On this day in 2008, Barack Obama became the first African American elected to the United States Presidency. “Woah… Hang on a second. You know better than to discuss politics in a bar, dude!” Bear with me, I’m going somewhere with this.
Lest I bear the brunt of angry letters to the editor again – something that hasn’t happened in four years, mind you – I assure you that this isn’t a political screed nor am I acting as a pundit for one side or the other. This is about being American and loving beer.
Out on the campaign trail, Mr. Obama stopped by a craft bar in the Carolinas, I think it was. When offered a myriad selection of IPAs and obscure imports he opted instead for simplicity. “I’ll take a PBR, if you don’t mind.”
Our President also has a home brewing kit in The White House. His chefs make three different beers for him and his staff putting to use honey collected from beehives on the property’s South Lawn! And a few months ago at the G7 Summit held in Germany, Chancellor Merkel treated him to a Bavarian breakfast of sausage and beer.
Point is, this is the first standing President since the Founding Fathers to be so closely associated with making and enjoying beer. Our Commander In Chief, our 8-year face of America, the leader of the free world… and he’s not so stuck up that he won’t knock back a cold one.
Agree or disagree with the policies and decisions of the last seven years, one thing is certain. Mr. Obama’s election has gotten the left and the right politically charged again! Americans have become more actively involved in politics since the 2008 election. People are scrutinizing their candidates, following debates, volunteering and making sure they’re part of the decision. This is what American participatory government is all about.
One of my favorite and enduring American images has always been WWII nose cone art. B-17s and 29s charging through the sky; a symbol of strength and might juxtaposed with pin-up art emblazoned across the side. Beauty to the bomber’s beast, it’s what they were fighting for, what they were hoping to go home to.
Symbolism and perception. To me a ’45 Boeing says “American spirit” while a President who drinks beer says “relatable everyman.”
I’m sure The Prez would be willing to share a Props Brewing Blonde Bomber with me if I asked nicely. This modest Ft. Walton Beach business represents the can-do attitude of America, expanding from home brewing to brewery and grill in just a few short years. Our neighbors’ artwork stirred my patriotism while the beer captured my palate. Usually blonde ale is boring, but Props’ is hazy gold with a whipped egg white head. Not much happening on the nose; some raw pizza dough and toasted grain. The flavors stand out against the pack, though, with sweet, honeyed malt plus herbal hops, Clementine orange, lemon tea and a touch of Capt. Crunch cereal in a long, lingering finish.
Happy anniversary, Mr. President. Leave a couple of cold ones in the fridge for Bernie when he gets there. “Dude! You weren’t supposed to go there!”