July 29th, 2009
08:45 PM ET
9 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. KB

    Please give this story a rest!!! CNN, you have bigger fish to fry with one of your own, Lou Dobbs, spreading all kinds of lies on President Obama. What a waste!

    July 29, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  2. Tom St. Paul

    Funny stuff, all! I would've picked Sam Adams, too. Not only is it a Boston brew, it's named after one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. If I may, I'd suggest the Summer Ale. So refreshing this time of year!

    July 29, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  3. George

    Well, at least that would be a decision Obama would almost be qualified to make.

    July 29, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  4. Heidi

    I recommend Mad & Jack's African Amber. It's delicious!

    July 29, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  5. GAK

    These guys don't always drink beer....

    But when they do....

    They prefer....


    July 29, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  6. Brian

    Two words. Yuengling Lager.

    July 29, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  7. jwolfee

    oh please....just stop, for once....at least the prez drinks beer. i trust anyone a little who can pop a top and enjoy life a little......just get off it already!

    July 29, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  8. Alex

    I am with Brian...Shiner get's it done every time.

    Living large in Austin, tx

    July 29, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  9. Erlinda

    For the sake of the people of the United States – PLEASE stop this nonsense!!!! I don't care what beer they drink. This is too distracting and a waste of the President's time. No other president would have been asked a questions about this "profiling" event during a press conference about Health Care, and I am sorry Barack Obama felt he had to respond, because no response would make everyone happy!!! Let the man preside! Give Skip Gates and Sgt. Crowley a glass of milk – beer might get them too excited. Throw in a cookie. Leave us alone.

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

    I think everyone should butt out and allow President Obama to drink whatever he enjoys. People are getting far too critical over every word speaks and action he makes. It's getting ridiculous. How about stop looking for negative in everything and everyone and start looking for the good. That might not be as sensational to report, but it would be refreshing.

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

    None appear to know beer. Sam Adams is a good pick as are hundreds of other craft beers. If you are going to serve beer at the White House educate up Sir!

    July 29, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  12. Shirley In California

    With Obama's popularity it is YOU republicans who are afraid of him? Just imagine all of this over a beer. It seems anything and everything he does IS news. We democrats could care less about palin it is YOU who should be very afraid of Obama and my guess is YOU are!

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

    I think common sense is long gone out the window. Who gives a fig about what kind of beer these gentlemen drink????? I personally have drank Budwiser for years and was upset that it was sold but because I like it, I still drink it. Don't we have more important things in this country to worry and speak up about other than this. Everytime I think I have heard everything, something like this comes along. Crazy, just plan crazy!!!!!!!!!

    July 29, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  14. For You for The US

    First of all, the president has set a time table for a full withdrawl from Iraq. As far as I am concerned, over 4,000 Americans died in Iraq during the LAST administration. Although CNN is silly for reporting more crap that isn't news, everything that can be done to get our men and women back home is being done, and the house is discussing a bipartisan bill RIGHT NOW live on helping returning soldiers. Believe me, I had more doubts with Bush. What was he doing while people were dying? Probably drinking more beer and doing some weed. The moment Obama wants one, people go nuts.

    The war will be over and our men and women will be back, because of the president and his administration.

    And some Abita would be good.

    July 29, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  15. Proud Member..Party of No

    Obama and the media actually believe that people care what kind of beer they drink. What a bunch of clowns.

    July 29, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  16. eahollis4

    Obama should serve up some colt 45 malt liquor and some BBQ chicken!

    July 29, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  17. Rafe from the Northwest (Home of REAL beer)

    No offense to everyone outside the Pacific Northwest, but your beer just doesn't stack up. Here in Oregon we have several of the finest microbreweries in the world.

    Obama needs to do himself a favor and get some Rogue Dead Guy Ale imported for this occasion.

    Sam Adams? phhssssssh that is NOT real beer, by any standard.

    go with a Rogue or Deschutes beer. end of story.

    July 29, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  18. Heidi

    Maybe they should have that beer in a bowling alley!! As a copy myself, I bet you the officer is a better bowler than our president (whom I adore).

    July 29, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  19. Neel

    this is not news.

    July 29, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  20. Everyman

    How stupid.

    July 29, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  21. Glen

    That was 4 mins i will never get back.

    July 29, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  22. Jim

    please. let's move on to a real issue.

    July 29, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  23. Constitutional Insurgent

    Next thing we should do is invite Mahmoud Abbas, Ehud Barak, and Ahmadinejad for a cup of tea and hope that'll solve the Middle East problem.

    July 29, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  24. Frank, FLA

    just another complain but republicans,, and again another way to get off the real issues,,,,,,,,they have no solutions ,,, and im so over everyone that doesnt think Pres,Obama is not right for this country ,,,,how quickly we forget the last 8 yrs,,,,,,,give this man a chance,,,,,,,,,,and to my CNN monitor,,,it really would be nice if you post my comments,,, theres so much crap and lies that gets posted on here,, i guess im not controversial enough for you

    July 29, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  25. Sarah Thompson

    Obama needs to put more thought into the ramifications of his beverage choice. The President should consider choosing a Sierra Nevada brand beer for his get-together. They are American made, and extremely green friendly.

    July 29, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
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