EPIC Presidential Beer Fail

President Obama noted that he was the “first president since George Washington to make some booze in the White House.”

Uhh, Mr. President, when did George Washington make booze in the White House, exactly? Was it during the time that he served as the first President of the United States (1789-1797)?

That would have been tough for President Washington, because the White House wasn’t yet built.

Perhaps it was when George Washington visited our nation’s second President, John Adams, at the White House.

Except that would be a problem too, since Washington died in 1799, and the White House wasn’t completed or occupied until November 1800.

Maybe accuracy in presidential beer history isn’t altogether important, but I’m a bit surprised our current President doesn’t seem to know the history of the house he currently occupies. Heck, all he had to do was check his own website.

And the President also said, simply, “We make beer.” I was not aware that the President was involved in the process. He must make use of the “imperial we,” for effect. Presidents do that a lot these days, it seems.

For the record, having someone who makes beer for you is not making beer. Nor, is drinking beer that someone makes for you making beer. Rather, the taxpayer-provided staff that attend to Mr. Obama actually make the beer. C’mon, Mr. President, give credit where it’s due, please. [Naturally, I’m snarky about who makes the beer. I wonder why.] I hope that (for the sake of White House kitchen staff morale) “we” don’t also “do the cooking” for state dinners.

Compare and contrast with George Washington, who truly brewed his own beer and distilled his own spirits. The New York Public Library houses a collection of manuscripts which include one of Washington’s own hand-written recipes for beer:

Washington's recipe for "small beer", from a collection at the New York Public Library

Washington’s recipe for “small beer”, from a collection at the New York Public Library

To make Small Beer

Take a large Sifter full of Bran Hops to your Taste. “” Boil these 3 hours. Then strain out 30 Gallons into a Cooler, put in 3 Gallons Molasses while the Beer is scalding hot or rather drain the molasses into the Cooler & strain the Beer on it while boiling Hot. Let this stand till it is little more than Blood warm. Then put in a quart of Yeast if the weather is very cold, cover it over with a Blanket & let it work in the Cooler 24 hours. Then put it into the Cask “” leave the Bung[hole] open till it is almost done working “” Bottle it that day Week it was Brewed.

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