“Happiness and a good beer are inseparably connected.”
-George Washington
portrait-george-washington-3605088.jpg

Ok, I fudged the quote above.
The original reads “Happiness and moral duty” but it seems that the great general and first President was partial to a good brew. We know this, because his military journal contains a recipe for a small beer. A small beer was a beer with low alcohol content that was drunk through the day by everyone (and that includes children). Small beers were either brewed to target lower alcohol consumption, or were produced by running water through the mash again, after the wort for the bigger beer with higher sugar content (=higher alcohol) had been drained from the brew pot.

Washington’s recipe calls for bran hops and a lot of molasses. Budweiser has taken it upen themselves to brew this historic recipe. The result is their Freedom Reserve. Big breweries are fighting back against the microbrew trend. It is nice to see that Budweiser tries to stay in the game with interesting brews.

Will it taste like the beer George Washington drank? No. Like most historic beers it will be an approximation. There is no way to tell if the taste of the ingredients even came close to the modern taste, and sanitizing regiments and brew processes in a modern brewery add their part to separate Freedom Reserve from it’s historic roots.

But I would like to try it. Just for the fun imagining that I am tasting roughly the same beer that George Washington drank on his long journey.

Article in Esquire

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