Posted in Beer History, Beer News, Shmaltz Brewing

George Washington’s “Small Beer” Brewed Again

A beer George Washington drank before sending the English packing for good has been brewed again.  Among the collected writing of America’s first president was a handwritten recipe for “small beer” from 1757.  The New York Public Library is in possession of this recipe.  It was in a notebook from when he was a Colonel in Virginia. The recipe reads:

Take a large Siffer [Sifter] full of Bran Hops to your Taste. — Boil these 3 hours then strain out 30 Gall[ons] into a cooler put in 3 Gall[ons] Molasses while the Beer is Scalding hot or rather draw the Melasses into the cooler & St[r]ain the Beer on it while boiling Hot. let this stand till it is little more than Blood warm then put in a quart of Yea[s]t if the Weather is very Cold cover it over with a Blank[et] & let it Work in the Cooler 24 hours then put it into the Cask — leave the bung open till it is almost don[e] Working — Bottle it that day Week it was Brewed.

The recipe resembles a porter, no doubt drawing from English roots.  Shmaltz/Coney Island Brewing will be recreating this original recipe for The New York Public Library’s 100th Anniversary.  Only 15 gallons will be created, with half staying true to the original recipe & half using malted barley instead of molasses. The name? “Fortitude’s Founding Father Brew”. Washington was a well known beer drinker, & home brewer. It is mentioned that upon British troops leaving New York, Washington celebrated with a pint at Bull’s Head Tavern.  <MSNBC, Dailymail.co.uk>

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