2009: A Year in Beer

Last year was a momentous one for politics, the economy, and health care. It was also an interesting year for beer. InBev bought Anheuser Busch in a hostile takeover, forming by far the largest global beer giant in all of history and reducing the number of major, national breweries that are American-owned down to zero. At the same time, there are more breweries in America than there have been in a hundred years and almost all of them are small and locally owned.

America elected President Barack Obama, signaling our desire to participate more cooperatively and thoughtfully in diplomacy, both domestically and on the world stage, while taking a stride toward overcoming our heritage of racism. My favorite photo exemplifying both of these impulses is one in which Obama, a Harvard professor, and a Boston cop sit down to work out their differences the way any smart, civilized men should: by drinking beers together on the lawn. And other than the issues of racism and police abuse, what was the other most heated point of contention during this so-called Beer Summit: which beers would they each drink? The cop went for Blue Moon, a flavorful faux craft produced by Coors; the professor went for hometown fave Sam Adams; and Obama went for the beer least likely to offend, Bud Light.

But I like the one below just as much, of Obama hoisting one with the ladies. Not sure who those ladies are — googling didn’t turn up any captioned versions of this image. So for all practical purposes, this is the President of the United States of America drinking beer with the people in what appears to be a small town brewpub. That, my friends, is the world we live in today. I call this progress. And yes, it does give me hope.

Cheers to a healthy, wealthy, and wise 2010!


4 Responses to 2009: A Year in Beer

  1. Jim says:

    I always enjoy your website (well, when it isn’t completely DC-centric) and particularly enjoyed this article.

    I would love it if you would do an article on organic hops for the homebrewer sometime soon, specifically addressing the issue of transportation. I buy my hops from seven bridges – and many of their hops seem to come from New Zealand. Yes, its an interconnected world, but if I could find organic hops a little more local than that, it would seem like a good idea.

    In any case, thanks for the excellent blog and website!

  2. Kevin Burn says:

    Nice Article. That is a great graph from the Brewers Association.

    I do think however that Obama should have chose a domestic beer.

  3. […] Alternative entgegen zu stellen. Diese Tendenz ist übrigens in den USA voll entwickelt, wie der Beer Activist zu berichten weiss. Bereits im 19. Jahrhundert waren lokale Bierbrauereien, die zum Teil auch einen überregionalen […]

  4. Matt Sweeny says:

    I really like the comment about:

    “…there are more breweries in America than there have been in a hundred years and almost all of them are small and locally owned…”

    Any chance you can write more about this history of brewing and hops in Wisconsin?


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