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“When someone hands me a beer I don’t ask how it was made, I just drink it.”
August 14, 2012 10:55 AM   Subscribe

Revealed: The president [or someone affiliated with him] brews his own beer, and brings it with him on the road.

This 2011 story has a bit more detail: the Obamas bought the equipment used by White House chefs for occasional small batches of homebrew, and this is the first administration in which beer has been brewed at the White House
posted by clavicle (93 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
USA! USA!
posted by craven_morhead at 10:58 AM on August 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


Tastes like socialism to me, a true american would support a faceless megabrewery.
posted by Chekhovian at 10:58 AM on August 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


A practice that's still illegal in Alabama being practiced in the White House. Color me surprised.
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:00 AM on August 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


Obama Blue Brew.
posted by resurrexit at 11:01 AM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


All these little leaked tidbits are just meant to endear him to us and make him human.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:02 AM on August 14, 2012 [8 favorites]


Name suggestion for a Märzen style lager: Baracktoberfest. You're welcome, Mr. President.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:03 AM on August 14, 2012 [61 favorites]


when a man at the Knoxville coffee shop where Obama stopped today somehow got the president onto the subject of beer

This is the second story I've heard today related to Obama and beer. The first one was about Obama at an Iowa fair encouraging "everyone who's over 21, you gotta buy a beer". It involved pork chops too. I wonder if this is a deliberate spin attempt to remind folks that Obama is neither a Mormon nor a Muslim?
posted by rh at 11:03 AM on August 14, 2012 [14 favorites]


That's cool. Home brewing is fun, but it's a LOT of work, and the beer ends up being surprisingly expensive. Buying a kegerator is only a little more expensive than a decent home brewing setup, and kegs of beer are usually a fair bit cheaper. They're also much easier to deal with.

Now, I might rethink that if I had my own personal cooking staff, but since I don't, I think kegs are probably the most cost-effective option overall, and you can get truly excellent brews that way.
posted by Malor at 11:04 AM on August 14, 2012


A practice that's still illegal in Alabama

Wait, what?
posted by Malor at 11:05 AM on August 14, 2012


the Obamas bought the equipment used by White House chefs for occasional small batches of homebrew, the first ever made at the White House

This sentence is both incoherent and not from the story. If the chefs used it, then the Obamas' beer can't be the first ever made there.

The real story, according to that link, is that the Obamas bought it, now the chefs are using it.
posted by DU at 11:05 AM on August 14, 2012


Brewgate?

Sol-yndra?

Fizzed and Furious?

Some damn thing. Whatever it is, I'm sure it's bad and Obama did it.
posted by Fists O'Fury at 11:05 AM on August 14, 2012


Is this just propaganda to try to fool us into thinking that he's not Muslim?

I feel the need to point out that I'm joking here.
posted by sciencegeek at 11:06 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


BIG GOVERNMENT!

Clearly this: Expect costs to increase in the long term.
posted by mazola at 11:06 AM on August 14, 2012


relax, have a homebrew
posted by stevil at 11:06 AM on August 14, 2012 [13 favorites]


This totally makes up for the coffee table.
posted by brundlefly at 11:07 AM on August 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


Yeah, don't want to leave beer-rings on good furniture.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:08 AM on August 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Name suggestion for a Märzen style lager: Baracktoberfest. You're welcome, Mr. President.

And for a doppelbock, how about "Obamator"?

That's cool. Home brewing is fun, but it's a LOT of work, and the beer ends up being surprisingly expensive.

It really isn't that much work. It just takes a lot of time, but most of it is downtime. Hell, I'd really just end up drinking for something like 5 hours when we brewed a batch. If it's something you can do while pretty tipsy, it can't be that hard, can it?

Expenses can also be brought down if you can get in good with a local brewpub. The brewmaster there was selling us 50 and 60 lb sacks of base malt at cost, so that helps you save too.
posted by King Bee at 11:08 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


sciencegeek: "Is this just propaganda to try to fool us into thinking that he's not Muslim?"

Have we ever actually seen him drinking the beers? Release the empties!
posted by brundlefly at 11:08 AM on August 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


We learned earlier that Obama likes comic books, and now we learn he brews his own beer.
I know I'm supposed to go "Wow, he's just like me!" when I read stories like this, but it's a distraction.

