So the so-called "White House Beer Summit" occurred today. As a beer commentator I would of course be remiss not to offer some analysis on this.
However, it appears a number of different political commentary blogs have already thoroughly analyzed it, so instead I'll just point you to the best of those that I have found.
The basic breakdown is this. Beer choices:
|Barack Obama||Bud Light|
|Sgt. Crowley||Blue Moon|
|Professor Gates||Red Stripe|
For a summit on racial undertones, the choices were actually rather unfortunate. Red Stripe is a Jamaican lager, Jamaica being a country of almost entirely black population. Blue Moon, a product of the Coors brewing company, is a Belgian Ale ... specifically a Belgian White Ale. Hrmmmmmm oops.
Anyway, the above linked more thorough review is worth the read in my opinion.
There was also another one that didn't really say anything new except it had Gates' second choice (Beck's) and analysis of that ("Either way, while both in the lager/pilsner/watery camp, these beers exist at the polar ends of the brand spectrum, suggesting a bifurcated sense of self ... Having trouble choosing between a Red Stripe and a Beck's is like looking up from a menu and saying to the waiter, "I can't decide between the jerk chicken or the bratwurst." Or, in Professor Gates' case, I can't decide whether to politely ask you to leave my house, or threaten to blitzkrieg your career.")
furzicle brought up another good point though. Upon hearing of this upcoming summit the heads of the various beer companies must have looked at eachother and said "holy shit there hasn't been so prominent a drinking of a few cold ones in this country in decades! We NEED to make sure it's OUR drink they're drinking!" So in rushes the beer lobby all up in everyone involved's business ... and voila Budweiser and Coors are each there.
Beer Summits: They Can Work For YOU
Actually, long before today's famous incident, I was already making use of the political beer summit. Back in my student government days when I was the Chief Justice of the Associated Students of UC Davis (ASUCD was no small potatoe, they had a $9.8 million dollar budget!) I twice used "I'll buy you a beer" to diffuse major political tensions (such as when Senator Roy tried to impeach me!), and I distinctly remember telling my successor about the tactic's usefulness.