Vienna, city of music. Home to Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Strauss, and Mahler. Vienna, a showcase of architectural styles from the soaring Gothic-era Stephansdom to the Baroque opulence of the Karlskirche, and from elegant Ringstrasse historicism to the fin-de-siècle modernism of Otto Wagner. Vienna’s pastries rival those of Paris, as does its coffeehouse culture. Chocolate? Plenty of that, too.
In 1774 the first Continental Congress was convening, America was starting to take shape, and one beer was all the rage in Philadelphia: Mr. Hare’s Porter. To say this beer was popular is an understatement. Many of the attendees of the Continental Congress enjoyed a pint or two of the porter regularly, but George Washington and John Adams were the beer’s biggest fans. Washington was such a fan that during the Revolutionary War he would regularly send for the beer to be shipped to wherever he was at the front. Washington even tried to recreate the brew himself when he retired to Mount Vernon, though he was never able to exactly copy it.
The porter, and Mr. Hare, seemingly came out of nowhere and exploded in popularity at dramatic speed. Thanks to an impending war, and a desire to stop buying English goods, Robert Hare went from brewer to socialite in mere seconds. It’s a quintessential American tale: make a product people demand and follow your product’s rise to riches – that rise might even involve a stint in politics if you’re lucky.