Is Obama's Beer Any Good? Beer Experts Weigh In
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The world got what it wanted when President Obama released his highly anticipated beer recipe for the Honey Porter, Honey Ale, and Honey Blonde brews. But now, some of the country's beer experts are wonderig whether the POTUS needs some homebrewing help.
The Atlantic, Businessweek, and The New York Times consulted with beer sommeliers, brewmasters, and brewers-turned-governors, to hear what they thought of Obama's recipes. From Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, author and head of the Cicerone Certification Program for beer sommeliers Ray Daniels, and Brooklyn Brewery's brewmaster Garret Oliver, they had some interesting critiques of the recipes. Here's what they said:
Hickenlooper, to the Atlantic: "He's using honey in the beer recipes, largely, I think, because they've got an apiary... What that does is it makes it a smoother beer. It's none of my business and I don't want to criticize the White House chef, but I think maybe they could use a little less honey. One recipe I'm pretty sure would be better without the honey and the other one I think would be. A little bit less honey would be nice."
Daniels, to Businessweek: "Putting honey in them is a very American bastardization, if you will... It’s almost the sort of thing that the founding fathers might have done to take a traditional recipe from England and innovate by adding some local, homegrown ingredients to it."
Oliver, to The New York Times: "The version of brewing they’re doing at the White House might be called 'second-level beginner.'"
Granted, it's not all criticism: The experts agreed that while there are some hiccups in the recipe (like using malt extracts, a homebrewer's shortcut, instead of hand-mashed grains), they still believe the beer is drinkable. After all, Oliver still volunteered his services at the White House, should the POTUS ever need him. (But where would that leave Brooklyn beer lovers, we ask?)
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