Saturday, November 24, 2012

#38 NB White House Honey Ale

There’s a decent crispness from the hops, and the beer is sweet but well-balanced. The honey flavor was muted. Adding it during fermentation would have given the beer more depth of flavor -- as Al Marzi, Harpoon's chief brewer, predicted, our beer is a little dry -- but it’s an entirely pleasant drinking experience.

White House Honey Ale logoHistory
White House Honey Ale is the first beer known to have been brewed in the White House.  The process began in January 2011 at the request of President Barack Obama who purchased the homebrewing kit using his personal funds.  As of 2012, three styles have been brewed in addition to Honey Ale: White House Honey Blonde Ale, White House Honey Porter and White House Honey Brown.

Former president Thomas Jefferson, who lived in the White House between 1801 and 1809, is known to have brewed beer himself, particularly after his retirement. He has been called "America's first microbrewer", but there is no evidence that it happened within the White House.


Jason G Petition signature August 21, 2012 Signature #717 for White House Honey Ale RecipeOn August 21, 2012, at least two Freedom of Information Act requests were sent to the White House seeking the recipe of the White House Honey Ale from California attorney Scott Talkov and Texas attorney Brodie Burks, both home brewers. On August 29, 2012 during a brief Q&A session on Reddit, President Obama announced he would release the recipe, stating "It will be out soon! I can tell from first hand experience, it is tasty."

The recipe was released on The White House Blog on September 1, 2012.

White House Honey Ale does not match a specific beer style as outlined by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) style guidelines. Gravity, alcohol by volume, bitterness and color are within the guidelines for a Belgian Dubbel, however the English hop and yeast selection are not in keeping with the Belgian Dubbel style. Therefore this beer would fall under BJCP Category 23- Specialty Beer.

BJCP Style 16A/23
Date Brewed 11/23/2012
ABV 4.99
OG 1.048
FG 1.01
Calories 135
5 lb Wheat Extract
8 oz Flaked Wheat
1 lb White Wheat
1 1/4 lb Belgian Pilsner Malt
Hops-Bittering .5 oz Cascade
Hops-Flavor .5 oz Cracked Coriander
.5 oz Bitter Orange Peel
Yeast WLP400 Belgian Wit Ale
Safbrew T-58"

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