he found that too difficult and simply switch to a drink from a stein instead of a pint. He didn’t seem to drink to get drunk, but merely for the pleasure of the taste. So I am sure he would have enjoy a pint, stein, or growler of this highly sessionable ale from his home state brewery, Carton Brewing.
John F Kennedy
RAR Brewing | Marylan
You know why. We all know why.
Lyndon B Johnson
Jester King Brewery | Maple Bourbon Barrel-Aged Nocturn Serenade
While Johnson was known for drinking Pearl Beer around his ranch, he also loved a good whiskey. In 1964 he gave his Presidential stamp to make Bourbon the official spirit of the United States. Just an hour away from his ranch in Texas sits another ranch, on which Jester King Brewery sits. Johnson would surely approve of the beautiful 165 acre ranch and of this Maple Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout.
Warhorse Brewing Co. | Tricky Dick Stole My Beer
Nixon was President when we put a man in the moon and ended the draft, and had many other policies that he would rather be associated with. But instead he will forever be synonymous with scandal. Watergate was the downfall for Tricky Dick, and although he had a taste for the expensive wines, he probably would have drank this beer just for it’s approval ratings.
Pilot Project Brewery | Any Beer
Not much of a drinker himself, besides the occasional glass of white wine. Carter was know for deregulating the beer market which allowed a craft brewery to have a space to thrive when big beer was so dominate. Plus he legalized home brewing at a federal level in 1979, so that one could brew up to 100 gallons per person.
Today with the craft beer market so saturated, it can be extremely tough to get a foothold. But Pilot Project Brewery out of Chicago gives brewers a head start, offering a place to fine tune recipes on a audience before they launch into a full fledge business. This Brewery incubator is a seems like a place where community meets entrepreneurial endeavors, a place Carter would love to see.
8th Wonder Brewery & Distillery | Premium Goods
With so many beer lovers that have become presidents, it is hard to believe that it took until our 44th President to have a beer actually brewed at the White House. Brewed with the help of White House Chefs, Obama brewed three beers, including “White House Honey Ale” made with honey from the hives that are on the South Lawn of the property. He even got a lifetime membership to Homebrewers Association.
While the beer didn’t fall under any of the BJCP guildlines, it is said to closely resembles a Belgian Dubbel. No commercial brewery seems to have made a copy, like with Washington and Jefferson, 8th Wonder does make a Honey Dubbel that would probably give you a glance at how it tasted.