It doesn't matter if someone else likes the same nerdy things that I do, if they're also doing things I find totally evil like having people assassinated without grounds to recourse, or doing domestic spying, or going after whistleblowers after promising to protect them, et cetera.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:09 AM on August 14, 2012 [10 favorites]


Makes sense from a practical standpoint. How do they vet suppliers? Would they have to do testing on store bought beer? Where the fuck do they get common stuff like flour and salt, does the SS operate farms and salt mines? They don't just pick that shit up at the corner deli.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:10 AM on August 14, 2012


having people assassinated without grounds to recourse

He's just like me!
posted by jaduncan at 11:10 AM on August 14, 2012 [35 favorites]


Warantless Eaveshopped Pale Ale

Afghanisblackandtan
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:11 AM on August 14, 2012 [13 favorites]


Here's hoping it's not too long before we have a president who casually grows his own marijuana in the White House garden.
posted by naju at 11:11 AM on August 14, 2012 [17 favorites]


I heard that they also make their own beer...in Kenya, proving once and for all that Obama is a Muslim Communist. Wait, what?
posted by clockzero at 11:11 AM on August 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


More information needed surely,

American IPA? classic British porter? nice crisp Bock?
posted by brilliantmistake at 11:12 AM on August 14, 2012


Oktoberfest surprise
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:12 AM on August 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


BarackBockBockBock
posted by Kabanos at 11:12 AM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Does anyone here have enough drugs to put me under until the election is over?
posted by HuronBob at 11:13 AM on August 14, 2012 [8 favorites]


Brewed with the tears of joy harvested from a bald eagle.

Only tears of joy. You can taste the lachrymose notes of sadness tears.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 11:13 AM on August 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


Or a nice light Wheat House?
posted by Kabanos at 11:14 AM on August 14, 2012


Here's hoping it's not too long before we have a president who casually grows his own marijuana in the White House garden.
posted by naju


Adam Weishaupt, dude.
posted by COBRA! at 11:14 AM on August 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Have we ever actually seen him drinking the beers? Release the empties!
Not the homebrew, but...
posted by Thorzdad at 11:14 AM on August 14, 2012


If you go all grain, you can cut out a lot of the expense. I like hearing about this sort of stuff. It shows the man has an adventurous, curious mind. It also shows he isn't an uptight religious teetotaller.
posted by Foam Pants at 11:14 AM on August 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Coors HUSSEIN Light

I'm going to stop now
posted by Kabanos at 11:16 AM on August 14, 2012 [9 favorites]


Malor: Yep, unless the law has changed recently (It hasn't, free the hops would have updated their page) then homebrewing is still illegal in Alabama. Hell read the other restrictions that they've successfully eliminated already and only VERY recently, the notes are at the top of the page I just linked.

Alabama as a state used to suck with regards to decent beer, it is now slightly better. Reason number umpteen why Alabama has a shitty name as a state....
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:17 AM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thorzdad: "Not the homebrew, but..."

Shopped. Totally shopped.
posted by brundlefly at 11:17 AM on August 14, 2012


Malor, Alabama and Mississippi are the only states that still ban home brewing. Utah joined the party in '09, Oklahoma in '10. AL almost passed a law legalizing it this year, but it died.
posted by Fnarf at 11:17 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


What surprises me is that they were able to keep this a secret for over two years. So who gets charged under the Espionage Act for leaking this?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:20 AM on August 14, 2012


BAD MUSLIM!

*Head explodes*
posted by MuffinMan at 11:20 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Elitist Ivy League beer snob.
posted by the_artificer at 11:21 AM on August 14, 2012


AL almost passed a law legalizing it this year, but it died.

Insider information tangent: It [making homebrewing legal] was previously attached to the other laws regarding ABV and brewpub restrictions in AL but the free the hops organization decided to drop it at the last moment to ensure the other points passed. It was a bittersweet moment for the hombrewing community in Alabama that day. This is from the 2009 push, I'm no longer in that loop as tightly as I once was.
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:22 AM on August 14, 2012


I have a friend who used to work with the people who support Air Force One.

