Berrong on Beer - This inauguration, in hops we trust
January 18th, 2013
02:30 PM ET
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Nathan Berrong works at CNN's satellite desk and writes Eatocracy's beer column, "Berrong on Beer." He Tweets at @nathanberrong and logs beers at Untappd.

Monday marks the 57th Presidential Inauguration, where President Obama will once again assume the duties as commander in chief. Many people will judge President Obama’s next four years on how well he handles issues like gun control, the economy, education and our involvement in the Middle East. But for me, I’ll be judging his presidency on what the future holds for the next White House beer.

Last year, the White House released recipes for two of its home-brewed beers under the Freedom of Information Act. When the recipes were released, complete with a video showing the brewing process, I learned a very important thing about our President - the man cares about his beer! And, he shares three very important things that all Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent and Green Party craft beer drinkers care about - where the beer is from, how the beer is made and the quality of the beer.

Our country’s presidents have a storied history with beer. George Washington was known to have loved porters and kept them stocked at Mount Vernon. Thomas Jefferson had his own brewing facility in Monticello. James Madison tried unsuccessfully to appoint a Secretary of Beer to his cabinet. FDR signed the 21st Amendment which repealed prohibition. Jimmy Carter signed into law the bill that allowed home brewing. And, Barack Obama is the first known president to have his own beer brewed on White House property.

Under the leadership of President Obama, the White House has produced a total of three beers - a brown ale, blonde ale and a porter, all using honey that is harvested from the first ever beehive on the South Lawn. Obama surely has to be bored with just drinking three different types of beer, right? So, here’s what I want to know - during the next four years what other beers are on the horizon for “The White House Brewery”? What about a honey stout along the lines of Olde Hickory’s Imperial Stout? Or maybe an IPA brewed with honey like Bell’s Hopslam? Or even the popular honey wheat style, similar to Rogue’s Somer Orange Honey Wheat?

While I wait in anticipation for the next White House beer to be announced, below are some red, white and blue brews that are equally as valid:

Green Flash Hop Head RED (pictured)

Allagash WHITE (pictured)

Cascade BLUEberry (pictured)

Diamond Bear Presidential IPA

Independence Pale Ale

RJ Rockers Bald Eagle

Stoudts American Pale

Yards Ales of the Revolution

Avery Ale to the Chief

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Filed under: Beer • Berrong on Beer • Sip • White House

soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. suj

    Nathan Berrong, Quit your fibs. We all know your real name is Nathan Beerbong.

    January 22, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
  2. AndyM

    If it ain't Chimay Grande Reserve, it aint beer.

    January 20, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
  3. empresstrudy

    Enjoy it while you can Obama Sharia gonna squash that.

    January 19, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
  4. MisterE

    Four more beers! Four more beers!

    January 19, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
  5. Lila

    I've had Green Flash, it's pretty good. I would love to try the White House beer, but I think it would really hard to get.

    January 18, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • nanners

      I would think the white house would have better brews. The ones I have read about sound gross. Where's the American BEER.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • John

      So, you are going to judge our president on what beer the White House brews next? Weird

      January 19, 2013 at 9:09 am |
  6. Ray

    Stoudt's American Pale Ale is a must! It;s from the Lirst lady of craft beers, Carol Stoudt.

    Of course, you can't leave out Victory Hop Devil!

    January 18, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
  7. Seth Bullock

    I'm not a hop head, but don't forget about Three Floyd's in Indiana.

    January 18, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • nanners

      NOW YOU ARE TALKING! Three floyds is banging beer! panzer wolf is BEER. Real American beer!

      January 18, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
    • nanners

      ... and you will be a hop head soon enough, you might as well give in now. Get to burning your buds in before the rest catch up. Pretty soon you won't be able to get that stuff with out an hour wait in the hipster line.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
      • ThePursuit

        If hops're your thing, you must love an arrogant bastard.

        January 18, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
        • nanners

          You've never had a panzer wolf. Tonight's line up includes; crooked tree, white rajah, head hunter, and a oskar blues deviant dales to top off the night.

          January 18, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
  8. bribarian

    No Elephant Urine?

    January 18, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
    • Bob

      No, you have completely cornered the market on that one.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
  9. Nanners

    Only beer I heard in these comments worth a drink was the palette wrecker. Get rid of these sticky, sugary, overly sweet, malty messes you guys puss out on, and start drinking real American beer. You people need more hops in your life. Ohio and Michigan are beer central right now. They are taking over the it.

