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Budweiser's new beer is based on George Washington's hand-written recipe

Mike Snider
Budweiser releasing their new Freedom Reserve Red Lager this summer.
Source: Anheuser-Busch

Budweiser has gone to the history books for its latest lager.

A new beer the massive brewer is rolling out this month, Freedom Reserve Red Lager, is inspired by a hand-written recipe found in George Washington's military journal kept during the French and Indian War in 1757.

Meant to celebrate U.S. veterans and American history, the red lager is made by Budweiser brewers who are also "proud veterans," the company says. Proceeds benefit Folds of Honor, a non-profit group that provides educational scholarships to military families.

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This is the latest marketing move by Budweiser to tap into historical notes for its beers. Two years ago Budweiser was available in packaging labeled "America" on cans and bottles. And in October 2017, the brewery released its first Reserve Collection beer, 1933 Repeal Reserve Amber Lager, which celebrated the end of Prohibition.

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This second Reserve Collection beer, Freedom Reserve Red Lager, was described by Washington as a "small beer" in his journal, which is online in the Digital Public Library of America.

Budweiser's 5.4% alcohol beer based on Washington's recipe will not be hop-heavy, but will have "a rich caramel malt taste and a smooth finish with a hint of molasses," the company says in a news release announcing the beer.

The beer will begin showing up at retail this month and will be available through September or while supplies last. "We are incredibly proud of our Freedom Reserve Red Lager because it was passionately brewed by our veteran brewers who have bravely served our country," said Budweiser vice president Ricardo Marques in a statement.

Freedom Reserve Red Lager is just one of several new recipes Budweiser has in the works to energize sales. Scheduled for release in September, is another limited-edition beer, Budweiser Reserve Copper Lager, which is aged on Jim Beam bourbon barrel staves.

Don't want to go out to get Bud's new beer? Bud is teaming with alcohol delivery service Drizly to give new customers $5 off their first delivery with the code "Freedom," through July 15.

This is not the first time the founding fathers have served up inspiration to brewers. Blue Point Brewing, made its own beer from Washington's military journal two years ago. Anheuser-Busch acquired the Patchogue, N.Y. brewery in 2014.

Yards Brewing of Philadelphia has made George Washington's Tavern Porter, which is inspired by Washington's descriptions, since 1999. It also makes Thomas Jefferson's Tavern Ale, based on Jefferson's recipe of beer made at his Monticello home, and Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce, an amber ale based on Benjamin Franklin's original recipe.