Worst. Beer Summit. Ever.


Editor’s Note: After a year and a half indulging my nonstop food rants, the veggie gf, Alex, has finally gotten angry enough about something that she felt compelled to put it in blog form. What could have inspired this kind of simmering emotion? Well there are really only two things she gets this excited about: Barack Messiah Obama, and beer. Fortunately, today’s story involves both.

Like much of the nation, I’ve been following the story of Henry Louis Gates’s arrest and Obama’s subsequent media gaffe (sort of) with a fair amount of interest. But, being a big beer drinker and aspiring aficionado, in my opinion the most exciting thing to happen in the whole kerfuffle was yesterday’s so-called “beer summit.”  I love beer and I love talking out our differences and I mostly love Obama (even if he’s currently shirking his promise to federally fund needle exchange – sorry, unrelated Obama beef), so I eagerly refreshed the New York Times website until they gave me the deets I was looking for.

And then my jaw dropped.

Bud Light?  Seriously?

The cop, who I think is probably a pretty nice guy despite the bad rap he’s been given, drank a respectable Blue Moon; the veep is a teetotaler; and Professor Gates had a good old American Sam Adams (albeit a Sam Adams Light – not a beer drinker, are you Professor Gates?  That’s ok.)

But our president, who is NO LONGER in the running for Secretary of Taste in my book, drank a freaking Bud Light.

Come on Obama, at least go with a Yuengling.  Or give us a taste of some regional Chicago favorite brewed here in the US of A!  Give some press to a struggling mid-Atlantic family brewery!  Do something besides endorse a giant conglomerate that produces tasteless, below-average beer, and isn’t even American anymore!

So, Mr. Obama, I am officially inviting you up here to New Hampshire to sit in MY yard and drink a Long Trail or a Harpoon seasonal or my buddy Mike’s homebrew.  We can discuss needle exchange.  But mostly I just want you not to drink Bud Light anymore.

(Photo: NYT)

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  • Very Very Good Girl July 31, 2009  

    Your ‘rant’ could not be more on point since this had been labeled a beer summit & I totally agree. Taste to supporting local were clearly not considered in some of their choices. As some one who got excited seeing a Fat Tire truck in NC months back, and who’s other half almost invested in a new local brewery it fell flat. Hopefully the content of the meeting far exceeded the beverages.

  • Gansie July 31, 2009  

    Alex! Awesome fucking rant.
    Bud light was such a political choice. Very disappointed in mr. O and his teams decision. And I would have loved him to pick an underground Chicago brew. But I guess W left his legacy and folksy downhome shit still seems to be popular here.

  • Brian August 1, 2009  

    Not only is Budweiser owned by Anheuser Busch and a totally evil giant conglomerate, it’s made from effing rice. That’s 1) gross, and 2) I’m sure environmentally detrimental.

    PS – No research (besides spelling) went into this comment.

  • Yvo August 2, 2009  

    My question is, how many people would have shit on his choice had he drank a local-to-Chicago brew that perhaps was more unknown… but required special shipping into the White House for his personal consumption? “Oh, the President? What a snob, he has to have his own preferred brand of beer shipped special so he can drink it whenever he wants.”

    I’m not one of those people (who would say that if he’d chosen otherwise)… I actually don’t care what beer he drinks but it seems like that’s just me.

    PS Curiously, Colbert said Gates drank Red Strike, I’m not sure why. Ah well, I shouldn’t get my news from Comedy Central 😉

  • Alex August 2, 2009  

    @Yvo – Gates was going to drink Red Stripe but it was TOO POLITICAL because it was JAMAICAN. Pfft. Or so says the WSJ.

    Despite my suggestion, I would also have been somewhat disappointed if he had drunk a Chicago beer instead of a mid-Atlantic beer, because of the travel issue. But if he had been a real beer person he would have brought a four-year supply of his favorite microbrew with him.

  • Marc August 2, 2009  

    It’s too bad that respectable Blue Moon comes from a company whose majority owners are South African and Canadian. Whoops.

  • Nick August 3, 2009  

    I wonder how many man-hours went into selecting what beer he would ultimately drink at the summit? I bet it was an embarrassing amount.

    Bud light? Sheeesh.

  • JoeHoya August 3, 2009  

    The Red Stripe report was based on the original beverage lineup (apparently Prof. Gates’ favorite?). His Sam Adams was a game-day call.

    I am a beer drinker, and I’ll own it – I prefer Sam Adams Light to Sam Adams…it’s just a smoother drink.

    Smartest move would have been to bring in beers from Cap City Brewing Company. Points in its favor:
    -Locally-brewed (more environmentally friendly)
    -Locally-owned (supporting small business)
    -Not a national competitor (no playing favorites)
    -Variety of styles available (including a Blue Moon-like organic Belgian Witbier)

    Should have been a no-brainer.

  • Tim August 3, 2009  

    Obama should have drank goat’s urine!

  • Cara August 5, 2009  

    Well…. I drink Bud is that a crime??? I even drink it in Ireland! (cause Smitwicks just isn’t my thing).
    Now my question is, why didn’t he just drink Heineken! 😉

  • danielle August 9, 2009  

    does everything in your entire house come from companies that manufacture in the US exclusively?
    Some how I doubt that. Get off your high horse

  • JoeHoya August 10, 2009  

    The fact that Bud Light is no longer American wasn’t the only point in the post, danielle. In fact, the way it was written it comes off as an afterthought.

    Like it or not, Barack Obama’s actions have JUST A BIT more significance than the rest of ours because he is the President.

    When I buy a Big Mac, that’s just me making a lazy choice…and there are maybe two or three other people in the world who hear about it (unless I’m REALLY hurting for blog material).

    When the President buys a Big Mac, that is seen by many more people via news outlets and the internets. It may not have any significance, but there will always be people who ascribe significance to it because of his profile on the world stage.

    So it’s not getting on a high horse to criticize the President’s choice in beers at an event that was designed to be a publicity opportunity in the first place. It’s reminding him of the impact of his decisions – even the seemingly insignificant ones like what beer to drink.

    That being said, he’s welcome to continue to drink whatever the heck he wants…he just needs to own that choice and accept any potential backlash that comes from his choice.

  • Eliza September 12, 2009  

    As a teetotaler myself, I obviously have very little to contribute to this discussion. But your fervor reminded me of his dad jeans of a few months ago. I was similarly disappointed. Not that I am especially a jeans aficionado, but no one scrutinizes my husband’s jeans and there’s still no way I’d approve of him walking out in dad jeans (although he would not notice or care)…I guess Michelle doesn’t care as much as I do.

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