    January 18, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • ThePursuit

      Drink more beer. You're nanners.

      January 18, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • DocJ

      Your a moron. North Carolina is beer central by far. Beer City USA is Asheville NC!

      January 18, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
      • ThePursuit

        P D X, most brew pubs and strip clubs per capita. I left my heart in Portland, OR.

        January 18, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
        • nanners

          Bunch of hipsters. Bells is making a killing of you. Good for them. I've lived in Portland, Seattle, Belgium, ... Drank in all 50 states, Canada left to right, Alaska, Mexico ... Best beer in the world is coming out of the midwest USA. They are changing what beer is, and bringing American beer back as the KING OF BEERS. You will all be burning your buds on beautiful north american midwest ipa's in no time.

          January 18, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
        • Kevin

          The Philadelphia region is pretty damn good right now too. Yards, Flying Fish, Victory, Philadelphia Brewing Company, Dogfish Head. Going a little farther away is Weyerbacher and Troegs. Not saying any of those are the best of the best, although Dogfish Head is pretty well regarded, but I think it is a great time for regional brewing.

          January 18, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
        • ThePursuit

          Dogfish is from Delaware. Victory is passable. The best beer in the world is made in Europe. Saison du Pont, Chimay Cing Cents, La Duchesse du Bourgogne, Duvel, Orval. Best in the US? Brooklyn, Allagash, Ommegang, Sierra Nevada. Come on now.

          January 18, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
        • ThePursuit

          I would like to nominate Genesee beer for the title of Least Drinkable Fluid Containing Ethyl Alchohol.

          January 18, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
        • nanners

          Just got back from an extended stay in the Belgium area pursuit. Guess what, they are envious of our "over the top American beers". They are starting to imitate the midwest style ipa's, and Italy is the first in line. They all want our north american hop style brews and will all be imitating us in a matter of years. Chimay is "meh".

          January 18, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
        • Kevin

          ThePursuit, I included Delaware in what I labeled as the Philadelphia region. Dogfish head wins some pretty decent awards and Golden Monkey from Victory isn't bad. My point is more that there are a lot of beer regions in the US that have some really good beer. I love Belgian beer as well, but at least there are some really good beers from the US. Especially Ommengang, although they are owned by Duvel anyway.

          January 18, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
        • ThePursuit

          I am not a friend of Bill.

          January 18, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
        • ThePursuit

          Golden Monkey is too heavy with the belgian candy sugar. I like my beers dry. Very dry. No one's mentioned Lagunitas yet. They brew an imperial red that will peel the enamal off your teeth.

          January 18, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
      • School Teacher

        I wouldn't write "Your a moron" without spelling it "You're."

        That said, it sounds like I need a trip to North Carolina.

        January 18, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
  10. stephen48739

    I would like to thank President Jimmy Carter for siging the bill allowing us to make our own beer. I've made several batches from kits I've obtained from William's Brewing. Good stuff. I like the craft brew beer from Camp 10 Brewery, near Tahquamenon Falls, Michigan.

    January 18, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
  11. SoCalMatt

    Green Flash Brewey's West Coast IPA is my favorite, and their Le Freak is a close 2nd. I think the Prez needs some Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous in his fridge!

    January 18, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
  12. Sasquatch

    They should serve Natural Ice Light. After these next four years, that's all any of us will be able to afford.

    January 18, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
  13. anthony

    how about Arrogant B@st@rd its fitting for the president and its a delicious beer. and for those who dont know, yes its a real beer.

    January 18, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • TR

      If I were prez I'd serve Arrogant B-st-rd in a heartbeat - because (1) I like the joke, and (2) as you say, it's delicious.

      January 18, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • Jack the lad

      And a bloody good one to.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
    • Lila

      Well aren't you being Self-Righteous, that's also a good beer.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
  14. anthony

    how about Arrogant Bastard that is a delicious beer and fitting for the president. and for those who dont know, yes its a real beer.

    January 18, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
  15. Ant111

    How about some Naked Pig pale ale from Alabama,nice !

