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Old 07-26-2010, 01:48 PM   #1
RogueVassar
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Default Anyone know Matthew Vassar's ale recipe?

My wife and I both met at Vassar College and competed as Brewers (our mascot, well before we got into this hobby). It was founded by a brewer and we would love to recreate his beer. Has anyone happened to stumble upon it? I know they recreated it in 1992 so the recipe must be out there but I haven't found it yet.

Thanks!


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Old 02-02-2011, 07:52 PM   #2
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I'm pretty new to this hobby -- only 5 batches under my belt -- but as a fellow Vassar alum I was just wondering if this recipe was out there, because that'd be a cool thing to have around.

Given how old this thread is (and with no replies!) I'm guessing that no one has the recipe... but if anyone does, I'd deeply appreciate it if he/she could send it my way. Thanks!


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Old 02-02-2011, 08:04 PM   #3
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Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find it. I did get this interesting response from the special collections assistant at Vassar when I was seeing if they had any record of it:

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People have inquired about Vassar's beer recipe from time to time. There is no direct reference to the beer recipe in the Matthew Vassar Papers register, http://specialcollections.vassar.edu...r_matthew.html , though there are many letters about the business of the brewery (the purchase of ingredients, orders from patrons, comments/complaints about the product, etc). This last semester, a student actually wrote his thesis on Vassar's brewery in Poughkeepsie using the letters, and as part of his work went through his papers quite closely. I was able to contact him on this question and here is what he responded:

"I never found an actual recipe for his beer, as the proportions were always changing and his letters focus more on the growth of the business and dealings in Albany and New York, while I'm sure the recipe was simply discussed at the brewery. Folder 22, during the late 1840s, has some of his commentary on the failings of the beer and suggestions to add honey and other ingredients (22.670 and thereabouts)."

Also, according to the Vassar College Encyclopedia entry on campus traditions, http://vcencyclopedia.vassar.edu/traditions/index.html , the second paragraph says they brewed beer from a recipe *similar* to M. Vassar's (emphasis mine) in 1992. So it seems that even then they were not working from the original recipe itself.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:32 PM   #4
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There has been a lot of talk about Albany Ale recently (a historical style brewed for export in the Hudson area for parts of the 18th-19th century). Vassar made a lot of his money brewing and exporting it, whatever it was.

http://beerblog.genx40.com/tag/albanyale
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:11 AM   #5
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One book of Vassar brewing records covering 1833 to 1837 does exist. I don't know if there are any others. I'll probably publish some recipes from it in the near future.
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:00 AM   #6
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Very cool. How did you come across this book?
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogueVassar View Post
Very cool. How did you come across this book?
I've been given a digital copy to help in a project to research Albany Ale.

I'll be giving a talk about Vassar's beers at Beau's Oktoberfest in VanKleek Hill, Canada in September.
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patto1ro View Post
I've been given a digital copy to help in a project to research Albany Ale.

I'll be giving a talk about Vassar's beers at Beau's Oktoberfest in VanKleek Hill, Canada in September.
Is this associated with the Albany Ale Project run by Alan?

I've been quietly working along the same lines, found a few possible recipes in some brewing logs from the Syracuse, NY area, but nothing that was called "Albany Ale." From a homebrew perspective, I have access to the parent varieties of hops that would have been used to brew these beers, so all I really need is a recipe.
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bierhaus15 View Post
Is this associated with the Albany Ale Project run by Alan?
Yes. He's the one who gave me the pdf of the brewing book.
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Old 08-30-2012, 01:21 AM   #10
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That's great and please keep me posted with anything that is published!


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