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The Audacity of Hops

Obama has inspired a lot of people. Turns out, he’s also inspired a beer.

People have donated enormous amounts of time this election season to help push their candidates over the finish line. For Sam Chapple Sokol, it came down to what he could personally offer.

“I’m not wealthy, so I can’t give a lot of donations,” says Sokol, “and I’m not eloquent so I can’t give speeches. But I can brew beer.”

Sokol, a 23-year-old paralegal at the Department of Justice, is celebrating election night with friends, fellow Obama supporters, and a batch of 51 homemade Audacity of Hops beers. The brew not only honors Barack Obama in name—a play on the presidential candidate’s book The Audacity of Hope—but in its ingredients.

Sokol, also the beer writer for the Humble Gourmand, used corn sugar from Kansas and Illinois and hops produced by Challenger and Progress, and he commissioned his father—a chemist and a coffee aficionado—to blend and roast coffee beans from Kenya, Indonesia, and Hawaii. After mixing together several malts, Sokol topped off his creation with filtered DC tap water, in honor of the nominee’s potential home. But the symbolism doesn’t stop there.

“A normal batch is 48 or 50 beers, so I thought why not make it 50 for 50 states?” says Sokol. But he didn’t want to leave DC out.

The 51st bottle is the larger 22-ounce size—“to give DC residents more of a voice.”

The success of Sokol’s creation may depend upon Tuesday night’s results, but either way, the beer will be needed.

UPDATE: A few of you have asked if Sokol's beer is available for purchase. He tells us, "If there's enough support in DC, and if it would still be relevant in a couple months (the amount of time I've given this batch) then I'll put some serious thought into a sequel, some sort of InaugurAle, perhaps."

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