I’m amused and impressed by the media connections between beer and voters. Willamette Week recently did a piece entitled “The President of Beers,” which got mixed reviews. The article selected a popular micro-brew from each state and ranked them from 1 to 50 (Deschutes Black Butte Porter came in 7th). I liked it, probably because it supports my theory that most of the best-selling micro-brews in the United States, are sweet: ambers, bocks, and brown ales. I’ve always found this baffling, and we’ll explore this further in later posts.
President Obama’s beer of choice, Yuengling, placed dead last in WW’s rankings, but at least the man drinks beer. Politicos have been making much of this, claiming that the old poll question: “who would you rather have a beer with?” can never work for Romney and he will thus never close the “beer gap.” There is even speculation that Obama is mentioning beer on purpose to highlight the difference.
Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, was quick to mention his favorite Wisconsin beers in his August acceptance speech. Critics pointed out that Ryan managed to get most of the electorate in his choices: a micro brew sold only in Wisconsin and brewed by an Obama supporter (New Glarus’s Spotted Cow, which incidentially made it to #33 on WW’s list), a local lager popular in his youth brewed by a family with strong Republican ties (Leinekugel’s), and the everyman brand of Miller.
The blogsphere has semi-erupted in posts on what your beer choices say about your party affiliation. Heineken and Corona drinkers are overwhelmingly Democrat while Sam Adams drinkers are overwhelmingly Republican. I even found a chart on Brewvana correlating blue states and brew states, noting that the 25 most densly brewed states (i.e.those that brew a lot of craft beer) all went for Obama in 2008.
Beer and politics have always mixed. At least two of our most beloved lawmakers (bringing it back to the law, people) gave us the finest quotes about beer:
Benjamin Franklin: “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”
Abraham Lincoln: “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.”**
Truer words were never spoken, Abe.
*In homage to my favorite bumper sticker of all time: I play the accordion and I vote!
**Okay, the attribution to Lincoln is iffy. Still an awesome quote.