Apparently there's a stocked bar on board, although passengers are responsible for paying for their own drinks. The bar was unstocked during the Bush years, and my friend wasn't able to tell me whether or not POTUS and the First Family were also required to pay for their drinks while on board. During the Bush years, the aircraft carried no alcohol.

I'll have to ask him if the bar carries Baracktoberfest...
posted by schmod at 11:22 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


One thing I've definitely learned from several years of homebrewing is that you do not want to drink too much during the process, since the mental effects can cause you to forget things (like adding the bottling sugar, without which you won't have carbonation), or it can cause you to get in drunken squabbles with your fellow brewers.
posted by The Sprout Queen at 11:24 AM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


BAD MUSLIM! -- MuffinMan

Bad Muslim. That's the best beer name in this thread.
posted by rokusan at 11:24 AM on August 14, 2012 [24 favorites]


Chekhovian: "Tastes like socialism to me, a true american would support a faceless megabrewery."

All of which are owned by foreign companies. The largest wholly-American-owned breweries are Yuengling and Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams).
posted by Plutor at 11:25 AM on August 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


Not to get all partisan, but this reminds me that Mittens Romney is not the kind of guy that I, technically, could drink a beer with.
posted by pokermonk at 11:25 AM on August 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


The Universal Law of Homebrew Aging: It's properly aged and ready to drink about the time you get through cleaning out the last bottle of the batch.

Corollary (kinda): You can never have too much homebrew.
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:27 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not to get all partisan, but this reminds me that Mittens Romney is not the kind of guy that I, technically, could drink a beer with.

Insert Mormon/fishing joke.
posted by jaduncan at 11:27 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can't help but this this is some masterful dog-whistle politics from Obama's campaign. Hinting that Obama likes beer and Romney doesn't drink because alcohol short circuits his motherboard he is Mormon is petty as shit but puts the "otherness" label squarely on Romney.

For added hilarity; Newt made a recent coffee joke at Romney's expense:
"I don't know that I want to spend the next five years of my life doing an hour a night on attacking Barack Obama, or attacking the next president if it's Romney because he wasn't conservative enough this morning when he had coffee — except he wouldn't have coffee."
Beverage choices; serious business.
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:28 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Or what pokermonk said.
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:29 AM on August 14, 2012


domestic spying

But at least it's domestic!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:41 AM on August 14, 2012


All these little leaked tidbits are just meant to endear him to us and make him human mostly work.

And has been noted, these leaked tidbits are also entirely useful as plaster to fill in the chips that are continually punched by those calling him a Muslim socialist. Many who don't believe lies about Obama are still sometimes affected by the constant onslaught; this is the reverse of that, and I'm glad the Democratic party is finally playing the same game every once and a while.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:47 AM on August 14, 2012 [8 favorites]


Brewed with the tears of joy harvested from a bald eagle.

Only tears of joy. You can taste the lachrymose notes of sadness tears.


And a healthy dollop of sunshine.
posted by gladly at 11:52 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Incoherent sentence fixed. Thanks to DU and mathowie.)
posted by clavicle at 11:59 AM on August 14, 2012


This is why Joe Biden is never photographed with an apple.
posted by arcticseal at 12:02 PM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


This thread reminded me that I am not currently drinking a beer, which is problematic.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:05 PM on August 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


"I don't brew beer myself, but some of my best friends own international megabreweries" - Mitt Romney
posted by dudekiller at 12:07 PM on August 14, 2012 [31 favorites]


King Bee: "And for a doppelbock, how about "Obamator"?."

OMG. *Soooo* using that when we start up the brewpot back up this fall (summer=too fuckin' hot).
posted by notsnot at 12:16 PM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Warrantless Wiretap-a-Keg, anyone?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:23 PM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, man, now Romney's going to start gloating about his Upper-Class tWitbier.
posted by gurple at 12:31 PM on August 14, 2012


I wonder if Obama's going to make dog treats for Bo from the Out-spent Grain.
posted by gurple at 12:33 PM on August 14, 2012


“When someone hands me a beer I don’t ask how it was made, I just drink it.”

