NEW YORK — First we had the re-creation of George Washington’s rye whiskey from his own recipe. Now we’re about to have his beer formula brought back to life.
The New York Public Library, which owns the beer recipe, announced today it is teaming up with the Coney Island Brewing Company in Brooklyn to make 25 gallons to celebrate the library’s centennial this year. It will be called “Fortitude’s Founding Father Brew.”
Unfortunately for fans of craft brews, it will not be commercially available. Fortunately, members of the public will be able to sample it on the beer on Wednesday, May 18, at Rattle ‘N’ Hum, a Manhattan bar, and at the library’s 100th birthday gala on Monday, May 23.
The handwritten recipe is part of a collection of Washington documents housed at the library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue.
“We are thrilled to transform Washington’s recipe into an even more complex and flavorful robust porter using a delicious array of the best small batch dark malts and hop varieties to produce a truly spectacular celebration for the contemporary beer connoisseur,” said Jeremy Cowan, founder of Shmaltz Brewing Company, the parent of Coney Island Brewing Company.
Here’s the first president’s recipe “To Make Small Beer” (letters in parentheses have been added for clarity):
Take a large Siffer [Sifter] full of Bran Hops to your Taste. Boil these 3 hours then strain out 30 Gall[ons] into a cooler put in 3 Gall[ons] Molasses while the Beer is Scalding hot or rather draw the Melasses (sic) into the cooler & St[r]ain the Beer on it while boiling Hot. let this stand till it is little more than Blood warm then put in a quart of Yea[s]t if the Weather is very Cold cover it over with a Blank[et] & let it Work in the Cooler 24 hours then put it into the Cask—leave the bung open till it is almost don[e] Working—Bottle it that day Week it was Brewed.”
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