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Sunday, August 02, 2009

Brewtality

Belated congratulations are in order, I suppose, for the media's comparative restraint on Obama's silly-ass beer summit. What an epic circle-jerk that whole thing was. One would have ordinarily expected much more fulminating about the president's choice of beer, one of those usual can't-win-for-losing deals like mustard or cheese. Pick something "regular" and you're fake, or trying too hard; pick something that actually has some taste and quality and the yew-thank-yer-better'n-me yahoos start climbing the walls. But he had a Budweiser, currently produced by a Belgian company. I doubt Obama is much of a beer-drinker to begin with, but does anyone really think he drinks Bud? (Of course, I'm sure the "birthers" are cracking wise with malt-liquor jokes; we'd expect nothing less from them.)

Maybe it's a California thing, but Budweiser is typically imbibed by hicks and migrant workers around here. Sure, Bud Light has more universal appeal, and is great for keg stands and frat parties, but that's a different animal. It's just strange how even the simple choice of a preferred beer conveys a perception of status for some people. Speaking for myself, I like microbrews, I like something with some craft and quality to it, I like dark, heavy beers sometimes, and there's always someone who'll make a face when I grab a Sierra Nevada Porter, while they choke down some Natural Light swill, fuckin' swamp water that's already been passed through a hobo. Keystone Light. I mean, that's gotta be like ass-eating Kate Gosselin or something, you know? You could lick envelopes and postage stamps with more character and taste than some of these beers.

I dunno. If he wanted to go for symbolism, I think Obama could have gotten some real mileage out of a more adventurous choice of brew, instead of playing it safe. It's nice to have a premier brewery in our backyard up here in the NorCal, but Sierra Nevada really does run a quality operation from the top down, and have been forerunners in everything Obama purports to stand for -- ethical business practices; paying workers a decent wage and treating them very well (they have an extremely low turnover rate, and job openings there are highly competitive); exceptional employee benefits and health care; green business practices (everything from solar panels in the parking lot to innovative wastewater treatment systems) -- they actually walk the talk.

They've even gotten in on the locavore movement, and are about to release a new ale made entirely from locally-grown hops and barley. And they're not a "microbrewery" (with the snide connotation of elitism the faux populists so enjoy) by any means -- in 2005 they were the tenth-largest brewery in the country, and with Anheuser Busch owned by the Belgians and Miller owned in part by the Canadians, at this point SNBC is the second-largest "craft" brewer (behind only Boston Beer Company, who still use Stroh's facilities to crank out Samuel Adams), and certainly one of the top five American-owned-and-operated breweries.

For a guy who rode into town with promises of creative thinking and solutions, he seems not to think outside the bottle much. After hanging out with Goldman Sachs scumbags for so long, it might be a refreshing palate-cleanser to check out a business with some ethical practices.

2 comments:

The Vile Scribbler said...

I mean, that's gotta be like ass-eating Kate Gosselin or something, you know?

You fucker. I hope you have a recurring dream for the next week about having hot monkey sex with your elementary school lunchlady.

Joe Blow said...

why the long face?

anyhoo I agree that the beer choice is a metaphor for Obama's admin: uninspired.

same old wine, slightly more spoiled, served in a darker bottle.

I mean Sam Adams would have been a layup... and a Rolling Rock would be more to his taste perhaps..

and you can't go wrong with a Yuengling Porter or half and half.