Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012's Most Popular Posts On The White House Blog: President Obama's Homebrewed Beer; The President And The Marshmallow Cannon...

White House's month-by-month hot list includes President Obama's 2011 tax return & the Supreme Court's Affordable Care Act decision...
The White House on Thursday published a "Best of the White House Blog" list, with a month-by-month recap of "the most viewed blog posts from" for 2012.  The posts offer "a quick snapshot of 2012 at the White House," wrote aide Colleen Curtis. Three food-related posts made the hot list: The release of the top-secret recipes for President Obama's homebrewed beer, in September; the President firing an air-powered marshmallow cannon during the annual Science Fair in February (above); and a March post advising citizens about how they could get tickets for April's annual Easter Egg Roll.

The beer recipes for White House Honey Ale and White House Honey Porter were revealed in a  White House post titled "Ale to the Chief,"  written by assistant chef and Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives Sam Kass (above, enjoying WH brew).  The post included a behind-the-scenes video showing the brewing action.  By orders of magnitude, the video rapidly became the #1 most-viewed video about White House food projects, far exceeding views for all other videos about the chefs at work and First Lady Michelle Obama's Kitchen Garden.

In early December, the record-breaking 4 minute, 34 second beer video had 509,794 views on the White House YouTube channel.  As of today it has 532,313 views.

But the White House beer video is riddled with amusing bloopers.  Anyone hoping to get tips on brewing the Presidential beer will be sorely confused, thanks to editing that shows the brew process out of sequence with the voice-over narration, and onscreen chef Tafari Campbell using ingredients not called for in the recipes released by the White House.  Campbell also introduces a new word into the English language: He calls one of the glass carboys holding the beer a "Fermentator."  That would be fermenterAnd Kass refers to the brewing process as "distilling."

Beer making does not include distilling.  Worse, home distilling "would be illegal," pointed out Alan Talman, owner of Karp's Homebrew Shop in East Northport, NY.  If the White House chefs were actually distilling, they'd "be breaking federal law," Talman said. 

"You're going to jail," Talman said, chuckling.

Talman also spotted a copy of "Home Beer Making," a basic instruction pamphlet by LD Carlson, sitting on the prep table onscreen as Campbell and Kass stand with the brewing equipment.  

"That's like having a 'Cooking for Dummies' book on the White House shelf," Talman said.  "It might even be like having 'How to Cook an Egg.'"  Most of the video was shot in April of 2011, when the chefs were apparently still figuring out how to homebrew.

CLICK HERE for Obama Foodorama's list of the most-viewed White House food videos.

The White House also noted that for September, a behind-the-scenes video about Team USA's post-Summer Olympics visit to the White House was also a hot topic.  That video has only gotten 60,314 views, however.  A second video included in the post, about Mrs. Obama meeting Paralympian Brad Snyder, a Navy Lieutenant blinded and paralyzed in Afghanistan, has gotten just 28,611 views on YouTube. 

For February, a White House post and video about President Obama and 14-year-old inventor Joey Hudy firing a marshmallow across the State Dining Room with the boy's air-powered "Extreme Marshmallow Cannon," filmed at the White House Science Fair, "was a highlight that month," the White House noted.  The video has now had more than 1,123,030 million views, and is also on Obama Foodorama's list of most-viewed White House food videos.  Americans love a President who plays with food as much as they love Presidential beer.  

In March, "the blog post announcing how people could enter" the 2012 Easter Egg Roll Ticket Lottery was the most viewed post on, the White House said.  This year's Roll was the largest in history, with more than 35,000 tickets issued via the public lottery.  Among the celebrities on hand to dazzle visitors were guests chefs including Marcus Samulesson and fitness guru Bob Harper, a host of NBC's The Biggest Loser.  Mrs. Obama appeared on the weight loss competition show this year when two episodes were filmed at the White House.

 According to the White House, the other hot blog topics for 2012 included President Obama's emotional address to the nation about the shooting tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut; the President's 2011 tax returns; internet privacy and piracy; the President marking the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, and a post about the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act.

CLICK HERE for the full White House hot list.

*Cannon photo by Pete Souza/White House.