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. Donna

    What's next, a debate over serving the beer in cans, bottles, or a keg? Sheesh, let's get everyone involved! Give it a rest CNN and the all the other media out there, also!

    July 29, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  2. Andrew

    This is not news.

    July 29, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. Deb in Colo

    Major eyeroll...I think somebody is missing the point.

    July 29, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. phoenix86

    It should be non-alcoholic beer. Everything about this presidency is fake.

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

    Makes perfect sense to me...

    July 29, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  6. Rashid

    This 'beer summit' is a slap at blue collar people. Give the white guy some beer and all will be better. The lower middle class cop will be nice if the educated black guys just get him a little liquored up. Where are the President's advisors? Don't they think these things out? He should take a tip from Reagan and stay far away from the media. They mean him no good. They're out for themselves.

    July 29, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  7. LacrosseMom

    SO stupid ........ that THIS is even a story!

    July 29, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  8. EJU

    Oh Please!!! There must be something constructive these people could be doing. Rep. Richard Neal is this what you do while on the clock?

    July 29, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  9. John

    You mean the President has to have beer to talk to those two.
    A cup of coffee or a glass of ice tea should be good enough.
    Probably a better thing would be to have Gates and Powell
    ride with Crowley for a couple of weeks and get a better
    perspective of his job.

    July 29, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  10. Wayne

    Shocking that Prof. Gates would pick Red Stripe. That is a product of Jamaica and there is actually a boycott going on because of the rampant and horrific homophobic attacks that have become all too routine in Jamaica. The island nation has been labled "the most homophobic place on earth."

    Bad form once again Prof. Gates.

    July 29, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  11. Chris

    CNN you are just plain stupid.

    July 29, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  12. sam jackson jr

    they are both related through irish ancestory (and obama is part irish as wel). wouldnt Guinness be a more natural choice here?

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

    Sam Adams is probably the best choice, but don't forget Harpoon. New England is a hotbed of great microbrews.

    July 29, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  14. T in the Big D

    Is it April fools day? Rep. Richard Neal is surley pandering for votes here! It's a good thing he did not ask them over for mixed drinks!

    July 29, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  15. James M. Holmes

    Seems CNN is the one "acting stupidly"!

    Really.. .THIS is newsworthy?

    Why doesn't CNN ever – EVER report on the LIES being spread by the GOP on any number of issues... but they seem to have plenty of space to waste with this nonsence?

    "Most trusted name in News"... give me a break... CNN is nothing but FOXNEWS Lite and getting worse... You should be ashamed CNN.

    Lou Dobbs is your "face" now CNN! He speaks for you and he actually believes teh "birther' nonsense... Way to let the patients rule the asylum CNN... You've officially become another cable-news JOKE!

    July 29, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  16. Bill of Florida

    Honestly, I think they should have chosen Dos Equis Amber. Now there is a beer. What's more, they should have chosen to serve it so cold that it was slightly slushy upon opening the bottle. It just makes good sense to drink one of the finest cervazas in the world during the 20th Century. It's also ideal from the standpoint that it's a uniter, not a divider. A good beer from a neutral country should resolve these problems. Thank you.

    July 29, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. Doraine Gordon

    Oh what the heck. Let them drink any kind of beer they want. No matter what they drink the Media will make something out of it. Or those blasted Republicans will. Does anyone really care? With all the real problems going on right now it's stupid to even be talking about beer. So let it go and move on!!

    July 29, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  18. Tafari

    The media is acting stupidly with the continued micro coverage of this story. This is so very non-news worthy that.

    Richard Neal's constituents should sue him for wasting time on petty request!

    July 29, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  19. Bit

    Richard Neal needs to stay out of it!

    July 29, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  20. Austin

    Y'all need to lighten up. I found this entertaining. Y'all are wasting your time writing comments about how this was a waste of time. Nice. Put a smile on your face and stop taking life so seriously. Go have a beer. I recommend a New Belgium Fat Tire . . . Mmmmmm.

    July 29, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  21. zago

    It's easy for Lou Dobb at CNN to promote the birthers' agenda since president Obama looks darker than Lou Dobb. CNN has to stop this show or censor it. Looking at Lou Dobb's show one gets confused about whether they listening to Fox News or CNN. This needs to be clarified for the sake of honesty

    July 29, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  22. Shane from chicago

    Wow . . . . i hope the comgressman that took the time to write Obama will reimburse the taxpayers that pay for his time with the endorsement money he obviously got from Sam Adams.

    July 29, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  23. 60's survivor

    I like busch light. but lemonade is good too! ya know you take a sour situation and make something good out of it. a great idea.

    July 29, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  24. mary lou childs

    ...and this comes from a member of our congress who has let all the manufacturing go to China – where was he when all those businesses left the country?

    July 29, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  25. Sperry4551

    Patriotism is not stupid.
    And do you really think this is as big of a deal as CNN is making it?

    Pull your heads out.
    Go Sam Adams!

    July 29, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
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