Budweiser's Freedom Reserve Red Lager inspired by George Washington's hand-penned recipe

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by MNAle, May 2, 2018.

  1. MNAle

    MNAle Meyvn (1,056) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota


    "Inspired by... " can be a pretty loose description ... Supports a good cause, though.
  2. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (10,441) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    I'll try it.
    Urk1127 likes this.
  3. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (254) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    If they put hops in it I will absolutely not try it.
    DrewSnyc667 likes this.
  4. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Meyvn (1,300) Jul 2, 2014 New Jersey

    The 1933 prohibition was pretty good for what it was. I will buy this if i see it. Im on an AAL kick.
    KentT, DrewSnyc667, beerluvr and 2 others like this.
  5. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Champion (838) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    In the mid 90's Budweiser sold a red lager named Red Wolf it was a nice beer. I've had of bottle of Freedom Reserve Rad Lager and IMO it's the same beer.
    It nice to see they care about the veterans.
    Urk1127, Quaffman60, gopens44 and 3 others like this.
  6. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,265) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Trader

    Red Wolf WAS a good beer. I almost forgot aboot it. Ta.
    ESHBG, dennis3951 and Hoos78 like this.
  7. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,168) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Premium Trader

    I'd try it, but would still imagine how it might taste if brewed to recipe by a good craft brewer.
    5thOhio, rudiecantfail and Junior like this.
  8. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,265) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Trader

    I'll give it a go. I liked Leinenkugel's Red and the cause is good.
  9. MNAle

    MNAle Meyvn (1,056) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    I'm pretty sure the recipe is in the public domain! :wink:
    bbtkd likes this.
  10. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,760) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Lagers were not brewed until much later than 1757. For example the first lager in the US was brewed in circa 1840. This marketing crap from AB is just that: crap!

    Non-cheers to this nonsense.
  11. MNAle

    MNAle Meyvn (1,056) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    "Inspired by... "
    bmugan, laketang, DrewSnyc667 and 9 others like this.
  12. BigJim5021

    BigJim5021 Zealot (568) Sep 2, 2007 Indiana

    When this stuff came in all I could do was laugh. The name sounds like something cooked up for a beer commercial parody. The fact that it’s coming from a foreign-owned conglomerate makes it that much more delicious.
  13. surfcaster

    surfcaster Crusader (749) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Premium Trader

    I am not going to criticize AB for donating to veterans groups or providing some canned water during crises. I am glad they do it.
  14. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (2,037) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Premium Trader

    I'll pick up a single if I see one, but I'm not buying a multipack of Budweiser anything.
  15. Hoos78

    Hoos78 Aspirant (219) Mar 3, 2015 Ohio

    So, I believe they have kept it around, at least in an incognito sort of way.

    I'm fairly certain they brew a limited amount of it to be used as a "house beer" for restaraunts, etc. Without naming names, I know the manager of a local restaraunt (limited chain based in FL and that is where most locations are) and in a discussion he disclosed to me that their house lager, "XXX" Red, is a red lager brewed by AB specifically for this purpose. Is it the same as this current release? I don't know, but how many red lagers can one macro brewery produce?
    ESHBG and dennis3951 like this.
  16. Superheatnsubcool

    Superheatnsubcool Aspirant (299) May 31, 2016 Washington

    Jeff Alworth wrote a piece about this.


    George’s recipe sounds pretty interesting though...

    From the article:

    Take a large Sifter full of Bran Hops to your Taste — Boil these 3 hours. 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. Then put in a quart of Yeast if the weather is very cold cover it over with a Blanket. Let it work in the Cooler 24 hours then put it into the Cask. leave the Bung open til it is almost done working — Bottle it that day Week [after?] it was Brewed.
  17. billydrinksbeer

    billydrinksbeer Initiate (86) Sep 15, 2017 Colorado

    It's decent, smells like fresh bananas
  18. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,073) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    Oh big whoop, of course I'll try it at least once.
  19. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,362) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    :rolling_eyes: Yeah, OK.

