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A More Diplomatic Choice of Beer

According to published reports, President Obama has already iced down the beers for his meeting today with professor Henry Louis Gates and police Sgt. James Crowley, with the professor requesting Red Stripe, the police officer preferring Blue Moon (as in, "once in a...?") and Bud Light for the chief executive.

Samuel Adams Boston Lager, however, might have been a better choice for the message Obama wanted to get across, and not simply because the company is headquartered in Boston. Of course, there has been at least one poll. Here's why:

In 1770, British troops fired on a crowd of hecklers who were tossing snowballs at them. Among the dead was a black dock worker named Crispus Attucks.

The Boston press portrayed the victims as unruly rabble. But Samuel Adams (the patriot, not the beer) ardently defended the protesters, calling the killings the Boston Massacre and stirring up resentment that would erupt into the American Revolution. Attucks would go down in history books as the revolution's first martyr.

Eventually, Adams would be interred in Boston's Granary Burying Ground , also the final resting place for Attucks. A source from the Boston Beer Co. tells me that the men's burial plots are next to one another, an unusual arrangement for an age when segregation in life and death was the norm.
Instead of quaffing the lager, President Obama could convey an even more potent symbolism by serving a layered half-and-half with Samuel Adams Imperial White (a strong spiced ale) on the bottom and the lighter Samuel Adams Black Lager on top.

This beer cocktail would underscore the danger of making prejudicial assumptions: Most drinkers, after all, would assume that a dark beer is automatically stronger and heavier than a pale one and pour the former first. Slowly, the gold and ebony layers would bleed together into an amber, a symbol of racial integration and harmony . . . that is, unless the president and his guests were really thirsty and chugged their brews. Nothing wrong with that, either.

-- Greg Kitsock, who writes the Food section's monthly Beer column.

By The Food Section  |  July 30, 2009; 12:15 PM ET
 | Tags: Greg Kitsock, beer  
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If you're going to support a Boston brewery (Sam Adams is a contract brewer), I'd say make it a Harpoon! UFO Hefeweizen blows Blue Moon out of the water. And for the president, what could be more diplomatic than a Harpoon IPA. I'll leave the good professor to enjoy the Jamaican vibes, mon.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 30, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

With all due respect to the POTUS, if he chose a Bud Light, I don't think he'd be able to appreciate a Harpoon IPA.

Posted by: comish4lif | July 30, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

They say that Gates will choose a Red Stripe or a Becks, both of which are poser beers. I would expect someone who's obviously gone to grad school to have a better knowledge of beer.

The same goes for the President, but I'll give him that he studied Law and not History, so he won't be an expert. A regal choice would be the Deus from Belgium/France.

I just hope no one there drinks Bud Light with Lime.

Posted by: mario_lopresto | July 30, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

If they really want to get to the bottom of this, then they need to do it over some Coronas.

Posted by: LadeM | July 30, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

How about the Collaboration Not Litigation Ale, which combines ales from the Russian River and Avery breweries?

Posted by: jon666 | July 30, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I am like the president. I prefer my beer to brewed and borne right here in america
even tough the company was sold. I am a BUD
drinker myself, but to each is own drink whatever satifies you.

Posted by: marlolstevenson | July 30, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

It was John Adams (30 years before he was president), a cousin of Samuel Adams, who defended the British soldiers. Sam Adams is buried at Granary but John Adams is not.

Posted by: tmw4587 | July 30, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, i started out on the Lights before learning there was something better out there (it's called flavor). I was thinking India Pale Ale having a nice international flair to the name.

How about a round of Harpoon Summer Ale?


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 31, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

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