Politics

Obama offers luncheon guests a cold one to go

In what may be President Obama’s version of a peace pipe, the commander-in-chief handed political leaders a parting gift of White House beer as they left a luncheon at the White House Friday afternoon.

House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Minority Whip Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, were spotted leaving 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with brown bags bearing the White House seal. The meeting – which included leaders from both parties dining on herb-encrusted sea bass and endive salad in the Old Family Dining Room – was billed as an attempt to find common ground after a particularly nasty midterm election.

It was capped with the beer gift bag, according to Fox News sources. And to sweeten the pot, they weren’t just any old beers but the White House’s own home brew.

It’s no secret of course -- the White House boasted about not only the recipe but posted a video of its sudsy enterprise on its website in 2012. The beer, which comes in White House Honey Ale, Honey Blond and Honey Porter, is brewed in the White House kitchens and fermented and distilled in the White House cellar.

Sam Kass, Obama’s senior policy adviser for nutrition policy, explained at the time in the blog post that Obama was “inspired by home brewers from across the country,” and had purchased a home brewing kit for the kitchen. “To be honest, we were surprised that the beer turned out so well since none of us had brewed beer before,” he said.

And there’s history in those hops: “As far as we know the White House Honey Brown Ale is the first alcohol brewed or distilled on the White House grounds,” Kass wrote. “However George Washington brewed beer and distilled whiskey at Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson made wine but there's no evidence that any beer has been brewed in the White House. (Although we do know there was some drinking during prohibition…)”

But not everyone is a beer drinker and Obama knows it, vowing to sit down with Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for a glass of Kentucky bourbon sometime soon.

“If the ways that we’re approaching the Republicans in Congress isn’t working, I’m going to try different things — whether it’s having a drink with Mitch McConnell or letting John Boehner beat me again at golf,” he told a press conference.