The garden grows vigorously at the Washington Beer Blog World Headquarters . Veggies, fruit trees, flowers, hops, all of it grows remarkably well. This is due in large part to our next-door neighbors and the 30,000 bees they keep in their backyard. All day long, they are out there doing their work and helping our garden grow. Along with the food we harvest, fresh and delicious honey is a byproduct of the bees’ hard work—-honey which can be used in beer. The circle of life.
It turns out the gardeners at the White House also keep bees. The similarities between our house and that iconic abode do not end there. Much like the residents of the Washington Beer Blog World Headquarters, the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is a fan of craft beer. The White House recently released the recipe for the President’s homebrew, which is brewed using honey from the White House’s bees: White House Honey Brown Ale.
Closer to home, Salish Lodge also keeps bees to help promote a healthy garden. Located at Snoqualmie Falls, Salish Lodge consistently ranks among the best small resorts in the world. This year, the lodge and Snoqualmie Falls Brewing teamed up to make a beer using honey from the Salish Lodge bees. We will have more information in the coming weeks for you about the Salish/Snoqualmie Falls honey beer project, including information about where you can drink it.
The White House Recipe
Don’t laugh at the White House kitchen staff. They feed the first family and they serve fine food to dignitaries from around the world, but when it comes to brewing, the staff admits they are newbies. The White House Honey Brown Ale is an extract beer. Who knows? Maybe if the President wins a second term, he will pony up for an all-grain system. Exactly why they opted to use English hop varieties is a bit of a mystery. Sure, maybe it was a matter of taste, but someone needs to have a word with the White House and urge them to use Cascade, Willamette and other beautiful Northwest varieties.
Sam Kass is White House Assistant Chef and the Senior Policy Adviser for Healthy Food Initiatives. In a recent blog post, Kass explains how the White House came to brew beer. “Inspired by home brewers from across the country, last year President Obama bought a home brewing kit for the kitchen,” Kass says. “After the few first drafts 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.”
Without further ado, here is the recipe
The White House Honey Ale
(makes a 5 gallon batch)
2 (3.3 lb) cans light malt extract
1 lb light dried malt extract
12 oz crushed amber crystal malt
8 oz Biscut Malt
1 lb White House Honey
1 ½ oz Kent Golding Hop pellets
1 ½ oz Fuggles Hop pellets
2 tsp gypsum
1 pkg Windsor dry ale yeast
¾ cup corn sugar for priming