This is a man with his priorities in order.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:33 PM on August 14, 2012


Yeah, the obvious way for Romney to play to his base would be something like, "What, is a Bud Light not good enough for you?" Ah, culture wars.
posted by naju at 12:33 PM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


relax, have a homebrew

Or "RDWHAHB".
posted by Slothrup at 12:34 PM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


RDWHAHB

That book would seriously be like 50% smaller if he employed this acronym.
posted by gauche at 12:40 PM on August 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


naju: "Yeah, the obvious way for Romney to play to his base would be something like, "What, is a Bud Light not good enough for you?" Ah, culture wars."

Which might backfire. Here in St. Louis, the largest microbrew, Schlafly, came out with a "summer lager" right around the time AB sold out. It's a bit of a shock to see formerly "bud only for me" types who now will only drink local micros. Because AB is no longer American.
posted by notsnot at 12:41 PM on August 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


...and I meant to add, Obama could respond with "At least it's American."

(a la Walter in Big Lebowski's "Calmer than you are.")
posted by notsnot at 12:46 PM on August 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Donald Trump: This is clearly imported beer.
posted by jimmythefish at 12:48 PM on August 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


NPR had something on homebrewing at the White House back in March, 2011.
posted by tommasz at 1:21 PM on August 14, 2012


Someone on reddit sold Obama the beer tokens (2 for him, 10 for the first 10 people to get to him) - post and photo album.
posted by simonw at 1:21 PM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Something something Bush and pretzels.
posted by davebush at 1:26 PM on August 14, 2012


1) I have heard that Michelle Obama has talked about the beer. They make a honey ale, and the honey comes from the White House garden.
2) I know that John Adams had a thing for hard cider. Apparently, one of the highlights of coming back from Europe after many years abroad, was that he could *finally* get his hands on hard cider. I'd be shocked if they didn't make it in the White House while he lived there.
3) It's only a matter of time before someone raises a stink about Obama smuggling beer across state lines, and we have memes of the 2012 election crossed with Smokey and the Bandit.
posted by dfm500 at 1:30 PM on August 14, 2012


Fox News headline:

President drinks on campaign trail!
- Has personal supply of untaxed beer on bus
posted by madajb at 1:42 PM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


dfm500: "It's only a matter of time before someone raises a stink about Obama smuggling beer across state lines, and we have memes of the 2012 election crossed with Smokey and the Bandit."

I've told the story about getting pulled over in Kansas for doing the speed limit. Extra detail: I had eight cases of Utah beer in the trunk. The cops didn't bat an eye at that. "What, do you think you're one of the Duke brothers?"
posted by notsnot at 1:52 PM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Executive Porter
Stout of the Union
In-Lager-al Address
Two Brew Term Limit
Head of State
Imperi-Ale Presidency
Leader of the Beer World
Air Force Cold One
The Bock Stops Here
Natural-Brewed Citizen
The Most Powerful Man in the World
President Pro Tem-Pour (VP)
Ale to the Chief
posted by FJT at 2:17 PM on August 14, 2012 [17 favorites]


Panderbrau

(Peter Sagal on Wait Wait)
posted by Danf at 3:09 PM on August 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


2) I know that John Adams had a thing for hard cider. Apparently, one of the highlights of coming back from Europe after many years abroad, was that he could *finally* get his hands on hard cider. I'd be shocked if they didn't make it in the White House while he lived there.

What do you think that bowl of apples is for?
posted by armage at 3:33 PM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


badmuslim.com was actually available. Now I just need to learn how to brew beer.
posted by Blue Meanie at 5:01 PM on August 14, 2012


I think that it was previously determined that beer was brewed in the White House until the late 1800s as it was very common practice of the whitehouse chef. I also seem to remember that some of the recipes are taken from old whitehouse cookbooks.
posted by humanfont at 5:08 PM on August 14, 2012


Just more evidence that Barry O'Bama is a secret Irishman.
posted by Groundhog Week at 5:38 PM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Two porter system
Election Saison
posted by gauche at 6:17 PM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


and the beer ends up being surprisingly expensive.

