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Ales of the American Revolution

Written by The Beer Wench. Posted in EDUCATION, NEWS

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

Ales of the American Revolution

Published on May 17, 2009 with 8 Comments

My father is a big American history buff. He is also obsessed with researching our family’s genealogy.

Recently, my father revealed that my sister and I are “Daughters of the American Revolution.” Technically, I am not an official DAR yet – because I have not officially activated my membership. However, according to the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution – I am eligible.


What exactly qualifies one to be a DAR?

Any woman 18 years or older-regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background-who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution, is eligible for membership.

As of now, my father has uncovered lineal decent from at least 3 patriots of the American Revolution from his side of the family (definitely Benajah Gustin & William Bennett – and possibly John Robeson). Even more interesting is that one of those patriots – William Bennett – was a French immigrant who served as a flag bearer in the Battle of Bunker Hill and (more importantly) served as George Washington’s personal guard during the Battle of Yorktown.


Speaking of George Washington and the American Revolution, I recently was informed about a craft brewery in Philadelphia that brews a line of historic beer re-creations based on the original recipes of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Ben Franklin.


In 2003, Yards Brewing Company partnered with the City Tavern — a favorite bar of the nation’s founding fathers — to create Ales of the Revolution. The website only highlights three of these ales – however, I am certain that they have produced more styles in the past.

tavern porter

The molasses-based Tavern Porter™ reflects Washington’s admiration of Philadelphia-style porters and follows a recipe Washington used himself. Considering the harsh winters that the Northeast are known for, I am certain that this particular beer receives quite a warm welcome during the colder months.

tavern spruce ale

Poor Richard’s Tavern Spruce Ale™ was originally brewed to celebrate Ben Franklin’s 300th birthday.

Many historians attest that Ben Franklin never uttered the infamous quote – “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” However, I prefer to give my boy Ben the benefit of the doubt and chose to believe that he actually said it.

Yards Brewing Company recreated Poor Richard’s Tavern Spruce Ale™ to celebrate Franklin’s affinity for fine ales. Poor Richard’s Tavern Spruce Ale is based on Franklin’s original recipe, which called for spruce essence and molasses. Apparently, barley and hops were not readily available at the time and recipe adjustments had to be made. I must admit that, of the three revolutionary ales, this beer intrigues me the most.

jefferson's tavern aleThe last of the Revolutionary Ales currently offered by Yards Brewing Company is the Thomas Jefferson Tavern Ale™ — a strong golden ale, based on Jefferson’s original recipe, which included ingredients specified and grown on his Virginia estate.



  • Pennsylvania’s first 100% wind-powered brewery
  • Current production capacity of 12,000 barrels a year
  • Tasting Room under construction
  • Floors made from recycled concrete
  • Hot water collected and recycled whenever possible
  • All glass and cardboard recycled through Pedal Co-op
  • Grains and dregs sold to local farms as feed


I am extremely impressed by Yards Brewing Company. It appears to me that they only produce ales (which everyone knows is my preferred style of beer. No matter how much I force it, I can’t seem to fall in love with the lager family.) On top of creating only ales, Yards is also creative. I love how they are using brewing traditions and recipes from our founding fathers. Brilliant! And the fact that they are environmentally conscientious and support the local community as much as possible is just wicked cool.

Yards has a good thing going. Great concept, great back story, great people … and I would only assume they also produce great beer. Unfortunately, I have not tasted their product yet. However, I have definitely added Yards Brewing Company to  my lists of “must visit” craft breweries.


But let us not forget all about our beer brewing founding fathers! George, Ben and Tom are my heroes. They are with out a doubt three of the most important & greatest men in the history of the United States. Not only did they fight for our freedom, create our government and found our country … but they were also beer connoisseurs and craft brewers.

In conclusion, brewing high-quality craft beer is essentially as important as running a country.

The children of America should no longer aspire to be president of the United States. Instead, they should fulfill their patriotic duty to brew the best craft beer in the world. Heck – if politicians, presidents, kings, dictators etc … all spent more time brewing and drinking craft beers, the world WOULD be a better place.

And this brings me to my closing comment … “Beer will change the world. I don’t know how, but it will.”

Beer Will Change The World


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There are currently 8 Comments on Ales of the American Revolution. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

  1. Neat-o! I’ve read a lot about the old, old history of beer (over in Europe and such), but nice to hear a big about recent beer history in the United States. The Yards Brewing Co. sounds awesome! I hope to visit it someday.

  2. Finally a new one. As a history major I was interested in this post. Beer is one of those topics that gets overlooked a lot by historians. Shame on them.

  3. I love a good history lesson!
    3 of History’s finest men, a DAR, and an ale, nice twist.

  4. Great beers especially when you are drinking them at a tavern that is from the same era. One of the benefits of living in PA.

  5. Three great beers! Hard to find since the Philadelphia Brewing Company/Yards split, but hopefully they will be readily available again.

  6. Hi, It’s Tom from Yards Brewery, The General Washington and the Thomas Jefferson are currently in stores, the Poor Richards will be out early fall, and we will be putting out a variety case for the holidays. I hope you all enjoy the fun to make ales. Cheers!

  7. Tom – Thanks for replying to my blog post on your brewery. Unfortunately, I do not think your beers are available in the Florida market. I could be wrong …

  8. Brew Hilda – Thanks mom. That’s why I love you :)

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