    Well, the description says they do "...the Red Lager is brewed ....with a touch of hops..." and GW's recipe used hops, leaving the among up to the brewer: "Hops to your Taste."

    Seems unlikely the '90s Red Wolf would have used molasses as an adjunct, though...

  20. DarkDragon999

    DarkDragon999 Aspirant (232) Feb 13, 2013 Rhode Island

    How readily available will this be ? I remember they didnt even sell Busch Copper Logger in my neck of the woods. I dont remember seeing the Bud 1933 Repeal Reserve Amber Lager either.
  21. Retroman40

    Retroman40 Devotee (490) Dec 7, 2013 Florida

    My store just got it so I brought home a six pack last night. After a quick taste I instantly thought "Red Wolf" too. Not so sure since my fading memory recalls that Red Wolf was a little "brighter" than the Freedom Lager appears. In any case it is a decent enough beer but at 7.99 for a six when Jai Alai sits nearby at 8.99 it will probably be a one and done for me.
  22. seth27

    seth27 Initiate (80) Mar 16, 2015 Pennsylvania

    I brewed Washington's recipe once and it was far and away the worst beer I've made. Doing some research after the fact it's likely what he referred to as molasses was probably more like a blond candi syrup. My beer basically tasted like watered down molasses.
    AlcahueteJ, BayAreaJoe and dcotom like this.
  23. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (254) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    @jesskidden how would George Washington have cultivated hops if these were not just randomly found in the wild? What types of hops would have been growing here and I guess he only brewed this beer in the winter since they wouldn’t have fresh hops in the winter.

    I would have thought spruce tips or some other spices would have made more of a gruit.
  24. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,362) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    According to The Beginnings of Agriculture in America [1923], quoting a 1649 pamphlet on Virginia, "...Wild hops were noted as 'fair and large'..." Hops were also exported from Europe to the New World starting in the mid-1600s and hops grown commercially in New England (primarily Massachusetts) were being shipped to other colonies by the mid-1700s.

    Possible that Washington was growing hops at Mount Vernon - Jefferson at Monticello would later (previously he was buying them in Virginia) although Baron's Brewed in America [1962] speaking roughly of the last half of the 18th century:
    Even the infamous "Pompion Ale" recipe of 1771 included "...let the Liquor be hopped cooled fermented &c. as Malt Beer."

    Hops, like many herbs (as well as grain, spices and many fruits/vegetables, etc), where always dried after harvest as a preservative measure - the so-called "fresh/wet hop beers" are primarily a creation of the late 20th century.
  25. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (254) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    Neat thanks for the info.
    FBarber likes this.
  26. scottakelly

    scottakelly Devotee (470) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    I would suspect the only thing about the recipe inspired by Washington is the "hint" of molasses.
    jmdrpi, Dan_K and Prep8611 like this.
  27. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,760) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Now we are talking Ben Franklin.

    LeRose, ESHBG and Prep8611 like this.
  28. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (10,441) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Just a though... who is this marketed to? Isn't everyone in American now at least a little bit into craft brew? All those old die-hard "my only brand" drinkers are dying out, aren't they? With that said, knowing that A-B can make excellent "craft brew" (i.e. Tomahawk IPA), why are they not? This seems to be headed there, but not really. Why did they not pull the trigger and brew something more exciting? Or is that the next step, albeit a little late.
  29. Dan_K

    Dan_K Devotee (493) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado

    This is exactly right.
    5thOhio likes this.
  30. JoePasko

    JoePasko Initiate (84) Mar 10, 2018 New York

    My daughter works at Maloney's Irish Pub in Tampa. And yes they had "Maloney's Irish Red" on tap around St. Patricks Day. And while I was visiting her last month, we went to another place called Irish 31, and they had "Irish 31 Red" on tap. It's all the same beer made by AB, re-branded as house beer, with customized tap handles, for each place that serves it.
    VoxRationis, meefmoff and AlcahueteJ like this.
  31. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Champion (838) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    I didn't pick up even a hint of molasses when I drank it. Wasn't looking for one since I was not aware it was an ingredient .
    Bitterbill likes this.
  32. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (5,703) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Is there anyway to tell if the beer actually used molasses in the brewing process? The way I read the label "and a smooth finish with a hint of molasses", they could just be referring to the flavor of the beer.

