Blue Point Brewery Remake of George Washington’s Beer Debuts at Hofstra Debate

Blue Point Debate Beer
Blue Point Brewery debuted Colonial Ale, a beer recipe created by President George Washington, at the 2016 Hofstra Debates (Timothy Bolger/Long Island Press)

Pundits may disagree about who’s declared winner of the presidential debate at Hofstra University, but Patchogue-based Blue Point Brewery scored countless bipartisan fans by recreating a Founding Father’s beer for the occasion.

The local craft beer brewers remade Colonial Ale, originally concocted in 1757 by George Washington before he became America’s first President, to debut it in the beer garden in the media area at the 2016 debates, where national and international reporters lined up for free samples.

“We’re trying to get some backstage to try to keep the fireworks under control, but we’ll see what happens,” joked Mark Burford, co-founder of Blue Point Brewery, when asked if the presidential candidates had tasted the beer. “Beer brings people together.”

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Blue Point also has a variety of its regularly brewed beers on tap at the debates, earning priceless access to thousands of members of the media who may not have heard of Long Island’s largest craft brewery.

After Washington’s beer recipe was unearthed, Blue Point was inspired to recreate it since he had stopped at Hart’s Tavern, down the block from their brewery, on his tour of Long Island in 1790, Burford said. Next week Colonial Ale will be officially on tap in Blue Point’s tasting room. It is expected to be bottled for sale by Election Day, Burford said. They’re currently brewing their second 30-barrel batch of the brown ale, which was made using unconventional ingredients, including corn, molasses and spruce tips.

“Some of those ingredients we’ve used individually in other beers, but never the whole hodge-podge,” Burford said. “It was a farm brewery, basically for the house, not a big commercial enterprise, so they used whatever they could get a hold of. And at that time, a lot of raw ingredients were not available, so they had what they grew.”

And the critics agree, the ale tastes as good as it sounds.

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