After the bare-knuckled brawl that was the Republican debate last night -- complete with yelling, dick size jokes, and preening -- it's time for beer comps for the candidates.
First, a note. I'm not a citizen, and though I keep up, I'm not into the minutae of each candidate. So this is a gloss-level approach that won't delve too deep. If you disagree, provide your own comp, preferably without discussing the shape of my genitalia! I think this is possible, people, if we dream.
The first was done for us! That's great. I think it fits, too.
"A slightly sour, forward-thinking ale." @BernieSanders beer is here. We're talking about it #LiveOnK2 this AM. pic.twitter.com/jBUMbsb8r1— Brian Wood (@BrianWoodKATU) March 2, 2016
This makes sense. The Berliner Weisse is an old style from socialist Europe and Bernie Sanders is a old man and an unabashed throwback to socialist policies. That the beer itself is tart makes sense. It's forward-thinking in that there hasn't been a ton of socialism in American history, unless you count highways, and yet it's rooted in history. Well, done Bernie.
Zero Gravity Bernie Weisse Berliner Weisse
This one is tougher. She's old guard in that she's a Clinton and has been in politics for a while. She's new in that she's a woman. Let's take an old style that's not too heavy -- she has policies, but doesn't bog her appearances down with a ton of specifics from what I've seen -- but also a new twist on an old style. She's not about brow-beating or being in your face, either, so it shouldn't be high in alcohol or hops. It can't be a whale, either. She's everywhere. Boom. How about an old German style that has been repurposed in a sweeter way recently?
Anderson Valley Blood Orange Gose
Cruz may look like a suit full of slightly-deflated party balloons, but he used to have fun. We have proof. He was once pulled over and ticketed for having a trunk full of cheap beer. Which is just about right for the right-right candidate, right? I mean, he's not going to be drinking a Cantillon St. Lamvinus with a pinky up, I don't think. His geography of beer suggests that he's either a Coors Light or Bud Light man, and I just don't think he has much in common with The Bandit.
Rubio seems like a softer Cruz. Underneath he's about the same. He's anti-choice, pro death penalty, and anti-gay marriage just like Cruz. However. He's no chauvinist, he's said, so maybe he won't ban abortion entirely. And he's against gay marriage, but it's the law of the land. He's surprisingly tough on immigration for the son of immigrants, but he's also softer than Cruz. How do you get softer than Bud Light, though? By recasting the softness as a twist. A very slight twist.
Margaritaville Landshark Lager
Going into this, I thought Kasich was a softer Republican. He presents himself as such in the debates, at least. But read down his stances on the issues, and he looks fairly indistinguishable from the two above. But the fact that he talked about having friends in the Middle East at least makes him more Dove-ish than the Hawks he's surrounded by. He also favors congressional debate before sending in ground troops, which is probably more radical than it sounds. Let's give him a little credit for being different at least on one issue, while still nominally sharing the same values as his competitors for the nomination.
Firestone Walker Pivo Pils
This one is really hard. Not only is this man a bloviator to the nth degree, and not only does it really appear that there's little behind the curtain, and not only has he changed his mind on many crucial issues in the past, but he also doesn't drink. That's alright, it's just a beer comp, not a beer he needs to drink. Here's a comp that may appear out of left field but checks all the boxes -- the style of this beer changes every year, it's bold, it inspires debate, and it's from the North East. Is it bold enough? Is it loud enough? Is the label too classy? You decide.
The Week in BeerGraphs
Last Week's Beer Today, as a crib sheet for Hawaiian beer.
The Geography of Lite Beer with a nice heat map.
Shane Jones of E9 Brewery talks sours with Casey McLain.
It's your anniversary, Shirt.