July 29th, 2009
08:45 PM ET
5 years ago

Beer choice at Obama meeting touches off new debate

What beer should be served at the Obama-Gates-Crowley get together?
What beer should be served at the Obama-Gates-Crowley get together?

(CNN) - The upcoming White House meeting with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and the Cambridge police officer who arrested him earlier this month appears to have touched off a fresh debate all on its own: what kind of beer should be served?

Earlier this week the White House indicated each man would drink the beer of their choice - Bud Light for President Obama, Blue Moon for the police officer, and perhaps Red Stripe or Beck's for Gates.

But one Massachusetts congressman thinks another beer entirely should be served: Boston's own Sam Adams.

In a letter to Obama dated Wednesday, Massachusetts Rep. Richard Neal strongly urges the president not to drink Budweiser, now owned by a Belgian company. Nor should the White House consider serving Miller or Coors, Neal writes, both owned by a United Kingdom conglomerate.

Instead, the White House should serve the three men - all with ties to Massachusetts - the local favorite, not only because of its popularity in the region but also because it remains the largest American-owned and brewed beer, Neal says.

But Sam Adams founder and brewer Jim Koch told NPR if it was up to him he would make a special beer just for the event.

"I'd make a blend of ingredients from all over the world. Which is certainly what's represented there with the three participants," he said. "I would blend those ingredients together artfully and harmoniously, because that's really what we all hope for."

Meanwhile, the Boston Globe reports other Massachusetts-based beer companies are also hoping to get their product a space at the high-profile meeting.

Dan Kenary, president of Harpoon Brewery, told the paper they are working every "back-door channel" the company has.

"We'd love to be the beer at this event," Kenary said.

Read Rep. Neal's letter (PDF) here.


Filed under: Extra • President Obama
soundoff (227 Responses)
  1. andy

    this whole thing is a joke for obama to save face.....

    July 29, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  2. Keeth in California

    This is getting downright stupid!

    July 29, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  3. Hugo

    I guess it could've been worse given Obama's drug use history, he could've said, " hey guys, C'mon over to my crib and let's burn one and get our minds right". Hey, maybe he would've called GW or Clinton for some of the good stuff? Just an enlightened thought as I ponder the Obama Administration's social nightmare makeover in progress!

    July 29, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  4. Rufus

    A cop who arrests someone for hurting his feelings after the guy has PROVEN that he's in his own home shouldn't get rewarded by a beer at the White House.

    That's all this is: Gates was abusive, sure. But if a cop can't take a tongue lashing without arresting someone, he shouldn't be wearing a badge.

    Read the First and Fourth Amendments.

    July 29, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  5. Julia Byrd- Hayden Idaho

    Miller Lite, UNION NADE beer, is my choice.

    July 29, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  6. Serena

    What does beer type matter when people are starving? The Borgen Project has some good information on the cost of addressing global poverty (www.borgenproject.org).
    It only takes $30 billion annually to end world hunger!
    Yet... we are spending $550 billion annually on the defense budget.

    July 29, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  7. nmm

    Are you kidding me? It's BEER! Let the men drink what they want without any of this political garbage for goodness sakes! I can't believe this is even an issue.

    July 29, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  8. RO

    Are you serious..is this April Fools Day? Come on, let us move on with NEWS! Sheesh! WE have major issues in this country and world and folks are wondering why such and such isn't drinking the beer of the day????

    July 29, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  9. JDL

    I glanced through the posts and didn't see anything that states that it was the officer who initiated the beer/meeting at the White House, not the President! If I missed anyone pointing out this LITTLE detail, I apologize, but people who find fault with everything the President does will turn a blind eye to that fact anyway.

    July 29, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  10. JMac

    It must be a slow newsday.

    July 29, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  11. Sherrie

    Oh dear Lord! No one best open ANY electronics that are and HAVE been in the White House... the components are MADE IN JAPAN AND CHINA! Nexxxt..... acting stupidly people!

    July 29, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  12. Mark

    This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

    July 29, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  13. Wazza

    Really? Have we become that PC? Let the men drink which ever beer they want!!!! I would say Paulaner.

    Oh, CNN stop trying to make mountains out of mole hills. Lou Dobbs and his birther comments are bad enough!

    July 29, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  14. David Price

    This entire episode is totally pathetic. Who gives a crap what kind of beer anyone drinks, and why is everybody jumping allover the poor lady who was the caller to 911. She was just trying to do the right thing and i am glad that her taped call was released to show that she is not a racist. You people jump on everything and blow it all out of proportion. Get a life.

    July 29, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  15. indyred

    People–get over it. This is ridiculous banter.

    July 29, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  16. blinky

    i'm curious why everyone is mentioned by name except "the police officer."

    July 29, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  17. Tiffanie

    Does this really matter? If guys are getting together to have a few beers and work out their issues it should be one that they know for sure they like so they will relax and just drink it and talk this silly stuff out...

    July 29, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
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