On July 4th of 1776 Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed the independence of the United States of America from Great Britain. Thomas Jefferson, the principle author of the Declaration of Independence, and eventual third president of the United States stated, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

For all of the important and controversial roles that Thomas Jefferson played, you may be interested in learning that he was quite the beer enthusiast. In his home, beer was commonly served during dinner and the earliest designs of his plantation included space for the brewing and storage of beer.

Monticello.org, which is maintained by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation says that, “In the spring of 1812, while tensions grew between the United States and Great Britain, Jefferson was enjoying his retirement from public life at Monticello. Construction was under way on the brick garden pavilion, and Jefferson embarked on the scientific pursuit of brewing beer – the kind of experiment that he relished. Using malt purchased from his neighbor William Meriwether and hops bought locally.”

As far back as 1793, Jefferson showed interest in brewing. In a letter to friend George Gilmer, Jefferson wrote about his being away from home, “… this will give you the start in your manufactures of porter and macaroni, in which however I shall certainly attempt to rival you.” Jefferson planted hops in his garden at his Monticello home in 1794.

Happy Birthday to America and happy brewing to those of you that have the passion to do it like one of the country’s forefathers did. I for one will support your cause by enjoying a beer or two this holiday weekend.

Please remember to designate a driver or use public transportation.

-Peter Lopez Jr.