Do you consider Benedict Arnold a brilliant general or an evil traitor?  Despite what you may have learned in school, the answer to this question is far from simple and highly political.   Blessed with almost superhuman energy and endurance, handsome and charismatic, he was a successful apothecary and a seagoing merchant before the war.  Unfortunately, Benedict Arnold was also hypersensitive to any slight. 

He distinguished himself as one of New Haven’s more combative patriots. On hearing of the Boston Massacre, he thundered, “Good God, are the Americans all asleep and tamely giving up their glorious liberties?” When in April 1775 he learned of the skirmishes at Lexington and Concord, he seized a portion of New Haven’s gunpowder supply and marched north with a company of volunteers. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, he convinced Dr. Joseph Warren and the Massachusetts Committee of Safety to authorize an expedition to capture Fort Ticonderoga in New York State and its 80 or more cannons, then he turned his attention to lake Champlain where he and a small group of men captured several British military vessels and instantly gave America command of the lake but when James Easton dared to question the legitimacy of his authority as the self-proclaimed commodore of the American Navy on Lake Champlain, Arnold proceeded to “kick him very heartily.” It was an insult Easton never forgot, and in the years ahead, Easton joined a chorus of Arnold detractors who would plague him for the rest of his military career.  Arnold successful captured the city of Montreal but failed to take the walled citadel of Quebec.  He is lauded as the savior of Saratoga where he received debilitating injuries.  He served Washington with distinction but lost his health, his wife, and his personal fortune in the process but it was his hot temper and antagonistic disposition that ultimately caused his undoing.

Arnold became involved in a dispute with Moses Hazen, an officer under his command, whom he accused of insubordination for failing to carry out Arnold’s orders to seize supplies from Merchants in Montreal during the American army’s retreat. Hazen issued counter-charges against Arnold for issuing the order to plunder in the first place. Hazen was acquitted at his court-martial, and Arnold was ordered to apologize, an order he indignantly refused.  he following winter was equally trying for Arnold. Some of his old Army nemeses rose up once more to bring charges against him. He spent most of the winter defending himself. He saw a number of junior officers receive promotions to Major General, while he remained a Brigadier.  Arnold, ever hot-headed and impatient, travelled to Philadelphia to get answers and along the way he successfully routed the British after they burned Danbury.  Congress eventually appointed him to major general, but without his seniority, making him subordinate to those major generals who were his inferiors before their promotion in February. This further angered the hotheaded Arnold, as did the outstanding account which he was due repayment for his expenses.

Brilliant and daring on the battlefield but touchy and easily provoked, Arnold was constantly in conflict with his peers or nursing some injury or perceived injustice.  It is little wonder that when Arnold was finally given a major command as Commandant of Philadelphia after the British evacuation in 1778, he was easily turned by his new wife, Peggy Shippen, and the notorious spymaster John André. 

Yes, we all know Benedict Arnold as the traitor who attempted to give the fort at West Point to the British but it is far from a simple story.  So, I have made you a beer that is equally far from simple.  This American Wild Ale is a sour beer and is acidic, tart, and has a sour taste. Its brewed with both yeast and the bacteria Lactobacillus which makes milk curdle.  Like Benedict Arnold, its bold but be careful, it might turn on you.

Recipe Specs

  • Batch Size (G):           6.1
  • Total Grain (lb):         12.000
  • Total Hops (oz):          3.00
  • Original Gravity (OG):    1.052  (°P): 12.9
  • Final Gravity (FG):       1.010  (°P): 2.6
  • Alcohol by Volume (ABV):  5.45 %
  • Colour (SRM):             3.6   (EBC): 7.1
  • Bitterness (IBU):         21.3   (Tinseth)
  • Brewhouse Efficiency (%): 70
  • Boil Time (Minutes):      60

Grain Bill

  • 6.000 lb American – Pale 2-Row (50%)
  • 6.000 lb American – Wheat (50%)

Hop Bill

  • 1 oz Hallertau Hersbrucker Pellet (4% Alpha) @ 60 Minutes (Boil) (0.2 oz/Gal)
  • 1 oz Hallertau Hersbrucker Pellet (4% Alpha) @ 30 Minutes (Boil) (0.2 oz/Gal)
  • 1 oz Fuggles Pellet (4.5% Alpha) @ 0 Minutes (Boil) (0.2 oz/Gal)

Single step Infusion at 151°F for 60 Minutes.

Fermented in primary at 68°F with American Ale 1056, then add Wyeast 3278 Lambic Blend in secondary fermentation.

Published by Michael Carver

My goal is to bring history alive through interactive portrayal of ordinary American life in the late 18th Century (1750—1799) My persona are: Journeyman Brewer; Cordwainer (leather tradesman but not cobbler), Statesman and Orator; Chandler (candle and soap maker); Gentleman Scientist; and, Soldier in either the British Regular Army, the Centennial Army, or one of the various Militia. Let me help you experience history 1st hand!

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