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This website is a hoax, created by students at George Mason University, in the class "Lying About the Past," during the spring 2012 semester. All of the facts on this site are true, except for the central facts: Harris Thompson is not a real person and he did not discover the beer of 1812. The rest of what you will find here is true.

Recently I have happened upon a very old beer recipe from the around the year 1812. As a beer enthusiast, I make a point of finding and testing various recipes, especially old ones. Although many vintage beer recipes do not fit today's tastes, they are often weak and watery, have coarse flavors, and by and large do not satisfy current beer taste preferences; I believe I have found a one-of-a-kind vintage beer recipe.

From its rich historical context surrounding the Baltimore Brewery, it is only fitting that to call it the Star Spangled Ale. According to my limited research, it was extremely popular during the War of 1812 and was a frequent favorite of many of the militia, many of whom were garrisoned at Fort McHenry during the war. During reprieves, soldiers would often stop by the brewery serving this ale and relaxing treat of the time.

Aside its taste, this ale was brewed in a very special locale. Brown's Brewery has a significant place not just in Baltimore but also in American History. On August 10th, 1813, Mary Pickersgill was commissioned by Major George Armistead, commander of the fort, to sew a large flag to be flown at Fort McHenry. Her home was too small to sew such a large flag. By chance, she was a neighbor of the Brewery and asked the proprietor and brewer, George Brown, for permission to use his locale to sew the flag; and thus the Star Spangled Banner was crafted within the walls of Brown's Brewery. Thus, this ale and the Star Spangled Banner of 1813 fame were both crafted in the same place.

Recently, this recipe came into my hands from a dearly departed neighbor. As his family tells me, he found the recipe while performing construction of a parking lot during sometime in the '50s on the former site of Brown's Brewery. I am thankful that his family, knowing of my beer enthusiasm and history background that they generously gifted me a copy of the recipe he founds years ago.

I have to tell you that I was more than pleasantly surprised after I made the first batch of this ale, and thus have decided to s share the old recipe with beer enthusiasts and anyone else who enjoys a truly tasty ale. I feel so fortunate to have happened upon this recipe and I hope that all who read this and can brew their own will help me raise a salute to the STAR SPANGLED ALE.

To clarify, this is not the Star Spangled Ale for sale, I just liked the name. Hops Grill and Brewery produces the Star Spangled Ale for sale. They seem to have many locations and can be found at the link below.

  • Hops Online