Frothy Diplomacy: What Beer Will Obama Choose for White House Meeting?

The president hopes to ease race-relations tensions over a cold beer.

ByABC News
July 27, 2009, 6:01 PM

July 28, 2009— -- The easy part for President Obama might have been getting Cambridge, Mass., police Sgt. James Crowley and Harvard University scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. to accept his invitation to the White House for a beer.

Now comes the hard part: finding just the right beer for the occasion.

Does the president choose a lager for Thursday's gathering? A porter? Maybe a wheat beer? Does he pick something light to help the men with the Washington, D.C., summer heat?

Whatever the president picks, it is likely to be closely watched and could even help propel a lesser-known beer into the mainstream.

"In the summertime people want something maybe just a little bit lighter, more refreshing. They're not going to go for a heavier stout or nut brown," said Steen Sawyer, general manager of John Harvard's Brew House a few steps away from Harvard's campus in Cambridge.

Donna Brazile, an ABC News political consultant, suggested Boston-brewed Sam Adams. The beer is sold everywhere from police bars to academic haunts.

"Honestly, I am a wine drinker and find common ground with beer could be tough," Brazile added. "Who knows, the two might decide to have iced tea. It's hot outside."

Choosing a drink is not an easy decision for politicians. During the heated Democratic primary in Pennsylvania Hillary Clinton pounded back a shot of Crown Royal whiskey and chased it with a beer. Obama visited a sports bar and sampled a Yuengling after making sure it wasn't ''some designer beer.''

This time around the president might instead choose to highlight a beer from his hometown of Chicago.

Goose Island, the city's largest brewery, provided the only beer at Obama's election night celebration in Grant Park, according to Anthony Bowker, the brewer's chief operating officer.