President Obama has unabashedly worked to win over voters as he passes out cases of beer on the campaign trail that was brewed at the White House and includes honey extracted from beehives on the South Lawn. But his special brew has also excited some in public office.
Appearing with Amy Walter and Rick Klein on ABC News / Yahoo News’ Democratic National Convention show in Charlotte, Colorado Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, a former brewer himself, salivated over the recipes of the president’s honey ale and honey porter, which were recently posted online by the White House chef.
“Of course, I’ve memorized that recipe,” Hickenlooper told Klein. “So much of it is science and recipe, but part of it is art.”
Klein asked what about the recipe surprised the governor, and Hickenlooper honed in on the honey.
“Well, they’re using their own honey, and certainly honey is a great way to kind of lighten a beer, especially in the summer, make it more refreshing,” he said. “They’re raising their own honey. They’re using it to make their own beer. It’s almost like a victory garden in a glass.”
Hickenlooper said he used to own the country’s 110th highest-grossing brewery, although he does not brew anymore suds these days. Still, he touted the industry’s ability to create jobs.
“Now there are over 2100 breweries, right? And they make about 5.7 percent of the total beer [in the world] but they create more than 50 percent of the jobs in the entire brewing industry,” he said. “So a small volume, but huge job creator, and I mean what’s not to love about that?”
He also suggested breweries should develop higher-quality beer at a premium to encourage beer enthusiasts to drink less volume.
“You look at beer – one beer, two beers a night – that’s kind of good for you. Most people think that’s kind of healthy,” he said. “Charge more for it. Make a really high-quality beer and it creates an economic incentive to just have one or two.”
The custom ales are the first alcoholic beverages ever brewed on White House grounds, leading the governor to pitch a story to Klein and Walter.
“They’ve got the White House chefs doing this, which is incredible,” Hickenlooper gushed. “I mean the question really you should be reporting on is how hard did the president have to lobby the chefs? Did they jump to the opportunity or was this kind of a twisting of the arm?”