Obama’s Beer Summit: For a True Show of Unity, They’d Drink a Pitcher of Whatever’s on Tap

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What beer will they drink? That’s been the big question around the meeting of President Obama, Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Cambridge police officer James Crowley to discuss race relations in the aftermath of Gates’ arrest.

Word is Obama will go with Bud Light, Gates is picking Red Stripe, and Crowley is a Blue Moon man. None of these is a strictly American-owned, American-made beer, which has upset some American brewers. Massachusetts’ brewers were hoping that, since two locals were the guests, perhaps they’d drink beer made in the Bay State, but no luck. Beer is a frequent topic at the Cheapskate Blog: I admitted to paying good money for an occasional Sam Adams (which happens to be an all-American brew), while Jeff Yeager, author of The Ultimate Cheapskate, favors Steel Reserve. And since everyone else is weighing in on what this awkward trio should drink, I’ll offer an opinion as well.

If you’re getting together with the boys—and especially if there’s been some bad blood—the best way to bond is over a pitcher of beer. Whatever’s on tap. Whatever there’s a special on, seeing as I am a cheapskate. (Are there specials at the White House?)

If nothing’s on tap at the White House, perhaps they might split one of the new mini-kegs profiled by the WSJ. The 1.5-gallon “Home Draft” from MillerCoors has been introduced in certain parts of the country. Now let’s do some beer math, for cheapskate’s sake: 1.5 gallons equals 192 fluid ounces, which is about 16 beers. Since a “Home Draft” retails for $20, it makes more financial sense just to buy a case of Miller Lite. Splitting a mini-keg is probably a lot more fun, though—more of a bonding experience, for sure.

In all honesty, however, I’m not sure of the etiquette for today’s event. I’ve never had a beer with someone who has arrested me. Or with a Harvard professor or the president, for that matter.