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To Brew or Not to Brew

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According to the Dictionary of Word Origins, the term “beer” “was probably simply a general term for a ‘drink’: it seems to have come from late Latin biber, ‘drink,’ which was a derivative of the verb bibere, from which English gets beverage, bibulous, imbibe, and possibly also bibber.”

Not interesting, you say. I agree. The only reason I brought it up was that I don’t drink beer. Wine is my preferred alcoholic beverage, specifically a nice Merlot. But I won’t bore you with that, either. Anyway, most people do drink beer, which is not startlingly new news. But get this: lots and lots of people brew their own beer: in their kitchens, in their garages, in their basements, in their dungeons, probably even in their Midwestern bomb shelters.

Having a home brewing beer kit is getting to be like having a tattoo: if you don’t have one, you’re not cool. And the whole thing – both the home brewing and the tattoos (I don’t have one) – makes me feel inadequate. Getting a tattoo hurts and I’ve never been a big fan of pain, while home brewing seems like quite an undertaking, involving sterilizing, organizing, and lots of time.

Then, as if I wasn’t already feeling like a total wuss, I read an article stating that the president purchased home brewing equipment and ingredients. The White House is now brewing its own beer. They even have a White House blog on which they offer recipes for their official Honey Ale and Honey Porter. White House beer, the way I understand it, is made with honey harvested from a hive located on the South Lawn.

They have their own bees?

In case this is inspiring you to undertake home brewing, The Grape sells anything and everything you need to get started. Who knows? You could be the next Adolph Coors.

Apparently, another president brewed his own beer. The one and only numero uno, George Washington brewed it at Mount Vernon. And supposedly, according to the commercials on television, maybe Samuel Adams did too. Probably not, though; they probably just used his name so they could target their market. Branding is everything, right? Besides, Sam Adams, if I remember correctly, wasn’t a president. I could be wrong, but I think he was a big wheel in the American Revolution, but didn’t scale the hierarchal-governmental mountain to the very tippy top.

All that being said I wouldn’t mind tasting a bottle of White House Ale. Just to taste what it’s like. Some of the home-brewed beers I’ve sampled in the past reminded me of battery acid. But I do have to admit that some have been quite good. Maybe even good enough to sell on the open market.

Still, I believe I’ll just stick with the horse I know – a nice, dry Merlot from Napa.

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About Randall Radic