Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Beer, Politics, and Paul Ryan

brandchannel proves that despite President Obama's beer summit (and today's Buds he bought at the Iowa State Fair), despite Hilary Clinton knocking back a Blue Moon (and a shot of Crown Royal!), and President Bush being a teetotaler, beer isn't non-partisan, that -- like the Irish-Americans who insist that you have choose Jameson or Bushmills depending on who you are, rather than how it tastes -- if you mention the wrong beer, you screwed up politically.

See, when Paul Ryan accepted Romney's announcement of him as his running mate, he said, "My veins run with cheese, bratwurst, and a little Spotted Cow, Leinie's, and some Miller." (You can hear it on the video at 1:58.) Mmmm, a Wisconsin native (5th generation, he said) who likes beer: not surprising! But everything means something, at least when it's presidential politics. Leinie's, of course, is Leinenkugel, the Wisconsin family brewery that was bought by...Miller back in the 1990s. So brandchannel lets us know that the Leinenkugel family is Republicans.

They also tell us that "...as an aging Wisconsin drinker, Ryan can be forgiven for including Miller." Because Miller is now SABMiller, part of the London-based world brewer...but then, they're also part of the MillerCoors joint venture (based in Chicago). So maybe what's more important is that Miller is still made in the big Milwaukee brewery. At least, that's probably what's important to the people who work there. (I hear the election is about jobs.)

But the big ho-ho is that Spotted Cow is made by New Glarus, and the Careys, who own New Glarus and are making a huge Wisconsin success out of it, are very much Obama Democrats, and opponents of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, who the Democrats tried to recall earlier this year. So it appears that Ryan is clueless, right?

Well...I'd say brandchannel is clueless, because beer doesn't really give a damn, and a good beer drinker shouldn't either. When it comes down to drinking it, and the beer's good, beer isn't partisan. If you can tell if a beer's liberal or conservative just by tasting it, you're -- well, I was about to say you're better than I am, but to be honest? You're crazy.

Let's keep politics out of beer, because as I've learned in 30 years of drinking non-mainstream beer, you can't tell anything about a brewer's politics from their hopping rates. Let's leave that to the pundity types, and keep politics out of beer. Just a suggestion.

8 comments:

Unknown said...

Maybe he should have said that he loves Chick fil sandwich washed down with a Spotted Cow - that would have put them in a tizzy!

Jon Binkley said...

Born and raised near Golden, CO, I can't remember politics ever NOT being associated with beer!

Alan said...

"Let's keep politics out of beer..." I would say the same thing in the opposite way. Like hot dogs and kissing babies, beer needs to be in all politics as normal.

Scoats said...

9Maybe beer can in be politics as a way to bring us together. Some people try very hard to make it an us vs. them thing in this country, when it reality we are all in it together. Those people seem to be winning at the moment, so let's show them by having a couple of beers together and agreeing to disagree.

Steven said...

If he was really cool he'd have said Fat Squirrel, or even Two Women.

;-)

Russ said...

I agree with Alan, and I think beer will ALWAYS be in politics because it's the easiest way to humanize somebody.

Oh, and Steve... A friend recently posted a picture of some New Glarus beers she brought back from Wisconsin and she had a bottle of Two Women right next to a bottle of Totally Naked. And people say lagers are boring. ;-)

Jeff Alworth said...

As an erstwhile political blogger, I do my best to keep beer and politics separate. The two actually run in opposite directions. Politics is the art of adversarial competitions--parties compete to convince voters of winning ideas. It necessarily--by design--divides them. Beer, the great drink of the everyman, does just the opposite: it brings people together.

I guess, since the country makes a social war out of everything, I'm more with Lew. I don't care if the man who brews my beer votes Romney, Obama, or Ron Paul. If he brews good beer, he's a friend of mine.

Lew Bryson said...

" If he brews good beer, he's a friend of mine."

Ahem... Or if she brews good beer.

Nice summing up.