July 30th, 2009
11:58 AM 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: President Obama
soundoff (302 Responses)
  1. Jack

    The real sad story is drinking "light" beer. Only wimps drink "light" beer. If you really are a true beer drinker you drink real beer. Just shows that Obama is a lightweight. At least Gates drinks a real beer though not American.

    July 30, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  2. Jesus Villarreal

    This is really a story??? What a bunch of lazy, infantile sloths reporters have become.

    July 30, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  3. Chris

    This is why we need term limits and on Congress!!! He should be trying to read the healthcare bill and trying to get it passed instead of worrying about BEER!!!
    Also to CNN and other news agencies, report on news that matters not crap like this!!!

    July 30, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  4. Jim

    Shameless advertising. The beers they drink is NOT news.

    July 30, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  5. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Hold up, I don't see my 40oz Old English 800 in this picture. This very very so wrong I need to whine about it. Must be a slow day for new.

    July 30, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  6. Mark

    Words can't describe how ridiculous of an article this is!

    July 30, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  7. Chris

    This is why we need term limits on Congress!!! He should be trying to read the healthcare bill and trying to get it passed instead of worrying about BEER!!!
    Also to CNN and other news agencies, report on news that matters not crap like this!!!

    July 30, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  8. Scarlett

    In the world of beer drinkers everyone has a favorite and it may not be the one that local brewers think they should drink. And, in this instance it is only to get free advertising for a local brewer. Give it a rest.

    July 30, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  9. Lil

    Now this is taking it way too far! Let the men choose the beer of their choice, since it's not about the beer, but about the outcome.

    This is not news worthy at ALL.

    July 30, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  10. MikeinNC

    I never thought I would see the day that I would be saying this, but I finally have to grudgingly agree with Phil Gramm's comments from a year or two ago – we have become a nation of whiners.

    July 30, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  11. Carlos

    Great, what time does happy hour start now at 1600 Penn Ave at the new uhbummer bar and grill. Do the have fried chicken and watermellon too?

    July 30, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  12. Jon

    Is this a joke? We're actually paying people like this Neal guy to worry about what kind of beer the president is drinking? He should be ashamed to take tax-payer money.

    July 30, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  13. Jim

    Seriously what's next? A discuss of the brand of toilet paper they each use after they relieve themselves?

    July 30, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  14. william gair

    Oh give me a break!

    July 30, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  15. Obama=Trickle up Poverty

    What a waste of time, tax payer dollars etc. This whole thing is ridiculous and NONE of Obamas business. There must be more important things for our president to be doing.

    July 30, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  16. Craig in Washington

    Sam Adams is OK. But I like some of our NW beers better. Black Butte Porter is great! So is Alaskan Amber Ale. Serve one of those.

    July 30, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  17. Dan

    You have to be kidding me, they're debating what kind of beer?
    Our gov't at work, wasting time/money and effort on such a moot point.
    Richard Neal...get a life.
    Should it be served on a red or blue tray? amazing.

    July 30, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  18. cm

    This is idiotic!!!!

    July 30, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  19. Carl

    Wow, I thought the largest American Brewing company was Pabst, but hey, what do I know. It was a big deal when Budweiser sold out.

    July 30, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  20. DickCT

    Beck's is a fine choice as well as Heineken. All others are just horse pizz.

    Samuel Adams? YUCK!
    Budweiser? YUCK!
    Coors? YUCK!

    July 30, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  21. Laura

    You know something? Some of you really need to get a life!!!! Who cares what beer Obama picked? For that matter, since Obama has been in office, how much coverage has been given to people losing their homes, jobs, etc.? Are you going to wonder next what toilet paper he uses? Give it up, people!!! Enough, already!!

    July 30, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  22. LLL

    Is this congressman serious? Is CNN serious? Why do we even need to know what beer they choose to drink?! Any mention of what pretzels or chips may be served? Now that would be news.

    July 30, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  23. Jim H

    With all that is going on in this country now they squabble over what kind of beer to serve at a stupid meeting. Kick the bums out.

    July 30, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  24. Scott

    Seriously, we don't have more important things to discuss in this country than what beer to serve at a meeting at the White House. Last time I checked, we had two wars ongoing, an Economic meltdown, an energy crisis and problems with the sky rocketing costs of health care. How about we focus on something a little more important. This is not news and not important.

    July 30, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  25. Alfred E. Neumann

    Perhaps they can rename whatever beer they drink 'Stupid' in honor of the POTUS.

    July 30, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
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