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. David

    Budweiser absolutely sucks.

    Never been a fan of Sam Adams.

    Want real beer... serve anything German.

    July 29, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  2. Cole

    At least this President can drink a beer without considering a three day bender.

    July 29, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  3. christi

    FOR CRYIN' OUT LOUD! This is so stupid. Let all of them drink what the hell they want. It's a free country. Jeeze-sometimes I can't believe this ____!

    July 29, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  4. SilentBoy741

    Um, I thought the idea of being American is freedom of choice, and you could drink whatever kind of beer you like. I find the idea that this Congressman wants to take away 3 other Americans freedom of choice, and basically legislate the beer that another man must drink, a bit disconcerting. And worse, our friend the MA Congressman, doesn't see anything wrong with that.

    And he probably doesn't have a problem with his Japanese car, typing on his Chinese computer, hiring his Mexican gardener, or wearing his Italian shoes, as long as all "true Americans" drink his American beer.

    And personally, Samuel Adams beer always tastes like burnt wood to me. Heh heh, maybe they should serve "Black and Tan", and see what the media makes of that?

    July 29, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  5. B

    Does this tell you anything about our current state of affairs?

    Mindless nonsense....

    July 29, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  6. Mark Fullerton, CA

    Nice to see our elected officials take an interest in something since they couldn't care less about serving our country.

    July 29, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  7. P. D.

    OMG! Are you kidding me? This President gets flack for his jeans, his pitch, his date schedule, his daughters attire, now we are debating his beer choice? I wonder if anyone debated Pres. Bush's jeans, his pitch.....

    July 29, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  8. GC

    CNN. This. Is. Not. News.

    Honestly, after reading this article, I've decided that I'm no longer going to visit this site. I don't know why it took me this long either.

    July 29, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  9. David Evan

    Sensationalist journalism: more taste, less filling.

    July 29, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  10. Jennifer Johnson

    With all the issues going on in the U.S....beer? Really? Not healthcare, not social security, but beer? Alrighty people!

    July 29, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  11. news

    this is a very very very very very stupid story

    July 29, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. jean

    The number of people pretending to be professors or
    Hispanics is outstanding. These people use every opportunity to belittle our President. You poor and demented people. Hey, how about a Corona? It may just cheer you up.

    July 29, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  13. Ruty

    Do we not have more important things to think about than what kind of beer to serve? This country is acting like a bunch of uneducated teenagers.

    July 29, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  14. Obama2012

    Come on, CNN. You're turning into a joke.

    July 29, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  15. tyson

    this could be the stupidest thing I have read on CNN yet. Hopefully Obama is thinking about more important things than what beer to serve at this meeting.

    July 29, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  16. Geeves

    this is so stupid. how is this even newsworthy?

    July 29, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  17. jane

    As a taxpayer, I'll gladly pick up the tab for Sgt. Crowley's beer. But Gates can pay for his own untill he apologizes for his racist rant to a young exemplary law enforcement officer. President Obama continues to owe the officer an apology as well.

    July 29, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  18. Donkey Party

    In true RepubliCON fashion, expect them to draft a House resolution demanding Sam Adams be served at the meeting. The hypocrisy never ends with the GOPPERS. They try to claim the President has a protectionist foreign trade agenda, then encourage people not to buy products from the UK and Europe. Pathetic!

    July 29, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  19. criscodonkey

    OBAMA wants a 40 of some good ole' Schlitz Malt Liquor nuff said

    July 29, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  20. Diogenes

    Awesome piece of news I'd say....
    Why must news be gory and gruesome?

    I think Colin Powell after his wise views yesterday should be invited.
    Larry King as well.

    Don't want to reopen old wounds, but the police acted stupidly.
    Period!

    July 29, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  21. Eva, VA

    Haa haa haaa. Just when I thought news could not stoop any lower. Wow. They need to invite the lady who called in. She'll probably show them some class and drink water.

    July 29, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  22. Renato

    Cops and elite professors in the Philippines drink the finest: San Miguel Beer. There must be some imported beer store in Washington who can supply the President this fine beer for a worthy cause?

    July 29, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  23. Casey - California

    I don't think that anyone should HAVE to drink one brand over another unless they LIKE that brand of beer... I sure wouldn't drink Bud over a Sam Adams, but that's me... some people *prefer* Bud. I'd probably want a local micro-brew ale.

    If you feel compelled to consider your carbon footprint, you'd drink a local brew, but I don't see any reason why the president should *have* to always do the "PC" thing every moment of his life - that's ridiculous.

    July 29, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  24. Peter E

    Slow news day?

    July 29, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  25. Really?

    C N N....

    Certainly Not News
    Certainly Not News
    Certainly Not News

    July 29, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
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