I'm notoriously suggestible so all this talk about a "Beer Summit" at the White House Thursday had me hankering for a cold one after work. As I cracked open a Fat Tire and turned on the news, I noticed in the pictures from the Rose Garden Happy Hour that everyone's beer was a different color.
Professor Gates' beer looks like a red lager, and it turns out he's a Red Stripe guy. Jamaican beer. Obama, we're told, went for a Bud Light -- some bloggers surmised, to be safe. DCist says "Maybe Bud is Obama’s beer of choice, but being the president, it's probably safe to say that he had to pick 1) an American beer and 2) something most people have tried. Remember what happened when he told Iowa voters what arugula cost at the store? Right."
More on the "American" part in a minute. I noticed especially the beer in front of officer Crowley was cloudy with a lemon wedge -- a Hefeweisen man! I do love a good hef on a hot day. An unfiltered German wheat beer, served with a lemon which makes it distinctly "American style."
There's some conflicting information about exactly which beer the Professor chose; it was widely reported he'd be drinking Red Stripe, and it kind of LOOKS like Red Stripe, but the LA Times blog Top of the Ticket says:
"Well, it turns out that Gates had a Sam Adams Light. And a surprise guest, Vice President Joe Biden, had a Buckler, a low-alcohol beer."
Four guys, four different beers.
And as for Obama's "safe" choice of a Bud?
The Wall Street Journal story calls it a "Brouhaha," and how it unfolded as follows:
"Late Wednesday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs hinted the presidential cooler will likely be stocked with what he understood to be the two guests' own personal favorites -- Red Stripe and Blue Moon.
"The president will drink Bud Light," Mr. Gibbs added.
The problem is that all three beers are products of foreign companies. Red Stripe is brewed by London-based Diageo PLC. Blue Moon is sold by a joint venture in which London-based SABMiller has a majority stake.
And Bud Light? It is made by Anheuser-Busch -- which is now known as Anseuser-Busch InBev NV after getting bought last year by a giant Belgian-Brazilian company."
Oops. Here's to potentially replacing one misstep with another. The WSJ story continues:
Among rival brewers, the news fell flat. "We would hope they would pick a family-owned, American beer to lubricate the conversation," said Bill Manley, a spokesman for the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., a California-based brewer that happens to be family-owned.
Jim Koch, founder of Boston Beer Co., which brews Samuel Adams, decried "the foreign domination of something so basic and important to our culture as beer."
Well, they should be happy Professor Gates apparently had a Sam Adams light. (is that a lemon wedge in his too? Hmm.) I guess you really can't get more patriotic than Sam Adams. In a weird twist, there's some evidence the Professor, and the cop he says is a really likeable guy "when he's not arresting you," are related from way back when. Check out this link that traces both of them back to the same line of Irish roots in the 4th century. We are all related, somehow, if you go back far enough -- if nothing else but by the simple fact that we're human. Look at the people all across our country, and look at all the beers, imported and domestic, and realize that it takes all kinds. Four guys, four different beers of varying shades. But it's all still -- beer.