This year’s election has been nothing short of crazy. It divided families, drove people off social media, and provided many Americans with a choice between the lesser of two evils. So as I sat down for what I was sure was going to be a long night on Tuesday I wanted some beers to help me get through the madness.
I decided to go with a theme. I picked a beer from the East Coast to start my evening, then one from middle America, and finally to finish off the wee hours of Wednesday morning, I had a West Coast ale. They all had appropriate names, as well: Rebel IPA, Peacemaker, and Liberty Ale. Get the theme?
I started the night’s coverage with the Rebel IPA from Samuel Adams in Boston, Massachusetts. I chose this one for several reasons. First, it comes from Boston, where the idea for our country was brewed in secret tavern meetings. Second, it’s from the Samuel Adams brewery, named after one of our country’s founding fathers. I’m not quite sure what he would have said about this year’s election, but I’m sure he would have needed a lot of beer to get through it. Finally, it’s called Rebel IPA, and Donald Trump is nothing if not a rebel. This was the perfect beer to start the night.
Rebel is a bright-copper-colored IPA, brewed in the West Coast style with Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, and Simcoe hops. The hop-forward flavor isn’t quite as intense as you’ll find in other IPAs we’ve discussed before, but with a 6.5 percent ABV and its perfectly appropriate name, it was the right beer to kick off election coverage.
Next I turned to the Peacemaker Anytime Ale from my friends at Austin Beerworks here in, you guessed it, Austin, Texas. This is a brewery I’ve watched grow up from its start just a few short years ago to a booming local brand with beer available in just about every grocery store and many of my favorite restaurants. One of the brewery’s founders is a friend of the family and has created a brewery absolutely hell-bent on producing excellent beer.
As one of their four core beers, Peacemaker is a refreshing, clean, well-balanced ale. Its 5 percent ABV makes it quite sessionable, which was a good thing for Tuesday night because I had several. Its three hops and two malts blend into a peaceful beer that is easy to enjoy. As the surprising returns from Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin rolled in, this was the beer I drank.
If the Rebel IPA was meant as a nod to rebellion, than the Peacemaker was meant to invoke the tough task that falls to the winner of this election to bring together a very divided nation.
Finally as the polls in the Western United States began to close, I poured a Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing in San Francisco. Made from just Cascade hops, a single pale malt, and a top fermenting yeast, this is a beer whose simplicity belies its great taste.
Brewed to honor the bicentennial of Paul Revere’s ride, where future Americans learned “the Redcoats are coming,” this was the perfect beer to salute an historic and exhausting election.
As Tuesday night stretched into the wee hours of Wednesday morning, it became clear the history being made this year was not what many had expected, the first female president, but instead the first man with no military or political experience to hold the office. I was reminded about the liberties, like voting, that so many have fought to protect over our country’s nearly 250-year existence.
Beer was there at the founding of our country, and it will be there for its end. No matter who you voted for or wanted to win on Election Day, let’s all agree that when sitting around a table with a beer and an open mind we can heal whatever wounds are left from this bruising campaign. Cheers!