In less than a person's lifetime, we have gone from Prohibition to the White House Chef making handmade beer! 

In 2012, the White House Chef began making handmade beer in small, five gallon batches, just like thousands of home-based brewers across the country. He came up with a recipe that uses honey collected from bees raised in the White House gardens, hence the name White House Honey Ale. 

When the White House Chef released the recipe, Nancy and I decided it would be fun to host another brew party and make up a batch of this historic beer. Remarkably, in a person's lifetime, our country has progressed from Prohibition to the White House Chef making handmade beer!  

So, on a delightful autumn Saturday morning, nine adults and four children gathered at our home and brewed up this batch. It was a casual brew day - we watched the small ones (1 1/2 years old to 7 years old) play, ate lunch and made beer.  

And on Tuesday, November 6th, all of the brewers of this collaborative effort will pour ourselves a glass of our White House Honey Ale, whether in celebration or consolation of the election results


The White House recipe was for extract brewing so we adjusted it for all-grain, plus we made adjustments for ingredients that we had on-hand.  The honey was from a local beekeeper, Greg who runs Wild Blossom Meadery and it was delicious. 

This recipe is similar to an English Extra Special Bitter, with honey added.  As always, we used organic malts and hops.  

8.5 lbs Pale Malt
1 lbs Munich Malt
1 lb. Wheat Malt
0.75 lb. Caramel Malt 20L
1 lb. Honey
1 oz. East Kent Goldings hops (7% aa) - 60 minutes
1 oz. East Kent Goldings hops - 20 minutes
1 oz. Challenger hops (5% aa) - 5 minutes
Irish Moss
Danstar Windsor Yeast

For the Beer Geeks
Original Gravity: 1.053
Final Gravity:  1.008
ABV:  5%
Bitterness: 38 IBUs
Mash:  151 F for 60 minutes, single infusion, batch sparge
Fermented at 62 F


In addition to Nancy and I, the brewers of this special batch included:

Agata, Jason and Kalina Grunstad
Jason is also a member of the Brewers of
South Suburbia (BOSS) and shared a 
delicious Helles that he had brewed; we
delighted in the joy of Agata's news that
they are expecting another child; and all 
enjoyed 1 1/2 year old Kalina's energy
and enthusiasm.

Heather and Bill Goetz
Also members of BOSS, Bill has a fun
Facebook brewing page called Billy Goetz
Brewing; even though Heather claims to
be lukewarm regarding brewing, we enjoy
her company and friendship!

Ben, Tate and Jasper Vaughan
The Vaughans are friends from our faith
community, Mt. Zion Lutheran; Ben has
joined us for a previous brew day and is
interested in brewing on his own, but
finds that having two young children
leaves little time for hobbies. 

Liesl, Michael and Jack Downey
Liesl suffers the misfortune of working
with me; this was the Downeys first brew
day; Michael is a Chicago stage actor and
in Autumn 2012 performs in Provision
Theater's Shaw v. Chesterton: The 
Debate - go see it!  And young Jack is
charming and quite a talker for his 
eighteen months.