With a couple of weeks left until the close of campaign season, Riverside attorney Scott Talkov has determined the White House winner – the honey porter.
The 1999 Walnut High School graduate made national news in August when he put in a Freedom of Information Act request to get the recipe for the White House beer that President Obama had been touting.
“He was handing it out on the campaign trail,” Talkov said. “He was tempting us beer lovers and Obama fans. I had to have it and now I do.”
The White House posted the recipe early in September and about a week after it went public, Talkov was brewing the honey ale in his garage. He also brewed the honey porter, a beer with a coffee or chocolate taste and his favorite.
The home brewer said that his political leanings influenced his desire to brew the beer.
“I’m a big Barack Obama fan,” he said. “When I found out he was brewing beer in the White House, I wanted to be just like him.”
While George Washington brewed whiskey and Thomas Jefferson wine, President Obama is the first to try his hand at making beer, according to the White House website.
“Inspired by home brewers from across the country, last year President Obama bought a home brewing kit for the kitchen. After the few first drafts we landed on some great recipes that came from a local brew shop,” wrote Sam Kass, a White House assistant chef, on the website. “We received some tips from a couple of home brewers who work in the White House who helped us amend it and make it our own. To be honest, we were surprised that the beer turned out so well since none of us had brewed beer before."
Talkov said he has been told that the beer won’t be exactly the same because he doesn’t have the White House honey, however the newlywed said that is no problem.
“There are numerous varieties of honey you can buy that are high quality,” he said.
Talkov said that he was surprised with how international the recipe, which included British hops, as well as some ingredients from Belgium and Germany.
“It really is the United Nations of beers,” he said. “He is really reaching out to the world. It’s an unusually worldly recipe.”
The media law and real estate attorney with the firm Reid & Hellyer said he started brewing beer about a year ago. Brewing has picked up as a hobby nationwide in the past three years, he added.
For around $200, brewers can get the ingredients needed to make beer, which is typically done in five-gallon batches, he said. About 14 to 20 days after starting the process, a brewer will have fermented beer. That is followed by adding sugar, putting it into bottles, and tapping it. The whole process takes about five weeks, he said.
Beer enthusiasts take their creations to tastings and competitions, the same way makers of wine do, Talkov said. He said he expects regionally influenced versions of the honey ale and honey porter to crop up at competitions around the country. Click here to get the White House recipe.
“There are so many different variations of beer,” Talkov said of his love of the drink. “It’s a classic American guy thing and it is becoming a classic American girl thing too. It’s certainly a refreshing drink.”