When Jimmy Carter occupied the White House, his n'er-do-well brother, Billy, took advantage of his nearness to greatness to come up with his own beverage, a little something called "Billy Beer."
With Barack Hussein Obama getting close to snaring the Democratic Party nod to make the same leap as Jimmy Carter, a Brooklyn brewery is using his nearness to greatness to peddle "Hop Obama" ale in both New York and Massachusetts.
Sixpoint Craft Ales has just begun distributing the limited-edition beer. The 30-keg supply is estimated to be large enough to last only through the rest of the Democratic primary activities, which run through April 22.
Sixpoint brewmaster Shane Welch said that, in keeping with the Illinois senator's unifying theme, the "Hop Obama" is an indefinable ale that doesn't adhere to traditional style guidelines. The 5.2% ABV creation contains five different kinds of European crystal malt and three different kinds of Pacific Northwest Hops. It also includes a Scottish yeast strain for fermentation.
"Although we do not intend this beer to be a direct Sixpoint endorsement of Obama," Welch said, "we believe the delicious and refreshing quality it represents reminds us of the senator's successful grassroots campaign that positively blossoms each and every day."
The Brooklyn brew no doubt will be merely a tiny footnote in brewing and political history -- unless, of course, Obama becomes president and Sixpoint continues making the brew.
Billy Carter became a tiny footnote when his beer venture went bust, he had to sell his house to pay off back taxes, and he went public with his alcoholism before dying of pancreatic cancer in 1988 at the age of 51.
Meanwhile, in Kenya, the ancestral land of Obama's father, sales and consumption of something called "Senator" beer are hitting records.
The brew, named for Obama after his visit to the African nation and his success in a string of U.S. primaries, is being downed at victory parties and in taverns all across the land.
Here's a CNN report on the African "Senator" beer phenomenon:
What of Obama opponent Hilary Rodham Clinton when it comes to alcoholic products? More of a sweet tooth thing, as I reported on my "Taste for Travel" site a year ago.
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