I Pledge Allegiance to the Beer…
“We the People of the United States, in order to brew a more perfect beer, establish drunkenness, ensure an honorable cheers, provide enough so we don’t have to make a late night beer run, promote general welfare of all, and secure the blessings of brews to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of Beer.”
Established in 1885, President’s Day is a day to celebrate all past and present Presidents. Originally, it was created to honor this nation’s great OG President: George Washington himself. It is only fitting that on the day originally created to celebrate George Washington we honor his love of beer. Ole’ Georgie loved him some Porter. He brewed his own beer and even had his own super special recipe. Nonetheless, Washington was not the only president to favor the malty fermented remains of earthly grains. Our 14th national leader, Franklin Pierce, loved beer so much he died of cirrhosis of the liver (so maybe too much?). Thomas Jefferson brewed fifteen to twenty gallons every few weeks, Lyndon B Johnson enjoyed a can of Pearl beer and was notorious for drinking while driving, James Garfield was critiqued for keeping a keg of beer on campus and when asked about it he claimed he used it for “medicinal purposes,” and Barrack Obama brought back brewing in the White House to create his own special brews.
Grover Cleveland attempted to squelch his love for beer by cutting back to just four a day. He made a deal with his running mate at the time for District Attorney that he would cut back to four a day during the campaign. Well, they failed because of prohibition and ended up making it four tankards a day. Too bad we can’t solve all political problems with a beer bet.
Quite possibly the best way to showcase how fond our nations founders were of drink is to explain in story. . .
Twas’ a sweltering September day in Philadelphia, the year was 1787, and delegates littered the tables with their faint bodies. Handkerchiefs were soaked through, shirts clung to their master’s necks and shoes were removed in an attempt to cool the extremities. Men swore beneath their breathe and aloud cursing the sun that left no respite despite the expanse of the room, all the windows open and even the slight early fall breeze that tickled it’s way across brows. It was impossible to focus all energy on one task and it was a task that needed done. A constitution must be written, rules must be emplaced and laws commanded. All 177 delegates managed to come up with one idea to help them through the ordeal: drink. A local tavern was contacted to bring over that which the delegates desired. The ordeal took days and a few days before it’s completion a lowly accountant nearly fell ill at the sight of the present tavern bill. Together these founding fathers drank more than a college fraternity on Founder’s Day: fifty-four bottles of Madeira, sixty bottles of Claret, eight bottle of whiskey, twenty-two bottles of porter, eight bottles of hard cider, twelve bottles of beer and seven bowls of alcoholic punch (more commonly referred to today as a fishbowl or trashcan punch).
If is of our constitution that we drink. It is within our blood, seeps through the soil, flows in every river and stream, and our great nation was founded upon it. So grab a brew, a port to honor Washington, a keg for your health on Jefferson, or crack a Pearl lager for the Johnson. Whatever you prefer raise you glass, mug, solo cup, can or bottle to our Presidents. Without them, we wouldn’t be the alcoholics we are today. Without them, we also wouldn’t have that fancy Constitution dictating things for us.
To top it all off we loop back around to Washington. It is only fitting that we end this with the quip of Washington’s character by noting that his love of beer extended beyond the oval office and to his hunting dogs. He named them to honor his love of booze: Drunkard, Tippler, and Tipsy.
A toast: To all Presidents past, present and future. May your drink be strong and your constitution stronger. Saluté