Brad Magerkurth, a beer aficionado and salesman, happened to passing through Knoxville, Iowa, just as President Obama swung through the swing state last August. Magerkurth met Obama during a campaign stop at a local coffee shop and bonded with the Commander in Chief over the President’s specially brewed beer — and was surprised when Obama presented him with a bottle of his very own.
The White House Honey Ale is one of four varieties brewed by the White House and was the first style created when Obama decided to purchase a brewing kit back in January 2011. In addition to the honey ale, a blond ale, honey porter and honey brown are all brewed, bottled and labeled on-site. (Even the honey is reportedly collected from beehives off the White House’s South Lawn.)
“I was pretty ecstatic,” Magerkurth told Obamafoodorama. “For someone in the beer industry, it’s about the coolest thing in the world.”
Magerkurth then decided to do something purely altruistic: he auctioned off the bottle at a local festival in Minnesota and managed to raise $1,200, which he then donated to the University of Minnesota’s Amplatz Children’s Hospital.
Magerkurth may still get a chance to find out what Obama’s beer tastes like. A Freedom of Information Act request filed by a Reddit user asked that the White House divulge the secret formula back in August. And after 25,000 people signed a petition on the White House website asking the same thing, the recipe was released on Sept. 1. Now Magerkurth, like every other beer-loving American, can try his hand at brewing his own.