‘Beer Summit’ Flap Draws More Attention to Already-Divisive Issue

In response to his comment that the officer’s actions were “stupid,” President Obama invited Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and James Crowley to the White House for beers. Now, as The Wall Street Journal reports, even that move is causing some uproar.

As it turns out, no American-owned beers will be served. According to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, Red Stripe, Blue Moon, and Bud Light are on tap. The first is brewed by Diageo PLC of London, the second by a partnership majority owned by SABMiller of London (even more ironic considering SAB stood for South African Breweries), and the last is now brewed by the Brazilian-Belgian-US conglomerate Anheuser-Busch InBev NV.

Among those breweries raising complaints over the selection: Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams, Twisted Tea), Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, and Genesee Brewery. For the companies’ official comments, see Robert Tomsho’s article “White House ‘Beer Summit’ Becomes Something of a Brouhaha.”

In defense of the President and his guests, the selection represents their personal preferences, as Mr. Gibbs pointed out. Let’s just hope that some cold brews and frank discussion with the president can bring some resolution to the situation in Cambridge. Already, that city’s mayor has called the incident a “turning point.”