For quite a few years, I had been on the hunt for a beer called “Ales of the Revolution” from Yards Brewing Company in Pennsylvania. I can’t quite remember how I learned about them originally, but once I discovered their existence, it became a mission to try them.
Ales of the Revolution are recreations of the original recipes of Founding Fathers George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.
The concept intrigues me to no end! To have a (as close to it as possible) taste of the American Revolution era? Sign me up!
I’ve always had an affinity for history, but that has certainly grown since meeting my wife. It’s become a bit of a tradition for us to break out HBO’s John Adams on Independence Day and I can’t tell you the number of times during any season that we’ve sat down to watch a movie only to end up popping in our DVDs of the History Channel’s “The Presidents” narrated by the always superb Edward Hermann. My appreciation for the past extends far beyond the 60s, 40s, 30s, etc and the chance to know what a beer tasted like as sipped by these men of legend is fascinating.
However, for a long time I thought it just wasn’t meant to be. I had tried online, I had tried beverage distributors in the hopes of a special order, but to no avail. I had all but given up hope.
Then, recently while out to dinner with my family, I was surprised with two large cases of this otherwise unattainable nectar. It seems that my brother, looking for a belated birthday gift for me, had contacted a friend living in Philly and asked them to pick up a few cases.
So, tonight, I cracked open one of George Washington’s Tavern Porter, described by the Brewing Company as “…smooth, rich, and warming with chocolate and coffee flavors. It’s inspired by Washington’s original recipe, and reflects his admiration of Philadelphia-style porters…”
And with an ABV of 7%, it’s no wonder these guys staged a revolution against the biggest super power at the time. They were probably buzzed to no end as they plotted and planned and philosophized over pints at some dimly lit tavern.
Also in the mix is Thomas Jefferson’s Tavern Ale (a golden ale with dried fruits and toffee aromas inspired by Jefferson’s original recipe that called for wheat, honey, and rye from his Virginia estate) and Benjamin Franklin’s Tavern Spruce Ale (based on Franklin’s original recipe. It uses spruce tips and molasses as barley and hops were not readily available at the time).
Needless to say, it’s a win as a beverage and a definite win for the history buff in me.
Now if I could only figure out what John Adams would have drank…
During one of our favorite weekend rituals (a cup of tea and watching CBS Sunday Morning), I came across this report that I really found interesting. I thought you might too:
(sorry. WordPress won’t allow me to directly embed the video, but please give it a click and a watch)
It’s amazing to see how truly color blind (and that’s a good thing) we were when it came to our children. Leave it to the marketing folks and the manufacturers to find a way to not only make some extra cash on our kids, but change an entire cultural mindset to do so.
It’s sort of like mass-hypnosis when you think about it. Quite frightening when you think about it too much…
Last night I read to our unborn child.
This is nothing new. For months, I would randomly grab a book from the small collection we’ve amassed since we found out we’re expecting and read directly to Meg’s stomach.
On this occasion, though, it wasn’t “Puss in Boots” or “Mr Brown Can Moo, Can You?” Instead, I picked up the book I was sitting there reading anyway and just began reading aloud to Meg’s stomach. That book happened to be a collection of old All-Star Comics from the 1940s featuring the Justice Society of America. Issue #14 to be exact.
For those of you who may be uninitiated into the geeky world of superheroes, you may have vaguely heard the term “Justice League” bandied about in pop culture. However, The Justice Society, or JSA as they were often referred to, were roughly 15-20 years prior to the League. Amid America’s impending entrance into World War II, several second-tier superheroes of the time came together in the world’s first super team, The Justice Society of America.
On this occasion, the team’s mission was simple, yet oh-so-complicated: to get food to occupied European nations and overthrow the occupying Nazis.
Okay, okay, so a little bit harder than Dr. Seuss, but I was reading it anyway and I figured doing so aloud may be just as fun, doing my best to provide distinctly different voices for Hawkman, Starman, and the like.
Although, admittedly, both my German Nazi voice and Polish soldier voice need work. I can’t imagine what it will be like when I get to the chapters in Norway and Holland.
The odd part? Odd, yet exciting?
The baby really seemed to love it. Meg couldn’t believe how much the baby was moving around, and the more it moved, visible through her stomach this far along (36 or 37 weeks!), the more excited I got to keep reading chapters to this wondrous little soul I’ve yet to meet.
We stopped a few chapters in (I promised to read more in the nights ahead), but it led to a wonderful discussion (obviously one-sided, as her belly doesn’t verbalize too much) about fictional heroes written to inspire, and the real-life heroes (like the baby’s great grandfather and great grandmother, our next door neighbor, George, and our other neighbor, Geno) who put it all on the line during that very real war so that they, we, and our unborn child, could come into a free world.
When I was a kid, I was obsessed with that era in history, and it was comics, just like these old adventures of the Justice Society, that got me interested in what was going on in the real world at the time of WWII.
It was truly a remarkable moment to see and feel my child, still in the womb, getting excited as I read and acted out this 1942 adventure for them. What was even more exciting was knowing how much they have to learn about their past, their family history, and the history of the world around them. They have a lifetime of learning ahead, and I’m lucky enough to be there with them from the very start of that journey.
And hopefully, we’ll have many other Justice Society Adventures to relive together. 🙂