Marketplace Scratch Pad

Micro and macro beer-nomics

Scott Jagow Jul 29, 2009

As you probably know, President Obama has invited Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cambridge police Sergeant James Crowley to the White House for beers and hopefully, a reconciliation. The president has many tough decisions to make, but none may be tougher than this: what kind of beer should the White House serve?

The good people of Massachusetts certainly think it should be one of their microbrews. From the Boston Globe:

Dan Kenary, president and cofounder of Harpoon Brewery, said the Boston waterfront company has been pouring it on Washington, working every “back-door channel” it has.

“We’re reaching out quietly. . . . We’re trying to network our way in,” Kenary said. “We’d love to be the beer at this event.”

But Boston’s Sam Adams says it hasn’t made a bid to the White House. Gates apparently likes Jamaica’s Red Stripe or Germany’s Beck’s. Crowley has a taste for Blue Moon, a Belgian-style wheat brewed by Coors. Obama seems to prefer macrodomestics like Budweiser, although Bud was purchased last year by a foreign company, so you have American companies making foreign beers and foreign companies making American beers.

The hundreds of microbreweries across this great land believe it’d be a shame if the White House chose a macro like Bud or Miller or Coors:

“I wish he wouldn’t,” said Suzanne Schalow, manager and former bartender at Cambridge Common, a restaurant near Porter Square known for its beer selection. “I saw him drinking a PBR [Pabst Blue Ribbon] during the campaign and had tears in my eyes. . . . He’s so blessed to run a country with over 480 craft breweries; there’s no need to go macro.”

There are many foreign beers to recommend, but if the president is going to serve American, Sam Adams makes a nice summer ale. Harpoon brews its UFO Hefeweizen, and that’s pretty good for summertime drinking.

I also happen to love the Allagash White made by Maine’s Allagash brewery, the Ommegang Witte brewed in Cooperstown, New York, Widmer Hefeweizen of Portland, Oregon, and Great White made by the Lost Coast brewery in Eureka, California.

Hailing from western New York originally, I’m also partial to Genesee Cream Ale, brewed in Rochester. It’s cheap beer, too, which perhaps should be an important factor for the White House, don’t ya think?

The following beers may or may not get consideration:

If things go well… Sweetwater Happy Ending Imperial Stout.

If they don’t… La Fin du Monde. It means “The End of the World” in French.

Or perhaps he could serve “Yep, Still Boneheads,” brewed at Coors Field in Denver.

And if things get out of hand, there’s always the “I’ll Have What The Gentleman On The Floor Is Having Barley Wine”, brewed by McGuire’s Irish Pub in Pensacola, Florida.

It’s not too late to get your vote in…

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