Beer, Olympics, Harper and Obama

It turns out that Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper had more than national pride riding on yesterday’s excellent Olympic Gold Medal hockey game. If the United States had won, Harper would have owed Obama a case of Yuengling beer. As it turns out, Obama owes Harper a case of Molson.

Molson? Yuengling?

Neither is what any beer snob would describe as the best offering of their respective countries. And, while Yuengling carries a certain cache because of the brewery’s age and restricted distribution, Molson is as common as tap water in Canada, and is a subsidiary of the multinational Molson Coors.

Did Obama really yearn for a case of Yuengling? Did Harper feel extra passion about the game because of his chances at a case of Molson?

But, while I quibble about the choices, Obama does deserve some credit for relying on beer in matters of peripheral national urgency, as he did with the multi-branded “Beer Summit” after a Harvard professor had a run-in with a police officer.

Not every beer needs to be a great beer, and beer snobbery is less important than simple enjoyment. I hope Harper gets his case of beer, and enjoys it with some friends. I hope Obama goes ahead and gets himself some Yuengling, if that’s what he’s got a hankering for.

(Yesterday’s hockey game was a really great game. Checking on both sides of the ice, hustling after every puck, a last-minute tie and overtime. Plus, as much as I wanted the US to win, in my heart of hearts, I don’t begrudge Canada a victory in hockey.)

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