Fedblog FedblogFedblog
Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

Best Beer-Related FOIA Ever

ARCHIVES
The President offers a toast to Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer. The President offers a toast to Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer. White House photo

President Obama likes beer -- so much so, in fact, that the news broke last week that he travels with his own White House brew. After chatting with a voter about the beer at an event, the president had a bottle of White House Honey Ale brought out of his campaign bus to prove it. 

It's been public knowledge for awhile that there's a special White House brew, but now homebrew enthusiasts are hankering to get their hands on the recipe. Some of them launched a petition on the administration's "We The People" site asking for its release. "In keeping with the brewing traditions of the founding fathers, homebrewers across America call on the Obama administration to release the recipe for the White House home brew so that it may be enjoyed by all," the petition states.

Unfortunately, as of Tuesday morning, the petition had only 276 signatures, well short of the 25,000 needed to get an official response.

Now, though, some members of a homebrew group at user-generated content site Reddit are taking a different approach. One of them posted an email he sent to the White House Office of Public Engagement asking for the recipe, arguing that any White House homebrews must have been "developed by staff paid for by American taxpayers."

No word on the response to that tactic, but another Reddit user has gone a more formal route: An official Freedom of Information Act request for the beer recipe. It's impressive in its use of formal bureaucratic language: "Disclosure of the requested information to me is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in my commercial interest."

But then the missive closes with what may be the boldest (and yet, most tempting) specific request under FOIA in history: "Also, if you could send me a copy autographed by the president, you'd be the coolest FOIA officer in the federal government, and who could resist that title?"

Tom Shoop is vice president and editor in chief at Government Executive Media Group, where he oversees both print and online editorial operations. He started as associate editor of Government Executive magazine in 1989; launched the company’s flagship website, GovExec.com, in 1996; and was named editor in chief in 2007.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.