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. Randolph Carter

    Bud is a schwag beer. Have a pint of Guinness for crying out loud. Have a nice day!

    July 29, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. MD

    Are you kidding me...

    July 29, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. Derek from Medford, MA

    Wow...this story is taking on a life of it's own.

    July 29, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  4. Cathy

    Really??? This is what we are worrying about in Washington?

    July 29, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  5. News....

    ohhh....I thought I was on CNN....yanno, the website that reports news.... weird.

    You're spending your time on this article-when three bombs went off at the OUTgames in Copenhagen...but yea..no this seems totally relevant...

    what a joke.

    July 29, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  6. Scott, Tucson

    Now if this situation occurred while Bush was still in office, the leftist here along with the media would be attacking him for having these two men over to the WH for a beer.

    July 29, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  7. Polar Bears Against Palin

    CNN, just stop with this nonsense!

    July 29, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. Zero.

    See. I finally hit the right blog. Or did I? Imagine the explosion from Obama after his Six-Pack...

    July 29, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  9. Obama Victim

    can it get any sillier??

    July 29, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  10. Michael

    The geopolitics of beer.

    July 29, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  11. Mike

    No wonder we have such lousy governence from Washington, from the President on down. With far more important things to do than bicker over beer, our lawmakers should be concentrating on the issues and bills facing them in Congress and not be making comments regarding what beer the three guys will drink at the white house (which, by the way, is just another publicity stunt for the top czar).

    July 29, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  12. Steve

    Are you kidding me! This congress man is more concerned about what type of beer these three men will drink? He should be concerned about passing a Health Care Bill that bennifits all Americans.

    July 29, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  13. Blessed_Truth

    This is way beyond STUPID!

    July 29, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  14. Frank, Philadelphia

    Sam Adams is terrible. Not as terrible as Bud Lite, but terrible nonetheless. Can we stop making a major ordeal of every little thing? Drink whatever the heck you want. I don't care if the Osama brewed it himself in a cave in Pakistan.

    July 29, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  15. Brian in Texas

    Blue Moon–the police officer has great taste in beer. Obama needs a little help though. Somebody get that man some Shiner Light.

    July 29, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  16. Melissa

    Oh for gods sakes, its just beer. Let them drink whatever they want. Beer is disgusting no matter who makes it anyway.

    July 29, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  17. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    This article all by itself demonstrates how a slick career-politician lawyer armed only with bluster, emotion and distracting speeches became the President of the United States.

    We have no idea what is important apparently.

    And he is still using cheap tricks to distract us from minor details like his broken promises, corporate friends and general cluelessness.

    July 29, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  18. seebofubar

    Give Obama any beer you'd like.....as long as he eats some crow with it.

    July 29, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  19. Mike

    Please tell me this is not a story! Who cares what beer they drink. The focus is a discussion that haunts America today, not the beer they drink. Geez!

    July 29, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  20. Wendy

    The best reason for having Sam Adams is simply the taste. Forget all the political crap, it's one of the best American beers by far.

    July 29, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  21. Tehran

    This is why nothing get done in American. People are worried about the wrong thing. While you at it, take all the foreign cars off the road and market too. Stop trying get brownie points and make money off a serious topics. I dont even drink beer, but let the men drink whatever brand they want.

    July 29, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  22. Kim

    Dear God.

    July 29, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  23. DRus

    Sam Adams is gross

    July 29, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  24. JA/TN

    petty, premature on the mag's part, you must be in the ivory tower, to say recession is over

    July 29, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  25. Professor

    It's too bad that our President drinks beer at all. Anyone who drinks beer is an irresponsible fool, and NOT fit to be the President of the United States.

    July 29, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
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