His Accidency Barley Beer
I knew that when I tackled John Tyler as a beer I was going to have to think hard about what style he would be. Going into this design a knew a few things about Tyler:
- He was not elected to the presidency
- His nickname was “His Accidency”
- He had fifteen children
- He still has two living grandchildren
- He broke with his political party and hoped to be re-elected based on the “Texas question”
- He annexed Texas
- He’s from Virginia
- He was supposed to hold a position in the Confederacy but he died before he could take his seat.
Tyler is an interesting and often forgotten president. He is also often cited as being a traitor to his country.
I decided to use a barley wine as Tyler’s beer style. I have only drank a barely wine once. It was Sierra Nevada’s Big Foot and I sneezed my head off. Don’t get me wrong, it had a nice flavor. I do not have many known allergies, but every now and then I run across a beer that makes me sneeze.
Here’s how beer advocate classifies barley wines:
Despite its name, a Barleywine (or Barley Wine) is very much a beer, albeit a very strong and often intense beer! In fact, it’s one of the strongest of the beer styles. Lively and fruity, sometimes sweet, sometimes bittersweet, but always alcoholic.
I thought this description goes along well nicely with Tyler. I also I thought this style fit with the name, His Accidency because these beers are complex and often have many ingredients.
Most of my design choices were made when I design Van Buren’s beer. However, I decided to use a purple background because Tyler was elected as a Whig, was kicked-out of his party and moved closer to the Democratic party by the end of his presidency.
I decided to make the text at the top of the can say “A President without a Party”. This is a quote attributed to Henry Clay. I thought it fit best with the purple can. I was tempted to have more playful text that said, “Thomas Jefferson is my Spirit Animal.” Apparently Tyler referred to Jefferson as his ideological hero.
Love, Hate or Indifference, Tyler set “a critical precedent for an orderly transfer of power following a President’s death.”
Miller Center This site has a good overview of Tyler’s life and Presidency.
Dave Benner This site has an article that has a defense of Tyler’s Presidency.