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Beers for Presidents' Day

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What is there to drink for Presidents’ Day?

 

Presidents’ Day is not known for having particular beers associated with it, but that’s not going to stop us from coming up with some ideas. I went to a local liquor store and found some thematic possibilities.

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A very thematically-appropriate is Ale to the Chief (8.1% ABV), an “imperial” pale ale. Produced by Avery Brewing, Ale to the Chief was initially brewed for President Obama’s first and second inaugurations, and has now been made available for the recent presidential inauguration (and will, perhaps, be available again in four years). Ale to the Chief is an interestingly big-bodied malty brew, with some hops around. With a malty nose and some floral hops also apparent, the mouthfeel is somewhat soft, although maltily heavy with some booziness. The huge malty body puts forth very noticeable caramel and raisin flavors. This beer is vaguely reminiscent of an American barleywine (perhaps, a sessionable American barleywine?). The maltiness of this brew lingers on this finish with raisin and caramel flavors, with, perhaps some sort of fruit, as well.

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Political rallying cries are an important part of politics, as well as this country. As a play on one such famous slogan, I found Give Me IPA or Give Me Death (8% ABV). Collaboratively brewed in Richmond, VA by Stone Brewing, Ardent Craft Ales, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, and Terry McAuliffe (the governor of Virginia(!)), Give Me IPA or Give Me Death is quite an interesting beer. It’s certainly not a typical IPA. Its nose, in addition to the hops, can strike one as strange, at first, until one realizes that it’s the berries that provide the unfamiliar smell. When drinking it, it has sort of a similar malt profile to that of other Stone beers, as well as hops, but the berries provide an interesting sweetness to accompany the bitterness of the hops. The sweetness and bitterness of the beer remain throughout the finish. This is certainly a different take on the IPA and may be interesting to try if you’re bored of the typical flavors in IPAs.

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Owing to the current president’s previous experience on The Apprentice, I went with Four Sons Brewing’s Hopprentice (5.7% ABV). For a pale ale, this brew is noticeably hoppy, which is great for those who enjoy hops.  With some significant pineyness, some dankness, and tropical fruits on the nose, Hopprentice has a great entrance. Arriving on to the palate with a semi-smooth mouthfeel, it is well-balanced between the hops and malt. There is some mild bitterness that lingers on the finish that retains some of the dankness. This beer is a little juicy that one could easily drink a few of, due to its tasty drinkability.

 

I also sought out some other relevant beers, but was unable to track them down – but maybe you will have better luck. One such beer is 21st Amendment Brewery’s Fireside Chat (7.9% ABV), which is named after President FDR’s radio talks. Speaking of president-specific beers, there is also Service Brewing’s Lincoln’s Gift Oyster Stout (5.5% ABV). Another appropriate beer is Mumford Brewing’s Unpresidential IPA (6.7% ABV).

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For those looking to drink beers that reference our current president, there is Spiteful Brewing’s Dumb Donald (9.2% ABV), a double IPA brewed with key lime. Some friends suggested to me some that might indirectly reference him, such as Founders Brewing’s Dirty Bastard (8.5 % ABV),  a Scotch-style ale, or Stone Brewing’s Arrogant Bastard (7.2% ABV). Someone even suggested Stone’s Ruination (8.5 % ABV) as a play on words (“ruin-nation”).

 

 

Whatever you choose to drink to get you in the presidential mood, here’s to a great Presidents’ Day!

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