As discussed here, a mention by President Barack Obama last month that he was home-brewing three varieties of beer in the White House (White House Honey Ale, White House Honey Blonde Ale and White House Honey Porter) mobilized beer geeks to employ every means possible to secure the White House's secret recipe. Their efforts included multiple requests under the Freedom of Information Act for the recipe, as well as an official petition filed with the White House's "We the People" website demanding that the Obama administration "Release the recipe for the Honey Ale home brewed at the White House."
The We the People petition failed to gather the 25,000 signatures that would have required the White House to consider it (it tapped out at just over 12,000 signatures), and the FOIA requests appear to have also failed because White House documents are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act in the first place. Although these legal tactics could not get secure the White House beer recipes, however, pressure and pleas from the beer drinking public ultimately did get the job done.
On September 1, 2012, in a post on the White House Blog entitled, "Ale to the Chief," Sam Kass (White House Assistant Chef and the Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives) wrote that the time had come to share the recipe with the world. Kass said the White House kitchen staff started with some great recipes from a local brew shop and then tweaked it to make it their own. White House Honey Brown Ale is believed to be the first alcohol brewed or distilled on the White House grounds.
The full recipes are available here, and the video below is an interesting look at the process of beer-making at the White House, including a peek at the new White House "beer cellar."
Posted by Bruce Carton
Legal Blog Watch is an affiliate of the Daily Business Review.