RICHMOND, Va. – Thomas Jefferson is renowned for his many interests, including architecture, horticulture and inventing gadgets.

Among the third president’s lesser-known pursuits was making beer, and modern-day visitors to his mountaintop estate at Monticello can soon get a taste of the past.

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation says it’s working with Starr Hill Brewery in Crozet to offer Monticello Reserve Ale, inspired by what was produced and consumed regularly at Monticello.

Brewing beer was among the plantation’s important activities, and the drink was one of the “table liquors” served with meals, Monticello officials said.

Starr Hill’s master brewer Mark Thompson will brew Monticello Reserve Ale using a combination of lightly hopped wheat and corn, as Jefferson did in his day. Local ingredients will be used, including some hops grown at Monticello.

“It’s different from beers today,” Monticello spokeswoman Lisa Stites said Thursday. “We wanted to make it a little more modern, too, so people would enjoy it.”

Thompson calls the unfiltered wheat-style beer “very light on the palate with a clean finish,” with citrus and earthy aromas.

The ale will make its public debut at the Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center museum shop with tastings on Feb. 21. The ale will be sold at Monticello and Charlottesville-area restaurants.

Jefferson’s beer-making records date back to 1772, when his wife, Martha, oversaw periodic brewing. The enterprise produced 15-gallon casks of low-alcohol beer about every two weeks, then expanded its scale with some outside help.

According to records, Monticello’s brewhouse was built by 1814, five years after he ended his presidency.