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“Ale to the Chief” as recipe goes online

Bowing to increasing pressure from an online petition, the White House in Washington has finally released the recipe for President Obama’s home brew.

In a White House blog post riddled with beer and bee puns, the recipes for Honey Ale and Honey Porter are printed, alongside an explanation of how the venture began.

White House assistant chef, and senior policy advisor for “Healthy Food Initiatives”, Sam Kass writes that President Obama was inspired by the home brewing movement that’s sweeping the US.

“After the few first drafts”, he writes, “we landed on some great recipes that came from a local brew shop. We received some tips from a couple of home brewers who work in the White House who helped us amend it and make it our own. To be honest, we were surprised that the beer turned out so well since none of us had brewed beer before.”

The post says that although President George Washington brewed beer at his Mount Vernon home, there’s “no evidence that any beer or liquor has been brewed in the White House”.

The release of the recipes comes as President Obama continues his re-election campaign in Colorado, a swing state where craft and home brewing has taken a strong hold.

The White House has also posted a YouTube video, giving an insider’s view of the brewing process in the White House kitchens, and a glimpse of the ‘White House beer room’.



Recipe: White House Honey Ale


  • 2 (3.3 lb) cans light malt extract
  • 1 lb light dried malt extract
  • 12 oz crushed amber crystal malt
  • 8 oz biscuit malt
  • 1 lb White House honey
  • 1 1/2 oz Kent Goldings Hop pellets
  • 1 1/2 oz Fuggles Hop pellets
  • 2 tsp gypsum
  • 1 pkg Windsor dry ale yeast
  • 3/4 cup corn sugar for priming


  1. In a 12 quart pot, steep the grains in a hop bag in 1 1/2 gallons of sterile water at 155 degrees for half an hour. Remove the grains.
  2. Add the two cans of the malt extract and the dried extract and bring to the boil.
  3. For the first flavouring, add the 1 1/2 oz Kent Goldings and 2 tsp of gypsum. Boil for 45 minutes.
  4. For the second flavouring, add the 1/2 oz Fuggles hop pellets at the last minute of the boil.
  5. Add the honey and boil for 5 more minutes.
  6. Add 2 gallons chilled sterile water into the primary fermenter and add the hot wort into it. Top with more water to total 5 gallons. There is no need to strain.
  7. Pitch yeast when wort temperature is between 70-80˚. Fill airlock halfway with water.
  8. Ferment at 68-72˚ for about seven days.
  9. Rack to a secondary fermenter after five days and ferment for 14 more days.
  10. To bottle, dissolve the corn sugar into two pints of boiling water for 15 minutes. Pour the mixture into an empty bottling bucket. Siphon the beer from the fermenter over it. Distribute priming sugar evenly. Siphon into bottles and cap. Let sit for 2 to 3 weeks at 75˚.



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