‘F*&% Your Hair’ and other political activity involving beer

by DGO Web Administrator

There are a lot big political issues going on in America right now, and compared to most of them, beer is very, very, very low on the totem pole. I mean, our country is going through huge debates involving gun control, LGBTQ civil rights, economic inequality, women’s rights, latent systemic racism, and a major party candidate who’s biggest and best strategy so far is braggadocio and kindergarten-level name calling. So beer is way way down on the list. But I think beer, especially craft beer, can be and often is an agent of change and a path to unity in our country.

Our country has a history of brewing revolutionaries: George Washington, Sam Adams and Thomas Jefferson all brewed a beer or two in their day. Washington brewed and distilled at Mt. Vernon. At one point, it was the largest distillery in America. Since then, historians have rebuilt the mill, brewery, and still, which makes small batches of liquor in the traditional way.

The list of beer-loving politicians includes the living. Jimmy Carter legalized home brewing during his single term in office. Without this change in law there are countless brewers who would not have gotten their start, and countless breweries which might not have opened at all. This law also enabled Barack Obama to brew an official White House Honey Ale, which was the first beer brewed in the White House (even if it was an extract).

Among other amazing politicians who’ve pushed for greater access to good beer include our own governor, John Hickenlooper. Hickenlooper is the founder and former owner of Wynkoop Brewing Co., the OG brewpub in Colorado (opened in ’88, the same year as Carver Brewing Co.). A wildly popular governor that signed recreational weed legislation into law, helped save the name of Mile High Stadium and helped grow craft beer in Colorado, Hickenlooper is all around an awesome dude and wish he was on our presidential ballot (he is on several lists to be Clinton’s VP, so let’s cross some fingers).

Another politician you won’t want to completely throw off a bridge is Peter DeFazio, a representative from Oregon, and the founder of the House Small Brewers Caucus. The Small Brewers Caucus is a group of 143 congressional representatives from both parties and all over the country, which works to promote a better economic environment for small breweries. They’ve even worked out a bill, The Small BREW Act (the Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanded Workforce Act) which would cut the excise tax that small brewers are required to pay per barrel of beer produced (it’s currently stuck in committee, so call your representative, Scott Tipton, who is a member of the Small Brewers Caucus and tell him you want this bill ASAP!).

But when we look at the two politicians in all the headlines, Trump and Clinton, I’m not stoked on either, but I’ve got a strong lean toward Clinton as the better candidate for beer. For starters, Hillary worries me because she can’t pour a beer to save her life. But Trump pissed off the only brewers in his employ on his first day as a candidate. Before he announced his candidacy, he hired 5 Rabbits Cerveceria to brew his Trump Golden Ale, which was served in the Trump tower in Chicago. But during his campaign announcement speech, he said of immigrants from across the southern border, “they’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists,” which didn’t sit too well with 5 Rabbits founder, Andres Araya, a native of Costa Rica. The name of Trump Golden Ale was promptly changed to, Chinga tu Pelo, or “F*&% Your Hair,” which sounds like a pretty strong campaign slogan to me.

Robert Alan Wendeborn puts the bubbles in the beer at Ska Brewing Company. His first book of poetry, “The Blank Target,” was published in 2015 by The Lettered Streets Press and is available at Maria’s Bookshop. [email protected]


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