Which Founder Brewed the Best Beer?

Which Founder Brewed the Best Beer?


Today is the last day we celebrate Founder of the Day’s first anniversary with a fun article.

We’ll be getting back to our normal articles tomorrow.

So, I thought, what better way to celebrate an anniversary than to cheers with a drink. Huzzah!

Luckily for us, the two beer drinkers whose taste buds I trust the most, my good friends Bethany and Neal, just happened to be in Philadelphia last weekend and they wisely took my recommendation to visit City Tavern.

City Tavern, in downtown Philly, is a recreation of the bar the Founders would drink at in between sessions of the Continental Congress/Constitutional Convention. The Tavern currently brews four beers using the recipes of the Founders, and Bethany and Neal were nice enough to use their experience to rank the beers for us.

A Quick Note

Although City Tavern uses the recipes of the Founders, they do not use the methods.

Among the many improvements to the beer-making process which have appeared in the last two centuries, perhaps the most notable is sanitation.

If you were drinking in the late 18th century, the beer would not look quite so appetizing. The beverage would look cloudy and we would probably be pretty grossed out by it.

Also, none of these beers are bad (actually, they’re all quite good). This ranking is just for fun and, as any list of this type, it’s subjective to the drinker. If you find yourself in Philadelphia, I strongly recommend you go try them for yourself! While you’re at it, look into Independence After Hours, it’s a behind the scenes American Revolution experience and a must for any Founders Fan.

So, Let’s Rank These Beers!

4 – Jefferson’s Ale

Turns out Jefferson’s Ale taste like a pretty standard lager. Again, not that that’s bad, just not anything dedicated craft beer drinkers might rave about. Hey, something had to come in last…sorry Tommy.

3- Franklin’s (aka Poor Richard’s) Spruce

Franklin’s beer has a lot of unique ingredients. This makes the taste…well…unique. Since it doesn’t fit with what one might expect from a standard beer it drops just a bit. Truthfully, I’m surprised, I’d expect Franklin to be a lite beer drinker.

2- Washington’s Porter

This beer is extremely tasty (especially in the cold winter months). A grade A, yummy porter. What else can I say?

1-Hamilton’s Ale

And the winner is….Alexander Hamilton! This beer has a familiar taste most modern IPA drinkers have become accustomed to. Really, its amazing that Hamilton was so far ahead of his time when it came to beer as well as finances.


Well, there you have it. If you are a casual beer drinker you’ll probably want to grab a Hamilton brew when you visit Philly. If you like to imbibe a bit more…do the flight!

Again, I highly recommend you check out Independence After Hours if you vacation in the area. It’s absolutely unbelievable.

And a big thank you to Bethany and Neal for helping me put together this list. As unbiased as I try to be on this site, my Jeffersonian sensibilities would never had allowed me to enjoy the taste of Hamilton’s nation debt inducing alcohol.

OK, I think we’ve had enough fun. Tomorrow we get back to the Founders!!!!

Do you want to read more about other Revolutionary Taverns?

Of course you do!

Try these articles on Austin Roe and Asa Barns.

Want to learn more about beer in early America?

I’m excited to say you’re in luck!

I’ve wanted to recommend ‘Beer in America’ for a long time.

It covers more than just the Founding Period, but it’s a really fun read. Did you know the Mayflower landed in Massachusetts instead of Virginia because they needed to start brewing more beer? Pick up a copy through the Amazon affiliate link below (you’ll support this site, but don’t worry, Amazon pays me while your price stays the same).

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