In 1757, George Washington wrote down a beer recipe in the military journal he used during the French and Indian War. More than 260 years later, that beer is coming to the masses, thanks to Budweiser. The beer maker is releasing a beer "inspired by" the handwritten recipe. Freedom Reserve Red Lager is part of Budweiser's Reserve Collection, Fox News reports, and is available May through September. It will be brewed by some of the 1,600 veterans the brewery employs, Budweiser says, and their signatures will be featured on the bottles. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Folds of Honor, a nonprofit that provides scholarships for military families. The nonprofit's CEO says it considers Budweiser "family," adding, per a release: "Freedom Reserve is a great testament to their unwavering dedication and compassion for our armed forces and we salute them."
The New York Public Library, where Washington's papers are archived, has the recipe, titled "To Make Small Beer." "Take a large Sifter full of Bran Hops to your Taste—Boil these 3 hours," it begins. "Then strain out 30 Gall. into a Cooler put in 3 Gallons Molasses while the Beer is scalding hot or rather drain the molasses into the Cooler. Strain the Beer on it while boiling hot let this stand til it is little more than Blood warm." Next comes yeast, casking, and bottling, per the recipe, which was of lower alcohol content (hence "small beer") and ideal for brewing by soldiers, per USA Today. Budweiser's version, will come in "vintage stubby bottles" and cans, is "brewed with toasted barley grains for a slightly sweet aroma with a touch of hops, a rich caramel malt taste, and a smooth finish with a hint of molasses." This is Budweiser's second Reserve beer; the first in October honored the end of Prohibition. (Read more Budweiser stories.)