PATCHOGUE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Beer lovers will be toasting the first presidential debate next Monday at Hofstra University on Long Island thanks to our first president’s taste for hops.
CBS2’s Elise Finch reported brewmaster Dan Jansen was among the first to sample the latest newcomer to locally brewed beers – the Colonial Ale. Its creation at the Blue Point Brewery in Patchogue was inspired by former President George Washington.
“We found out he was a brewer himself,” Jansen explained. “In 1757, he penned a recipe for a small beer in a military journal.
A copy of the actual recipe is currently held inside the archives of the New York City Public Library. Jansen said he faithfully followed Washington’s nearly 260-year-old instructions to brew 30 barrels of the beer.
“We used some corn and some oats, some wheat, as well as some white molasses syrup,” Jansen said.
Jansen added the beer is also a nod to a visit Washington made in 1790, just a half-mile away in Patchogue where a cemetery now lies.
A plaque describes how Washington stopped at the tavern that once stood here to enjoy a meal of oysters and beer.
“I wouldn’t ever think there would be a connection with George Washington in Patchogue,” Omayra Perone said. “That’s interesting.”
Even long-time locals are unaware of the Washington-Patchogue connection, but said they’re willing to give this old-new ale a chance.
“I’m sure they won’t totally go with the old style, maybe they’ll bring it a little up to date,” Ed Byrne said. “I’d be willing to try it.”
The brewers said the only real difference is the modern equipment they used. Colonial Ale will see its modern day debut on Monday for guests inside Hofstra University’s hospitality tent before the presidential debate.
“I certainly think it’s something folks can agree on. That’s not always the case with debates and politics, but I think beer brings people together,” said Mark Burford, the founder of Blue Point Brewery.
Following the debate, Colonial Ale will be available inside the Patchogue brewery’s tasting room. If it’s a hit, consumers will see it later in retail stores.