    January 18, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Ant111

      Back Forty Beer Company :)

      January 18, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
  16. thefrumpeter

    The Green Flash you mentioned is delicious, but you need to add some Colorado Brews in here if you want to keep it real. You need Avery Brewing or Great Divide baby...truth.

    January 18, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • anthony

      new belgium brewery in CO has some good beers

      January 18, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • Nathan Berrong

      The last beer I an Avery beer!

      January 19, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
  17. Robert

    Go San Diego beers! Best in the USA!

    January 18, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • Reddy

      From Pa. – had a Ballast Point at the Fish House/Restruant next to the A/C Carrier Midway – wow.

      January 18, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
  18. TRAVIS

    If this were George W. Bush everyone would be calling him an alcoholic. But since it's Barack H. Old Bama, it's ok.

    January 18, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • Achilles

      Because George W. Bush was a real boozer in college.

      January 18, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
      • Bob

        Who wasn't a real boozer in college?

        January 18, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
    • RR

      he was an alcoholic

      January 18, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
  19. Mark

    Yes to Green Flash! Outstanding Choice! You must try the Le Freak!

    January 18, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • CMFJ

      I strongly second that...

      January 18, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • SoCalMatt

      Le Freak is amazing....its like a creamier IPA, very potent and a very thick head!

      January 18, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
  20. keithster31

    Green Flash! Hop Head Red is nice but don't be afraid to try the Palate Wrecker. That's a serious IPA! They used to have a simple tasting room in Vista but moved to Mira Mesa. Keep up the good work GF.

    Other local breweries: Oceanside Ale Works, Aztec, Latitude 33 (old Green Flash location) Iron Fist, Mother Earth, Lost Abby, Pizza Port, Stone, Belching Beaver, Stumble Foot, Rip Current, Prohibition, Back Street, Break Water....... I know I'm forgetting a bunch of them.

    San Diego North County, the Napa Valley of Beer.

    January 18, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
  21. Ph

    How about just doing a private inaugaration and saving the 50 million being spent.u talk about debt ceiling and expenses well heres one of them.

    January 18, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • CMFJ

      That's something like 0.002% of the federal budget for the year IF it was actually funded by the federal government. The inauguration will be paid for with money raised by his inaugural committee, which has raised > $50 milliion

      January 18, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
      • Ph

        Any money saved is money earned the last time i checked. Also cutting politicians salary by half and eliminating their pensions,along with making them pay theor own health insurance coupled to making them pay for their own travel would save the govt. and tax payers over 500 million dollars in a 4 yr term. So savingsneed to start somewhere and a true leader would start at the top. Tax payers will be paying 7 million for security at this inaugaration. Something that could have been saved if kept private and indoors in the oval office and brodcasted live without a cermenoy outside. Savings is savings no katter how you look at money your money or raised by the committe it ould be put to better use.

        January 18, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
        • Ph

          Sorry for the typo stuck keys on an ipad, hate it

          January 18, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
  22. Alissa

    Thats our Blueberry!! Wahoo!! We couldn't be more excited!! Check out Cascade Brewing Barrel House a list of all the beers we sell. We are honored!!

    January 18, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
  23. Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

    Back when I was a raging alcoholic I really liked Alaskan IPA. If you like IPA check it out.

    January 18, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Rolph Dungren


      January 18, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
  24. Bout to crack one open!

    Can the public buy some and then the proceeds go towards charity or the national debt?

    January 18, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
  25. cageybee

    ...."please reduce your hops content" would be more fitting

    January 18, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
  26. Mike

    no Arrogant Bastard? Strange....

    January 18, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
  27. Jeff

    Should be "Diamond Bear", out of Arkansas

    January 18, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
  28. max

    i too am eager for some more whitehouse homebrewing. coolest pres ever! lol

    January 18, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
  29. JAE

    So THAT'S why Romney wasn't elected – the alcoholic beverage companies wouldn't be able to make any money at his inauguration ... The handwriting is on the wall ... have fun getting drunk on the taxpayers' money, y'all ...

    January 18, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Drumcode

      Stop being bitter.

      January 18, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
      • cageybee

        ...."please reduce your hops content" would be more fitting

        January 18, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Bout to crack one open!

      The president bought all of the equipment with his own pay. The chefs are presumably on salary. So really there was no additional cost to the public.

      January 18, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Jim

      Something with him being a total D-bag might have something to do with Romney not getting elected.

      January 18, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
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