President Barack Obama and former White House chef Sam Kass were awarded a special lifetime membership to the American Homebrewers Association on December 18, 2014. Obama first indulged his hobby with the purchase of a homebrewing kit in 2011, and alongside Kass, brewed the first White House Honey Ale, using honey from the White House beehive. The duo expanded the presidential beer offerings to including a honey porter and honey blonde, and made the recipe available to the homebrewing public. While George Washington brewed beer at his Mt. Vernon Home and Thomas Jefferson made wine, Obama is the first president to brew beer on White House grounds.
You already know you’re going to pop open copious bottles of bubbly on New Year’s Eve, but now’s the time to start planning those all-important social media posts, at least according to wine-tracking app, Delectable. Favored by sommeliers, industry professionals and wine-guzzling fans, Delectable is partnering with the wine industry’s top talent for a series of festive, curated hashtags, beginning with Pearl & Ash’s Wine Director and Sommelier, Patrick Cappiello. In anticipation of the oceans of Champagne that will be poured on New Year’s Eve, Cappiello is calling on bubbly drinkers to snap pictures of their celebratory bursting of bottles, using his favorite tool of the trade, a Champagne saber, and hashtagging #saberit.
Out & About
Need more tips on hosting your end-of-year bash? Digital Editorial Manager Marina Vataj offered her top three party sips to New York-based publication, The Daily Voice. Check out what she’s drinking this holiday >>>
In the Trade
According to Wine-Searcher.com, Maureen Downey—a wine authenticator and consultant who worked with prosecutors to suss out the depth of convicted wine fraudster Rudy Kurniawan’s collection—is launching a new website named WineFraud.com in March 2015. The subscription-based Web site will be a resource for collectors of fine and rare wine, featuring a list of vendors with a history of selling fraudulent wine, as well as primers on authentication and counterfeiting. Membership prices have not yet been announced.
Trade and advocacy group Sonoma County Vintners has named Carolyn Stark its new executive director, effective February 1, 2015. For the past three years, she has served as executive director for Sonoma County BEST, a Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce initiative to promote job growth throughout the county. Stark replaces Honore Comfort, who resigned from the group in September 2014.