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The "Beer Summit"


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There's commentary all over the 'net about this, of course. Here's a post by one of my favorite writers, James Fallows.

Pres. Barack Obama: Bud Light. Oh, please.

Prof. Henry Louis Gates: Red Stripe. Bud Light with a more interesting label and pedigree. Without the label, not many people could tell this from the watery Tsingtaos and Yangjings that were until recently the bane of my existence. Truth of the modern age: lagers the world round whose brewers go easy on hops and malt have a certain je ne sais quoi nothingness.

I heartily agree with that "Oh, please." Our president's go-to restaurant in Chicago is Spiaggia. I tend to doubt that Bud Light is his beer of choice, even on a hot summer's day. I like the man a lot (and I apologize if he does indeed drink Bud Light), but this type of political posturing is cringe-inducing. Fallows's suggestion of Sam Adams or Dogfish Head was spot on, in my opinion.

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My understanding is that Sgt Crowley was just being polite. He would have preferred a nicely chilled Sauvignon Blanc but figured that all presidents were beer drinkers so he went with the beer.

At least there wasn't a plate of donuts on the table to complete the blue collar police officer profiling.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."



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Gates generally drinks Red Stripe, but apparently did not do so, owing to the historic nature of the occasion and the opportunity to relate the event to important figures in American history. According to the New York Times--

some details emerged:

¶Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden were in shirtsleeves; Sergeant Crowley and Professor Gates wore suits.

¶The four drank out of beer mugs. Mr. Obama had a Bud Lite, Sergeant Crowley had Blue Moon, Professor Gates drank Sam Adams Light and Mr. Biden, who does not drink, had a Buckler nonalcoholic beer. (Mr. Biden put a lime slice in his beer. Sergeant Crowley, for his part, kept with Blue Moon tradition and had a slice of orange in his drink.)

¶The four men munched peanuts and pretzels out of small silver bowls.


Edited by David A. Goldfarb (log)
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I suspect that Obama, like Crowley, is a wine guy, not a beer guy. But "We're all getting together to sip wine" doesn't sound populist or Manly to the general public. (I have no problem with it.)

At the All-Star Game, the POTUS was spotted with a Bud Light. Maybe he just likes it.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

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  • 3 weeks later...

POTUS is in fact a beer guy, too, and favors local Goose Island beers when in Chicago. And he's made more than few stops at brewpubs when on the campaign trail.

Rich Pawlak


Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large


"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

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Washington D.C. in the summer? I might have a light beer, too.

People pooh-pooh light American lager. But it's absolutely the hardest beer to make. Considering the scrutiny, Bud Light is probably a safe bet.

1) There isn't much alcohol in it, so if the Bahamas decided to invade Florida that afternoon, he'd be good to go as Commander-In-Chief.

2) MillerCoors is run by conservatives. That probably wouldn't work for POTUS. (Yuengling is the same -- a great beer, oldest brewery in America, and Dick Yuengling is a staunch Republican.)

3) Although AB is now owned by a foreign company, it is still a staggeringly popular brand -- here and abroad. And AB employs at lot of Americans and has breweries scattered around the country. Probably a good political choice.

4) Picking a regional beer would invite scrutiny. If he drank Anchor, he'd be labeled as pandering to liberal Californians. If he drank Goose Island, he'd be accused of favoritism. Sam Adams doesn't really help because Massachusetts is going to vote for him anyway.

I would have picked Rolling Rock (if I were the presidential beer adviser). It's light. Most people don't know it's owned by AB. And Pennsylvania is always in play, politically.

Edited by ScoopKW (log)

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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