Author Topic: George Washington handwrote a craft-beer recipe — Budweiser now brews it  (Read 564 times)


Offline Robert

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Ol' GW's recipe has been in a whole lot of books as an example of these typical field-hand refreshers.  (Your grand-dad probably made the same exact thing during prohibition, too.  I've heard the tales.)  But what aspect of it could possibly be translated into a beer that could legally, let alone marketably,  produced today?
Rob
Akron, Ohio

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Offline BrodyR

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Goofy marketing to make the consumer think a bit of molasses in a lager = George Washington's personal beer.

Offline Phil_M

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In a day when "craft" pulls a evil macro move like a fairly frivolous lawsuit (I'm looking at you, Stone Brewing...) I'm not surprised Bud is trying something like this.

If their tune towards craft beer/microbreweries improves, I may one day buy there products again. Meanwhile I don't trust them, and happily buy beer from macros that aren't actively quashing their fellow brewers.

Same is true towards Stone. That lawsuit is a total dick move on their part, frankly they're better than that.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline Robert

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Hey, Phil.  Just noticed your updated signature.  Been thinking it's about time I did an old-timey corn lager again. Gotta get to it this summer.  (It'll be really fresh.)
Rob
Akron, Ohio

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Offline Phil_M

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Hey, Phil.  Just noticed your updated signature.  Been thinking it's about time I did an old-timey corn lager again. Gotta get to it this summer.  (It'll be really fresh.)

The more I drink beers that tend to showcase corn, the more I enjoy it. We're adding all kinds of whacky adjuncts these days, why does craft beer pick on corn so much?

The hypocrisy vibe I'm getting from a lot of craft beer these days doesn't bode well at a time when the balloon seems about to burst...
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline erockrph

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Hey, Phil.  Just noticed your updated signature.  Been thinking it's about time I did an old-timey corn lager again. Gotta get to it this summer.  (It'll be really fresh.)

The more I drink beers that tend to showcase corn, the more I enjoy it. We're adding all kinds of whacky adjuncts these days, why does craft beer pick on corn so much?

The hypocrisy vibe I'm getting from a lot of craft beer these days doesn't bode well at a time when the balloon seems about to burst...
My grain bills on my last half dozen beers or so have been my house base malt blend (70% Pils/30% Pale Ale) with varying amounts of corn, and nothing else. The beers have ranged from my "Gold Standard" lager (which has become my house beer), to Saison, to IPAs, to Bitters. As I have less time for brewing recently, it's great to have a rock-solid and simple malt bill that I know will make a beer I really enjoy.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline Wilbur

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In a day when "craft" pulls a evil macro move like a fairly frivolous lawsuit (I'm looking at you, Stone Brewing...) I'm not surprised Bud is trying something like this.

If their tune towards craft beer/microbreweries improves, I may one day buy there products again. Meanwhile I don't trust them, and happily buy beer from macros that aren't actively quashing their fellow brewers.

Same is true towards Stone. That lawsuit is a total dick move on their part, frankly they're better than that.
There's a good article on this at beervana. George's recipe almost looks like, "Make beer, add molasses." In that sense, they nailed it.

Which Stone lawsuit are you talking about? The keystone/Stone one? That doesn't seem frivolous at all to me, although they've definitely been a little over the top.

Offline Robert

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George's beer isn't "make beer, add molasses," Bud's is.  George's is the classic moonshiners' wash or prohibition "beer," which goes back a long way:  the molasses IS the fermentable, not an addition. Sugar would be used if you weren't being so miserly; molasses is the waste product of sugar production, so this is literally scraping the bottom of the barrel.  The bran is the source of yeast nutrients (minerals and vitamins,) itself a waste product of milling, and the hops are almost gratuitous.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2018, 04:14:23 AM by Robert »
Rob
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Offline Phil_M

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Which Stone lawsuit are you talking about? The keystone/Stone one? That doesn't seem frivolous at all to me, although they've definitely been a little over the top.

That's the one. As expected, molsen-coors has countersued claiming they own the right to the name "stone". Which they might. I don't care, I'm just livid that a brewery that praised craft breweries for working together instead of resorting to litigation isn't practicing what they preach. Sooner or later folks are going to figure out there isn't a whole lot of difference between Macro and Craft in the sense that there are bad apples and lousy beer in BOTH camps.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline Wilbur

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The way I've heard people talk about it is that he used bran as a generic term, and he was actually referring to malt. For hops he says to add them to taste, whatever that means. It is described as a small beer, makes me wonder if he's off on what beer is or what bran/malt is.

George's beer isn't "make beer, add molasses," Bud's is.  George's is the classic moonshiners' wash or prohibition "beer," which goes back a long way:  the molasses IS the fermentable, not an addition. Sugar would be used if you weren't being so miserly; molasses is the waste product of sugar production, so this is literally scraping the bottom of the barrel.  The bran is the source of yeast nutrients (minerals and vitamins,) itself a waste product of milling, and the hops are almost gratuitous.


Offline Robert

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The way I've heard people talk about it is that he used bran as a generic term, and he was actually referring to malt. For hops he says to add them to taste, whatever that means. It is described as a small beer, makes me wonder if he's off on what beer is or what bran/malt is.

George's beer isn't "make beer, add molasses," Bud's is.  George's is the classic moonshiners' wash or prohibition "beer," which goes back a long way:  the molasses IS the fermentable, not an addition. Sugar would be used if you weren't being so miserly; molasses is the waste product of sugar production, so this is literally scraping the bottom of the barrel.  The bran is the source of yeast nutrients (minerals and vitamins,) itself a waste product of milling, and the hops are almost gratuitous.
The reference to a "sifter" of bran has always made me assume it was in fact bran, taken from the bolting of flour, especially knowing that bran is used to provide nutrients by 'shiners using plain sugar as the fermentable.  That would mean George was giving his laborers a drink made purely from cheap or waste products (he did mill flour at Mount Vernon; wild hops maybe?) and saving his malt for the whiskey mash -- which he'd actually see a financial return on.  He was always strapped for cash, after all. 

I don't have references handy, but "beer" was used loosely in Colonial times, meaning any beverage of a beery strength (think of all the folk "beers" around the world,) and there is a lot of documention referring to molasses beer -- essentially undistilled rum -- specifically, documents recording GW himself ordering it as an essential provision for the continental army right alongside, and distinguished from, malt beer.
Rob
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline Garrels

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That's pretty interesting, Robert. It's fascinating trying to decipher something like this nowadays and having to take into account all these nuances and not being able to take anything for granted, down to the meaning of the language.