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ALL THE PRESIDENTS' BEER

 BOISE, Idaho, Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Which U.S. president went to great lengths to ensure American troops had their daily supply of beer? Which important U.S. document did Thomas Jefferson pen while quaffing a cold one? And which president appeared in a brewery-sponsored nightclub act?
 Ask beer marketing consultant Tony Harrison, who said that with Presidents' Day approaching on Feb. 15, Americans should appreciate the significant impact beer had on many U.S. heads of state.
 "George Washington loved beer, especially porter, and it's known he enjoyed a fair amount of it," said Harrison of Oliver, Russell & Associates, a Boise-based marketing communications firm. "In fact, the father of our country was a brewer, and his hand-written recipe for beer is among the prizes in the rare manuscript section of the New York Public Library."
 But Washington's appreciation for the brew ran much deeper. "Washington was well aware morale was as critical as muskets in defeating the British, so he went to great lengths to ensure American troops had their daily supply of ale," Harrison said. "When he wrote to Congress for more arms and supplies during those cold, hard days at Valley Forge, beer was one of the tools of war he specifically requested."
 Thomas Jefferson was a renowned brewmaster, and he did a great deal of thinking while drinking beer. Concerned that without an ample source of suds "demon rum" would become the beverage of choice, he reflected over a just-poured draught, "I wish to see this beverage become more common." He even penned the first draft of the Declaration of Independence with a beer in hand at Philadelphia's Indian Queen Tavern.
 James Madison had a fondness for beer, as well. Harrison explained, "Madison, as a member of Congress prior to becoming president, helped America's fledgling brewing industry by promoting a tax on foreign beer. He hoped 'the brewing industry would strike deep roots in every state of the union.' And before his death, beer was being brewed in every original state of the union and proving itself an important part of the national economy."
 In 1920, the Eighteenth Amendment made prohibition the law of the land, setting the stage for beer, and the illegal brewing thereof, to affect many presidents to come -- including none other than Jimmy Carter.
 "Although prohibition was repealed in 1933, the last vestiges of the Noble Experiment didn't meet their demise until 1979, when Carter signed into law a bill legalizing the homebrewing of beer," Harrison said. "Commercial beermaking was legalized when prohibition ended. The homebrewing of wine and/or beer was supposed to be legalized, as well, but the words 'and/or beer' never made it into the Federal Register because of a stenographer's omission."
 Beer even had an effect on Carter's successor. In 1954, at the tail end of his movie career, a cash-strapped Ronald Reagan appeared for two weeks in a Pabst-sponsored Las Vegas nightclub act titled "Vos Vils Du Haben?" -- German for "What'll You Have?"
 "The show was a hit," Harrison said. "Each night was a sellout, and he received numerous offers from nightclubs all over the country to take the show on the road."
 If the past is an accurate barometer, Harrison said it's certain the brewing industry will affect future presidents, as well. "As for Bill Clinton, it's too soon to tell whether beer will have an impact on his administration," he said. "But it is rumored our new president has said of the subject, 'Well, I drank some beer once, but I didn't swallow it.'"
 -0- 2/8/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: A black and white photograph of Ronald Reagan's nightclub act is available from the Las Vegas News Bureau, 702-735-3611./
 /CONTACT: Tony Harrison of Oliver, Russell & Associates, 208-344-1734, or after hours, 208-327-0759/


CO: Oliver, Russell & Associates ST: Idaho IN: FOD SU:

LM-SW -- SEFNS1 -- 3880 02/08/93 07:31 EST
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Date:Feb 8, 1993
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