Wait what? Where are you buying stuff? I spend roughly ~$8/gallon in materials. 5 gallons, $40 in materials, which is usually ~6 pounds of extract plus a few pounds of dry grains for steeping, and yeast. If I were to buy an equal amount in growlers from a pub, I'd be looking at twice that much. (Yes, upfront cost, but two batches and you'll have covered that, maybe less if you buy some used stuff)

Biggest annoyance for me is cleaning everything, which is part of why I've about called it quits. I've enjoyed it, but it's definitely hassle-y, and I'm at the point right now where I prefer drinking a large variety of beers, rather than brew 5 gallons of something and drink only that for a few months.

(Still planning on another batch or two of my marionberry stout, though)
posted by curious nu at 7:44 PM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Should say I'd be looking at twice that much at least. And if you do all-grain and do your own malting, your cost goes down even more.
posted by curious nu at 7:46 PM on August 14, 2012


Groundhog Week: Just more evidence that Barry O'Bama is a secret Irishman.

Secret? The musical evidence has been out there for years. And he's been known to tip a pint of the dark stuff.
posted by hangashore at 7:50 PM on August 14, 2012


Your house smells wonderful when you're brewing beer. I wonder how much of the White House gets that smell.
posted by homunculus at 12:42 AM on August 15, 2012


If they can hide a bowling alley basketball court, they can hide anything.
posted by rokusan at 4:21 AM on August 15, 2012


but it's a LOT of work, and the beer ends up being surprisingly expensive
What? I'm lazy and use partial-mash kits from the local brewing store, and my -awesome- beer is down to a $5.61/6-pack average (I keep a dorky spreadsheet of equipment/ingredient/yield stuff.) Figuring a $9+ retail for good Belgians, stouts, porters, and ales, i'm saving the household scads. if I weren't lazy, I could get grain FREE with my guild membership, so it'd be even cheaper.

Speaking of lazy, another thing I like about brewing is being able to say "Yay! I was productive today!" when all I did was variations of dumping some stuff in a pot and setting thermometers and timers. Bottling is done sitting on the kitchen floor with Netflix and raw beer. Brewing is only hard work if you're a yeast.

Shit. I think I just talked myself into brewing today!
posted by mimi at 5:48 AM on August 15, 2012


I'm going over to mimi's.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:53 AM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Malor: "That's cool. Home brewing is fun, but it's a LOT of work, and the beer ends up being surprisingly expensive."

That wasn't really my experience when home-brewing. It wasn't that much work (certainly when you do a big batch) and you get to make the beer like you want it, which you can't do when you buy it. And the price? I didn't find it that high, especially considering you're getting good beer.

Certainly, home-brewing isn't for everyone. If you're happy buying a keg of beer you didn't make yourself, all the more power to you. But there's something nice about drinking something really special you brewed yourself.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:08 AM on August 15, 2012


Best Beer-Related FOIA Ever
posted by homunculus at 11:02 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Homebrewers are after the President's homebrew recipe and there's an official petition for the White House to release the recipe.

In addition to the FOIA request (which I suspect could be fruitless as the relevant part of the White House is exempt I think, though the records should be available later under the Presidential Records Act), a user on reddit has contacted the White House Office of Public Affairs.
posted by exogenous at 7:31 AM on August 22, 2012


Yeah, home brewing is crazy inexpensive. Tonight, I'm bottling a 12 gallon batch of all-grain amber ale for $64 in materials. Yield is just shy of 120 bottles, so about $3.20ish a six-pack. 6.5% and better than the pub serves, thank you. :)
posted by xedrik at 6:33 PM on August 23, 2012


xedrik, even that sounds a little on the high side for an amber ale (presumably without lots of expensive hops). I buy 50 pound sacks of malt for about $60 each which helps keep costs down. Also, you've probably heard this before, but bottling 12 gallons sounds like good motivation to get into kegs.

My favorite example of the economy of homebrewing is the 10 gallon batch I made that compared well against the expensive Belgian brew Gulden Drak. At pub prices, that would be about $2000 worth of beer made from around $50 of ingredients. The equipment pays for itself quickly.
posted by exogenous at 7:39 AM on August 24, 2012


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