    I assume that federal labeling requirements do not require something like molasses to be called out. While Yard's barrel aged version of GW Tavern Porter says "Porter brewed with Molasses and Aged in Oak Barrels", the regular version does not call it out on the label.
    FBarber and AZBeerDude72 like this.
  33. scottakelly

    scottakelly Devotee (470) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    Just looked this up myself. I doubt this beer resembles anything close to what we would consider beer today. Appears to be hops and molasses only, no grain, and a very low gravity beverage.
  34. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Meyvn (1,425) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Premium Trader

    I enjoyed the 1933 so I will give this a shot. I also like that it supports vets which is the best part, cheers.
    Bitterbill and surfcaster like this.
  35. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (5,703) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Yards Brewing in Philly has their "Ales of the Revolution" and their George Wasington Tavern Porter uses Molasses, and is likely closer to anything that Washington drank (like Robert Hare's Porter brewed in Philadelphia) than the Budweiser Red Lager will be.

    scottakelly likes this.
  36. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,760) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    My guess: because the beer geek segment of the craft beer market would never purchase a craft type beer that was branded as AB (Budweiser).

    Instead, what AB has done (is doing?) is purchased craft breweries (e.g., Goose Island, Wicked Weed,...) and retained the brewery names of these purchased breweries.

    Even the beer geeks are willing to buy Goose Island BCBS despite the fact their money is going to 'evil' AB.

    #36 JackHorzempa, May 3, 2018
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
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  37. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,760) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    There is some interesting discussion about George Washington and beer on the mountvernon.org website.

    Some snippets:

    “Such early experimenting aside, Washington did not brew his own beer, but relied on others to cater to his needs for hoppy refreshment—preferably good and strong.”


    “His favorite brewer was now Robert Hare, Jr., of Philadelphia, who would supply Washington during his years as president. On July 20, 1788, after Philadelphia’s grand Fourth of July procession, Washington wrote to a merchant Clement Biddle, teasingly asking him to procure “a groce of Mr Hairs best bottled Porter if the price of it is not much enhanced by the copius droughts you took of it at the late Procession.” On October 31, 1790, disaster struck when Hare’s brewery burned down. “I am really sorry—on public as well as private accts,” Washington wrote to his secretary Tobias Lear a few days later,” to hear of Mr Hares loss.”

    I too would feel sorry if my favorite brewery burned down.

    You can read more here: http://www.mountvernon.org/the-estate-gardens/food-culture/beer/

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  38. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,362) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Yeah, I could see that from AB- adding an ingredient used as "inspiration" but not for actual flavor...

    As for Red Wolf - pretty sure that Mitch Steele discussed development and brewing this beer for AB in his blog called The Hop Tripper- unfortunately, he's apparently deleted the entire blog! :astonished: (Maybe because he's now a brewery owner?) Anyway I have a "vague" recollection that he said that they created it when they hear Miller was working on a beer to be called "Red Dog" - they figured it was a "red beer" (a style briefly popular at the time among pre-craft era US breweries) so they created "Red Wolf". Opps, "Red Dog" was a standard AAL.

    It'd be unusual if they used molasses in the recipe, but, I guess anything's possible...

    According to current TTB regulation - Exempt Ingredients and Processes Determined to beTraditional Under TTB Ruling 2015–1
    Plus, without some molasses, what relationship to the Washington recipe is left? As other noted, most everything else (yeast, hop variety, barley malt) are different.
    I've read that the "Bran" likely refers to barley (malted?) or some other grain, but, yeah, not much of it all for the quantity of "beer".
    #38 jesskidden, May 3, 2018
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
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  39. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,760) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Would it surprise you if AB used zero molasses in the brewing of this beer?

  40. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,362) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Well, yeah, I guess it would... maybe a "2.5" on a 1 - 10 scale of surprise? :grin:
    Bitterbill likes this.