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Get your 'hops' up: White House will release beer recipe if petition is signed

Pete Souza / White House Photo

A bottle of White House Honey Ale beer is in the Green Room of the White House, Feb. 6, 2011.

It’s truly up to the people now.

The White House says it will provide the recipe to its collection of home-brewed beer if enough people sign an official petition seeking its release.

“Got a Q today on @wethepeople petition asking us to share WH beer recipe …,” White House press secretary Jay Carney tweeted on Thursday. “If it reaches the threshold, we’ll release it.” 

The petition, which sits on the White House’s “We the People” website, requires 25,000 signatures by Sept. 17 for the White House to release the recipe for its honey ale and other beer made by the White House staff. As of this posting Friday afternoon, it had 5,270.

Carney’s Tweet marked a reversal from the answer he gave earlier when asked during the press briefing whether the White House planned to release the beer recipe.


“I’m not aware of any plans at this time to divulge the secret recipes,” he said at the time.

The lather over the White House brew began shortly after President Obama, famous for the Beer Summit, revealed last week that he stocks his campaign bus with White House-made brew. His collection includes honey ale, honey blonde and honey porter – all made using honey from the South Lawn beehive belonging to First Lady Michelle Obama.

Story: FOIA filed for Obama's homebrewed beer recipe

A separate, independent effort to acquire the beer recipes also is underway through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by a user of the online forum, Reddit.

“You should know that I am requesting this as a home brewer and for the education of other home brewers not for commercial use,” he wrote.

But because the White House is exempt from FOIA requests, the online petition may be the nation's best bet at acquiring the recipe for the White House suds.

As for who actually owns the recipe: The White House has said Obama is the one who purchased a beer-making kit, and then provided it to the White House kitchen crew to actually brew the beer.

Eun Kyung Kim is a contributor for TODAY.com. She prefers her beer hoppy, but really, any malt liquor will do in a pinch.

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