Whenever a politician wants to show themselves as a man – or woman – of the people, they seem to always make sure they have themselves photographed having a beer. The thinking seems to be, “let’s show the good folks on Struggle Street that I’m one of them, not some chardonnay-swilling toff that doesn’t understand their problems.”
Of course, they always look stiff and uncomfortable when they do – with the notable exception of Bob Hawke who genuinely enjoyed a beer, but was possibly too comfortable drinking it.
When they do drink a beer, it’s rarely anything interesting. But then again, modern politicians are just like modern lagers: bland, over-produced and designed to appeal to the widest possible audience by daring not offend anyone.
So it’s been fascinating to watch the US over the last few years and see how US President Obama comfortably holds a beer. He’s regularly photographed with a pint in hand, probably for the same reason that our home-grown pollies do, but you sense that he’s a beer drinker when the camera’s aren’t around as well. He has had some notable beer moments, most famously when he invited two guys to his house to resolve a complex race issue over a brew in the famous Beer Summit. More recently it has been the revelation that the President has a home brewery in the Whitehouse.
Is this a canny political ploy to tap into the craft beer movement sweeping the States? Possibly. But beer has had few better high-placed ambassadors since St Arnold of Metz reputedly told his parishioners to “drink beer, not water.”
The homebrewing revelation has created enormous interest in hand-made beer internationally. Locally, Queensland homebrew supplies chain Brewers Choice shared the Presidential beer recipes with their customers. Inspired by the response, they plan to run demos showing people how they can make the beers bearing the Presidential seal.
David Kitchen from Brewers Choice said it was a great way to create a passion for homebrewing.
“We see the White House, and President Obama in particular, as a fantastic ambassador for home brewing,” he said.
In a lead up to the to these demos Brewers Choice ran a companywide competition asking their customers to submit a recipe that they think President Obama would like.
“We have all voted and knowing that the President seems to love honey beers, the winner was a Honey Dark Ale, formulated by Ben Kendall from Toowoomba in QLD,” David said.
“As reward for winning the comp we have sent Ben’s recipe to Mr Obama for him to hopefully make and enjoy while thinking of sunny Australia.”
“We also sent a copy to Prime Minister Gillard, informing her that President Obama home brews and that we think she should too. And Ben’s recipe is a great one for her because it is formulated by the people and uses native bush honey as a key ingredient.”
“Ultimately we’d love to see either President Obama or Julia Gillard drinking a beer made to Ben’s recipe — I think that would give us all a real buzz.”
Ben’s winning recipe:
Honey Dark Ale 23L
Ale malt 3.5kgs
Wheat malt 1kg
Chocolate malt 500g
500g native bee bush honey
30g Pride of Ringwood @60mins 30IBUs
ferment at 18’c using Safale US05 dry yeast
Forget moving like Jagger, if you’re interested in Brewing like Obama, head along and check out the Basic Beer Brewing demos at Brewers Choice (details below) or, if you don’t live in Queensland, seek out your nearest homebrew store. Also, this year’s Australian National Homebrewing Conference will offer beginner sessions.
Basic Beer Brewing
Come along to Brewers Choice and dive into the wonderful hobby of beer brewing. Our expert managers will take you through the step by step process of making your own beer, while offering plenty of handy hints along the way. Attending one of these beginner demos will guarantee that you make the best possible beer the first time round and continue to do so in the future. There will also be plenty of Brewers Choice hospitality provided, so bring a friend — it’s FREE!
6th October – Chapel Hill – 10:30am
6th October – Yamanto– 10:00am
20th October – Wacol – 10:30am
20th October – Enoggera – 10:30am