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Drinking the White House Honey Ale

Posted by Gary Dzen, Staff  October 3, 2012 07:28 AM

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whitehousehoney.jpgIn today's Globe there's a piece I wrote on brewing the White House Honey Ale. A couple months back I explained the brew-ha-ha over the release of the recipe for said honey beer. Writing these two stories involved a lot of phone calls and research and sanitizing brewing equipment and waiting around -- in other words, work -- which frankly doesn't suit me. But drinking beer I can do, and I was more than happy to finally sit down and enjoy my creation.

You can read about the entire brewing process in the link above or in today's Globe (it's the cover story of the G section), but here's a 99 Bottles style review of the White House Honey Ale.

The beer pours a beautiful amber with a thick, white head. I was worried about carbonation but there's plenty of it; tiny bubbles rapidly rise to the top of my pint glass. There's not much of a nose on this beer - there's some bready malt and a little bit of hops, but nothing more distinctive.

The mouthfeel of this beer is fantastic. There’s a decent crispness from the hops, and the beer is sweet but well-balanced. The honey flavor was muted. Adding it during fermentation would have given the beer more depth of flavor -- as Al Marzi, Harpoon's chief brewer, predicted, our beer is a little dry -- but it’s an entirely pleasant drinking experience.

The White House knew what they were doing when they brewed this beer. It's approachable enough to serve to casual beer enthusiasts but flavorful enough to be interesting to those of us who know what we want our beer to taste like. Make the beer yourself and let me know what you think. It's kind of fun to be drinking like president.

E-mail me ( and start a conversation. Follow me on Twitter. Cheers.

Gary Dzen

About 99 Bottles

Gary Dzen writes about craft beer here and in the Globe when he's not covering the Celtics for He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GaryDzen.

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