To alcohol! The cause of – and solution to – all of life’s problems. –Homer Simpson
What do you do when a racially charged situation comes to a head? (Ha. Ha.) You pour the parties involved a cold one. I’ve never heard of Beer Diplomacy, but somehow, Obama is making it work. Or is he? There’s been so much fuss over what kind of beer will be served at the Gates-Crowley meeting today, almost to the point of ridiculousness. I can see why domestic brewers are all up in arms about the focus on the foreign beers the three parties picked–Red Stripe, Blue Moon and Budweiser–and I do agree there are better picks out there (me, I wouldn’t touch Bud with an 11-ft. pole, sorry). But I guess we can’t help what we like.
Then again, beer isn’t exactly an American invention. Like the hamburger, hotdog and baseball, beer’s origins can be traced way back before America was even born. Maybe because I was born and raised in Canada (lovingly referred to by some people here as “America’s Hat”) before moving to the States, I don’t see what the big deal is about. After all, if I were in a potentially awkward meeting, I’d want to get as buzzed as quickly as possible on my favorite brew, too, to take the edge off.
From a taste perspective, though, I do see why the great beer debate has been the topic du jour. I have to say these choices are kind of disappointing in general, as there are a lot of great beers out there, both foreign and domestic. I have a special place in my heart for Blue Moon, which I ordered during my first date with my boyfriend, Dr. J, but there are more exciting choices. Not that I claim to be a big beer connoisseur or anything. But if I were trying to diffuse a politically volatile situation, my beer summit would include:
1. Drake’s Brewing Co. in San Leandro, CA. I’ve only had their award-winning IPAs, but from what I tasted, it’s pretty darn good. Plus, IPAs have a higher alcohol content because they have more hops. These suckers will have you proclaiming your love for everyone in the room after downing three or four bottles if you’re a happy drunk.
2. Lindeman’s Framboise Lambic, made by Lindeman’s, a company based in a Belgian city I can’t pronounce. It’s a nice, light, raspberry fruit beer. What’s that you say? Fruit beer, is for girls? Beer Advocate magazine gave it an A-minus rating–not too shabby. Real men drink fruit beer, I say.
3. Guinness. There, I said it. I may be in the minority of women out there who like this brew, revered by generations of drunk frat boys and English pubbers. Add a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream and Jameson’s Irish whisky and you’ve either got the solution to world peace or a big, knock-down, drag-out brawl. Calories be damned, this is a fun beer.
4. Anderson Valley Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema. This is the ideal summer beer, put out by the good folks at Anderson Valley Brewing out in Boonville, California. It’s crisp and refreshing, although a little hard to come by at your local liquor store. SO worth the search, though!
5. Rogue Brewery Chocolate Stout. A genius invention from the folks at Rogue Ales in Newport, Oregon. Again, most women may not dig stouts all that much, citing heaviness and calorie content, but add chocolate to anything and we’ll come a knockin’. It’s made with imported Dutch bittersweet chocolate, so you get that rich creaminess, but it’s not pure sweetness all the way through, which is nice.
Too bad it’s 11am, otherwise I’d pour myself a cold one. A coffee stout, perhaps? At any rate, I hope this whole Beer Summit thing works out. If beer doesn’t bring people together, I don’t know what will.