Long Island beer from George Washington recipe honors presidential debate

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The label for Colonial Ale (Courtesy of Blue Point Brewing Company)

Blue Point Brewing Company, based in Patchogue, Long Island, is set to debut a patriotic-themed beer in honor of the upcoming presidential debate at Hofstra University. It is a modern twist on an old recipe from 1757 belonging to our first president, George Washington.

"We found a hand penned recipe of George Washington in a military journal for a small beer," said Dan Jansen, Blue Point's brew master. He is putting the finishing touches on the special ale that will debut outside Monday's debate. "We tried to utilize the ingredients that they would've used at the time," he added.

Jansen used colonial ingredients including light molasses syrup and spruce tips to supplement hops from Washington's recipe. The finished product is the debate brew called Colonial Ale.

"I think it's delicious," he said. "I get some toffee and caramel notes from the molasses syrup that we added and then I get a little bit of just citrus, piney character on the end from the spruce tips."

Once sworn into office, Washington made his way across Long Island. One of his stops was at Hart's Tavern in 1790. It's now a cemetery but a plaque marks the approximate location of where it once was.

"Rumor has it he stopped and had some blue point oysters and a beer," Jansen said.

The recipe is in the archives at the New York Public Library. Blue Point Founder Mark Burford plans to offer samples at the tasting room. The company takes pride in showcasing a local beer during a national event.

What would President Washington say?

"He would say 'Give me another pint because this is good beer today!'" Burford said.

It is a pint to pay homage to the first president as we get closer to electing the 45th.

From Blue Point:

"The brewery is excited to be part of the debate in a fun way -- beer brings people together, and creating a special, historic beer for the first 2016 Presidential Debate is a fun way for us to participate. ... This Brown Ale pays tribute to our first President, George Washington, who also happened to be a home brewer. ... It proudly features two-row barley malted in New York and colonial ingredients: corn, oats, wheat, molasses, and spruce tips -- which colonial brewers used to supplement hops. ... We'll also have it available in the Blue Point Tasting Room in Patchogue after the debate and we'll be hosting election parties at local bars in November as well, featuring the beer."