President woos a beertrack voter; gets an offer of hops...
President Obama is such a beer lover that his Campaign operation is now selling special O'Bama Pint Glasses to raise money. And during a fundraiser in Corona Del Mar, CA, last week, the President chatted with a donor about the White House Beehive and his chefs' beer brewing adventures, which have been going on since early 2011. R. Worthington, who paid at least $2,500 to attend the campaign event, had some face time with the President, and used it to discuss craft beer and local sourcing. The President responded enthusiastically. (Above: The President at the event, held at a private residence)
"Local? I got your local,” President Obama said, according to Worthington's recap on Indie Hops.
"We’ve got honey beer in the White House. Honey from bees in boxes right there near the rose garden."
Perhaps Worthington misheard the President, because the beehive is actually located a couple of acres away from the Rose Garden at the bottom of the vast South Lawn, beside the Kitchen Garden. The President then told Worthington that his chefs--especially Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives Sam Kass--do the homebrewing, right in the White House kitchen.
"Turns out the White House chef, Sam Kass, and his friends have been dabbling in honey beers for some time," Worthington wrote.
To date, the chefs, the first homebrewers in White House history, have made White House Honey Ale, White House Honey Blonde Ale, and White House Honey Porter. The photo at left is the only White House image that's ever been released of the homebrew, from the first batch, Honey Ale, made with about a pound of honey for the President's big 2011 Super Bowl party. The White House has never released a recipe for any of the homebrews, which would be a brilliant way to woo supporters. During the 2008 Campaign, a group called "Homebrewers for Obama" actually existed. During this year's Super Bowl, the Campaign released the President's Family Chili Recipe, and asked for donations.
Worthington now has a mission: The President's new beer friend wants to send Oregon hops to the President for White House brewing.
"When I mentioned the divine properties of Oregon grown hops, Our President didn't skip a beat," Worthington wrote. "'I’d like to try some of that.'''
"We will not rest until Our President is cooking up home brews in the White House using hops from the Willamette Valley. Or better, we’ll send him a few rhizomes, and he can plant a few Oregon hop emeralds in his backyard right next to those honey bee boxes."
Unfortunately, the White House has a firm policy of not accepting such gifts due to security concerns. Kass told Obama Foodorama last year that he hoped hops might one day be grown in the Kitchen Garden, but they've never been planted.
The beer-happy fundraiser in Corona Del Mar was held on Feb. 16 at the home of Jeff and Nancy Stack. It was one of eight fundraisers during the President's swing through the West Coast last week.
*Photo at top by R. Worthington. Beer bottle photo by Pete Souza/White House