Celebrities Who Homebrew and Other Interesting Tidbits

Homebrewing sometimes is perceived as a dark art by popular culture. People in their basement with flasks and open vessels the reminds you more of a scene from Breaking Bad than actual homebrewing, all in good fun of course. One Superbowl commercial I remember is when a "homebrewer" is serving his beer made with sausage to his guests (a joke of course), but did you know there are plenty of celebrities who homebrew? Here is a group of them as well as some other interesting appearances made by homebrewing in the lime-light.

Kathy Ireland, Supermodel

Back in the late 1980s, Kathy (a model for several Sports Illustrated issues), was also featured on the cover of Zymurgy magazine. She wasn't just on the cover for another paycheck however, it turns out she's an avid homebrewer!

According to the article in Zymurgy, she told her mother after completing her first batch that she was going to open a brewery. Now doesn't that sound like a familiar phrase in the homebrewing world? She's also pictured hanging out with the godfather of brewing Charlie Papazian in the article.

 

Wil Wheaton, Actor

Wil Weaton celebrities who homebrewHe's well known for Star Trek: The Next Generation, and more recently The Big Bang Theory (plays as himself). In addition to acting in front of a camera for money, Wil also likes to spend some of his free time over a boil kettle. He even tweets and blogs about his brew days. In addition to that, he's also dipped his toe in the commercial scene. Wil partnered with stone a couple times to create W00t Stout and W00t Stout 2.0. I guess being famous does have its perks.

Barack Obama, President of the United States

He's the current President (at the time of this article). Fun fact: you never actually lose the title "President", even after your term is up. So you would say President Bush if you saw him in the street today. Anyway, I've gotten off track.

Yes, the President brews his own beer. Whether or not he has the time to actually brew much between meetings is up for debate, but they are extract based, so just maybe he does since extract does take less time than all grain. He served the beer during a Superbowl party as an option if the guests didn't want beer representing one of the two teams. The President's beer was gone by the end of the night.

Here are the recipes for two White House beers.

White House Honey Porter

Grains / Extracts
Hop Schedule
Yeast
  • 2 (3.3 lb) cans light malt extract
  • 3/4 lb Munich Malt (steeping)
  • 1 lb crystal 20 malt (steeping)
  • 6 oz black malt (steeping)
  • 3 oz chocolate malt (steeping)
  • 1/2 oz Hallertaur hops @45
  • 1/2 oz Hallertaur hops @30
  • 1 lb White House Honey @5
  • 1/2 oz Hallertaur hops @0
Nottingham dry ale yeast
By the Numbers
OG: 1.066   FG: 1.010   ABV: 7%   IBUs 8

White House Honey Ale

Grains / Extracts
Hop Schedule
Yeast
  • 2 (3.3 lb) cans light malt extract
  • 1 lb light dried malt extract
  • 12 oz crushed amber crystal malt (steeping)
  • 8 oz Biscuit Malt (steeping)
  • 1 1/2 oz Kent Goldings Hop Pellets @45
  • 1 lb Honey @5
  • 1 1/2 oz Fuggles Hop pellets @0
Windsor dry ale yeast
By the Numbers
OG: 1.069   FG: 1.021   ABV: 6%   IBUs 12

Procedure:

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Bring 3 gallons of water to 165 degrees. Steep your crushed grains in a mesh bag for 20 minutes. Remove the bag and dissolve extract half of your extract (liquid and dry) into the water. Bring the wort to a boil.

Once boiling, set a timer for 60 minutes. After 15 minutes, add your 45 minute addition hops. In another 15 minutes add your 30 minute hop addition (honey porter only). After 55 minutes, add your honey.

After the timer is up, turn off the heat and add your 0 minute hops. Top up the wort to 5 gallons with cold water. Finish cooling using your preferred method. Aerate your wort and pitch yeast. For more information check out the free New to Brewing E-Book.

 

Tonight's Special Guest? Homebrew!

In addition to the real life stars who make their own beer, homebrewing has made an appearance in several TV shows. Here's a look at where some homebrewing TV characters can be spotted.

Hank in Breaking Bad

Hank, the DEA brother in law to meth kingpin Walter White brews his own beer in the hit show Braking bad. In between busting meth dealers, Hank had himself a pretty nice setup in the garage where he brewed batches of "Schraderbrau" (lead image). In one episode he over-carbs some of his bottles causing bottle bombs. Hank's homebrewing hobby makes several appearances in the show.

Bender  in Futurama

Bender, the sly robot companion to Fry in Futurama is homebrewing inside of his chest compartment in one episode (Episode 44). Keeping along with the "brau" theme, their beer is called "Benderbrau", and there is a cute reference to Anchor brewing.

Bender in futurama homebrew

Teddy in Bob's Burgers

Teddy, the contractor and regular customer at Bob's Burgers is seen in one episode (Season 5 Ep 9), dining with two owners of a homebrew supply store and pairing Teddy's homebrew with the burgers. One thing leads to another and Bob and Teddy begin selling Teddy's homebrew to customers and things get interesting when the health inspector begins sniffing around.

Poussey Washington in Orange is the New Black

Lastly, we have to give a shout out to prison wine in Orange is the New Black. We've all been there at one point or another where we've made some "questionable" recipe choices, but hey it's all in good fun right? Anyways Poussey ferments hers in ziplock bags and even underground in a couple instances. Thankfully we don't have to go to such measures to homebrew, so stay out of prison kids, or homebrewing gets a lot harder.If you know any more celebs or fictional characters who have dipped their hydrometers into the world of homebrewing, let us know in the comments, and I'll add it in!

by David Doucette
David is a full blown fermentation enthusiast who has dedicated much of his free time to learning and sharing the art of homebrewing. He's spent several years documenting and writing homebrewing information on his blog Hive Mind Mead. He's written over 60 articles between Homebrew Talk and Homebrew Supply.
written by David Doucette

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