News You Can Booze

Did Obama Really Order a Nonalcoholic Beer?

Cheers! Photo: Markus Schreiber/AP/Corbis

Generally, President Obama’s beer taste is unremarkable (Bud Light at the Beer Summit, Guinness in Ireland), but everyone is interested in the weissbier he drank with German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday, ahead of the the G-7 summit.

The reason, it would appear, is because he knocked the half-liter back at 11 a.m. local time, telling the crowd, “There’s never a bad day for a beer” a full hour before the start of an acceptable boozing hour back home. Cue the controversy: “Why is Obama drinking beer at 11am?” the Telegraph wondered, a story dutifully retweeted by the Drudge Report:

But then, local mayor Thomas Schwarzenberger told a Dutch news agency that German and U.S. officials both asked the town to serve only nonalcoholic beer, which seems like it could be the end of the presumed scandal.

Except, in a shocking twist, a spokesperson from Karg (the brewery) told The Guardian: “It was 5 percent proof, with an original gravity of 11 percent, and like all German beer, it was brewed according to 500-year-old purity laws.” It seems that the company doesn’t even make a nonalcoholic version. Either way, the ship has sailed — what Obama and Merkel drank has already been renamed the “Summit Weissbier.”

Naturally, reporters have harassed White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, who hasn’t clarified the mystery outside of saying Obama doesn’t do nonalcoholic beer: “I’m not aware of what kind of beer the president was served, but I’m confident that he did not order a nonalcoholic beer. I don’t know what he was eventually served, but I would be very, very surprised if he ordered a nonalcoholic beer, even after an overnight flight on a Sunday morning.”


Did Obama Really Order a Nonalcoholic Beer?