White House Releases Beer Recipes

Several weeks ago, we learned that the White House was engaging in a little bit of homebrewing when President Obama brought some of it along on a campaign trip. After several requests, they’ve released the recipe: 

Tapping into an outpouring of public interest, the White House on Saturday made its beer recipes public — giving hope to any Americans interested in having a hair of the first dog after joining the coalition of the swilling.

Sam Kass, White House Assistant Chef and the Senior Policy Advisor for the Healthy Food Initiative, decanted the recipes in an early-afternoon blog post entitled “Ale to the Chief” and brimming with boozy puns (“With public excitement about White House beer fermenting such a buzz, we decided we better hop to it”).

The White House went public a long time ago with its brewing operation — the first of its kind in the presidential mansion — but interest came to a head recently when it was revealed that President Barack Obama had brought some of the beers with him on a recent campaign swing through Iowa. Obama had several cold ones on that trip and supporters even rewarded him at one point with cries of “Four More Beers!” Perhaps intoxicated by the attention, press secretary Jay Carney told reporters that he had sampled the White House brew and declared it “superb.”

This version of reinstating the draft has proved quite popular, and with some undecided voters thought to favor the “who would I want to have a beer with?” test there could be an electoral dimension.

Here’s a video explaining what they’re doing at the White House.

And here are the recipes.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Politicians, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Budgie93 says:

    TIL the white house has a beekeeper.

  2. I brewed a bit. Basically every chem major does. The recipes look good, maybe a little over-complicated in a typical newbie way. Does Washington water really need gypsum? California water does not.

  3. WindRiverGuy says:

    Get the ingredients for the White House home brew recipes as kits and make them yourself- http://www.windriverbrew.com/WhatsNew.html

  4. Stonetools says:

    Maybe this is a good thread for people naming their various craft beers.

    Dogfish Ale for me , with Sam Adams Double Bock a close second.

  5. James says:

    Dogfish 90 Minute, Stone Ruination.

    Yeah, I’m a hop head.

  6. Jeremy R says:


    TIL the white house has a beekeeper.

    I think the first lady added the bee apiary along with the vegetable gardens, when those were added.

  7. de stijl says:

    God bless Jimmy Carter!

  8. MarkedMan says:

    @Stonetools: Gotta agree – anything by Dogfish Head (DelMarVa peninsula) is worth trying and much of it is spectacular. And anything by Brewery Ommegang (Cooperstown, NY) stands with the best Belgian style ales in the world. In fact, a couple of years ago I had one of their brews (can’t remember which) and although it tasted darn good I didn’t think it was as good as I remembered it. Enough of a difference that I started googling and discovered that a Belgium brewer, Duvel (whose signature beer is also really good), had bought them and is now brewing that one Ommegang beer in Belgium and importing it back to the US. So the punchline is that Brewery Ommegang beers are so good I immediately noticed when one of them was reduced to the level of real Belgium beers…

    Oh, and for an everyday enjoyable thirst quencher, Yuengling Black and Tan (Pennsylvania) really hits the spot for me.

  9. Nikki says:

    @MarkedMan: Yuengling Black and Tan, amen to that.

  10. PD Shaw says:

    Michigan beers for me: Founder’s Centennial IPA & Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale

  11. @PD Shaw:

    Funny how we all feel we should be true to our region … I’ll go out of state though, to endorse Full Sail Brewing Company and Bend Brewing Company (both of Oregon, Hood River and of course Bend, respectively).

  12. Modulo Myself says:

    I’m a huge fan of anything that Rogue does.

    Also, true sour and wild yeast beers are amazing.

  13. @this:

    Do you suppose Barack down-voted me? That would be awesome!

    @Modulo Myself:

    Rogue is good, esp on tap with a cheeseburger.

  14. PD Shaw says:

    @john personna: Not just regionalism — I think fresh beer is better, particularly for the hops, and one has better options for freshness closer to home.

    I was close to putting Sierra Club Celebration Ale on my list, but didn’t because its a seasonal, but I can tell its fresh because it gets shipped shortly after Thanksgiving and people like me buy it up at the stores until its gone by Christmas.

  15. rodney dill says:

    @PD Shaw: …and Bell’s Hop Slam when in season.

  16. @PD Shaw:

    I’ve had some store bought beer that was obviously damaged by age or bad handling, but when I brewed some was getting better after 2 years.

    Of course bottle conditioned beers have a whole other thing going on.

  17. Jeremy says:

    I pretty much only have foreign beers. I enjoy Leffe Abbey, La Guillotine, Bass Pale Ale, occasionally Guinness, Merry’s Irish Stout, etc. There’s a few American beers–Old Chub, Heavy Seas Letter of Marque, Goose Island Bourbon County & Lolita, etc.–that I like, but mostly I don’t prefer American beer.

    Of course, the best drink out there is craft root beer. Barrel Brothers might be the best. There’s also sarsaparilla. Oooh, what I would give for a good sarsaparilla…