George Washington was a lot of things — general, statesman, farmer — but at the end of the day he just wanted to put his feet up, pop out his apocryphal wooden teeth and enjoy a good brew. And now, thanks to the New York Public Library, the world can share in George’s personal beer recipe.
And soon, Washington will join the ranks of King Tut as a famous leaders to have an anachronistic beer produced in their honor as the Coney Island Brewery takes up the challenge of reproducing his beer. The Coney Island Brewing Company has christened it the Fortitude’s Founding Father Brew, and its based off the original hand-written recipe below.
To Make Small Beer
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 (sic) 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.
Though a bit silly, the Library has a stake in this beer as well, hoping to draw attention to the amazing trove of documents avaialble to the public. That may be so, but unfortunately there are no plans to sell the beer to the public. If you want to get a taste, you’ll have to have tickets to the library’s centennial gala later this month. For those lucky folks in the NYC area, there will be a public tasting on May 18 at Rattle N Hum, at 14 E. 33rd Street in Manhattan.