July 28th, 2009

Lame beer session


President Obama, acknowledging his part in spurring the media circus around the arrest of Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. through his “stupid” remark about the case (which has by now been downgraded from Exhibit A: Racial Profiling Epidemic to Unfortunate Incident), and wanting to shut that circus down so that we can resume talking about life-and-death stuff like health care and the war in Afghanistan, is having Gates and Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley over to the White House on Thursday for a beer.

Whether or not we agree that this particular presidential summit is warranted, I think we can agree on the notion of getting together over a beer to solve problems. It should happen way more often. But hearing what kind of beer each gentleman requested disappointed me. From the Reuters blogs:

Asked what beer the president might have, [Spokesman Robert] Gibbs observed that Obama drank a Budweiser at the baseball All-Star Game a couple of weeks ago.

“Sgt. Crowley mentioned when the president offered this on the phone Friday that he likes Blue Moon,” said Gibbs. Blue Moon is a Belgian-style white beer brewed by Molson Coors.

Gates told the Boston Globe he was a fan of Red Stripe, a Jamaican lager, and Beck’s, a German lager.

Oh, god. Bud, Blue Moon and Beck’s? Really, gentlemen? Is the meeting at a Ruby Tuesday’s or something? Not to mention the fact that every one of these brews is made by a global conglomerate. Can I interest you in something still well-known (i.e. not “elitist”) but American-made — Sam Adams, maybe? Fitting that it originates from the city across the river from the incident. Or maybe the Cambridge guys could bring a local brew from their city, while Obama brings a D.C.-made beer to the table. I suggest, given Crowley’s taste for unfiltered wheat ales, that he grab a growler of hefe-weizen from the Cambridge Brewing Co. Mr. President, you bring some Capitol City Kolsch for yourself and Mr. Gates. That way you get symbolism and flavor.

You’re welcome. Let me know if I can be of any further help.

Permalink | Filed under Beer, Booze in the news | Tags: , ,

13 Responses to “Lame beer session”

  1. Frederic

    Avery Brewing Company’s Ale to the Chief or Six Point Craft Ales’ Hop Obama Ale both seem like good choices to me.

    And spotting Obama drinking a Bud at a baseball game would probably be no different than spotting a person drinking Bud Light at a game at Fenway (there’s not much choice… well besides $4+ coca colas)

  2. ljclark

    I thought of suggesting those, Fred, but then again it’d probably be a bit upper-handed of Obama to bring along beers crafted in his honor.

  3. Patrick

    Great post. I’m glad you picked up on this.

    I went to Fenway last night to see Jim Rice’s #14 retired. During Rice’s speech I was hoping he would say that the only thing that could top off his long Hall of Fame weekend would be a trip to the White House with his fellow ‘Gold Dust’ twin Fred Lynn, to enjoy a beer with the President. The place would have gone wild in light of Gatesgate.

  4. ljclark

    Wow, Patrick, what a treat to be at Fenway for Rice’s moment! And thanks for the link to the article about Gold Dust.

  5. Jon from NH

    I was at that game last night too. It was a treat through the 8th inning, after that… not so much.

    But if Irish American police officers are now admitting publicly that they enjoy Belgian style white beers then America is apparently a far more tolerant and open society than I thought. I remember when simply ordering a beer like that in Medford would encourage bartenders to give you immediate directions to Harvard Square as well as a 3 letter nickname rhyming with “dag”.

  6. ljclark

    Jon, you make an excellent point. In other news, Jim Koch of Boston Beer Co. (Sam Adams) was apparently just on NPR weighing in on this post’s theme. And it turns out Obama’s downgrading to a Bud Light! I guess no one’s going to call him a “dag.”

  7. Isaac

    Not to be argumentative, but in this climate an ice cold can of Budweiser is so much more appealing that a Sam Adams. It is part of an evil European conglomerate, but it’s so goddamn refreshing. The sad part is that he will actually drink a Bud Lite, from what I read. Maybe we should all, in some way, educate Obama on the myriad of beers he has to pick from.

  8. ljclark

    Isaac, thanks for weighing in — drinkboston loves arguments! I agree that a Bud *can* be goddamn refreshing. In all my years of writing about craft beer, I stood by my approval of Bud to most of my colleagues’ disgust. In this particular case, though, I was disappointed more in the collective vapidity of the mens’ choice of beer. I’ll see you soon for a cold one.

  9. MC Slim JB

    I like Obama, but my guess is that his choice of Bud is a carefully-crafted, deliberate one. It’s designed to defuse the kind of critics who would jump on him for choosing something more interesting and artisanal, undoubtedly flinging the “latte-sipping, Volvo-driving, Ivy-League-educated, big-city elitist, out of touch with *real* Americans” rhetoric. Given his druthers, I imagine Barry drinking a well-chosen glass of red wine. Wouldn’t surprise me to learn he’s actually got much more sophisticated taste in beer, too.

  10. Scott N. Howe

    The perfect solution:


  11. ljclark

    And now we all know that Obama did indeed have a Bud Light and Crowley did indeed have a Blue Moon. But Sam Adams beat fellow New England beers ‘Gansett and, apparently, Harpoon, to the White House, with Skip Gates settling on a Sam Light. (VP Biden, a teetotaler, had a Buckler.) A nice image, I must say, but I’m insatiable about these things … my mind’s eye kept superimposing imaginary footage of FDR drinking a martini and smoking a cigarette.

  12. MC Slim JB

    I just saw a clip on the Daily Show of Fox News, which criticized Obama for drinking Bud Lite, as it’s now owned by Belgian-based InBev: “Maybe this would have been a good time to buy America?” Yep, when the President does it, Fox suggests, drinking Anheuser-Busch products is un-American. That might be funny, but I don’t find Fox News amusing at all.

  13. Todd

    Here is the funniest thing you are apt to read about “bad” beer http://www.blacktable.com/beerrun030123.htm

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