Blue Point Brewing Co. yesterday unveiled its “debate beer” — a craft brew based on a recipe from George Washington — that it will debut outside the presidential debate at Hofstra University next week.
The special beer, called Colonial Ale, is a modern take on a 1757 recipe belonging to Washington, then a 25-year-old colonel in the Virginia Regiment militia, the company said. The recipe, which calls for era-appropriate ingredients such as corn, molasses and spruce tips in place of hops, comes from a notebook owned by Washington during the French and Indian War.
Samples of the low-alcohol beer will be available to credentialed individuals in a tented area across from Hofstra’s David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex at Monday’s debate between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, a Blue Point spokesman said.
The brewery, which produced 30 barrels of Colonial Ale, plans to offer it at its Patchogue tasting room “as soon as we can,” Blue Point co-founder Mark Burford said. “I’m sure there’s going to be some interest from other locations as well.”
The inspiration for the brew came from evidence that Washington once stopped at Hart’s Tavern in Patchogue for a drink himself, said Dan Jansen, Blue Point brewmaster.
Jansen said following the recipe to the letter was “a little bit of a challenge” given the difference in ingredients used at the time. “For that reason, we absolutely did not try to brew an exact replica,” he said.
Blue Point, Long Island’s largest and oldest craft brewery, is not the first to attempt a modern interpretation of young Washington’s beer. In 2011, the New York Public Library, which owns the original copy of the recipe, partnered with Coney Island Brewing Co. in Brooklyn to recreate the beer in celebration of the library’s centennial.
Blue Point, which was purchased in 2014 by beverage giant Anheuser-Busch InBev, recently launched a new Patchogue-focused ad campaign and changed the look of its signature Toasted Lager beer.
The brewery, founded in 1998, now makes more than 40 craft beers, including White IPA, Hoptical Illusion and Rastafa Rye Ale.