Ale Summit: Craft brewers insist a little lager could unite Republicans and Democrats

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Maybe a nice summer ale could soothe the savage Congress. The nation’s craft brewers think so. “Brewnited we stand” is the motto among the many independent makers of beer which has earned such descriptions as hoppy, earthy, malty, bready and nutty, among other things. These brewers are bustling, and their $34 billion presence will soon be known in the nation’s capital.

Savor, an American craft beer exposition, recently showcased 76 of those craft brewers in the massive National Building Museum some 10 blocks from the White House. Along with the all-important foods that are paired with their artisanal beverages. We’re talking duck confit, thyme-roasted quail legs, expresso-coated bison on black bread, pork belly brioche and pecan hushpuppies here. Fancy, fancy.

Find some suggested “pairings recipes” here

Then it’s on to American Craft Beer Week, which began Monday and includes at least a dozen festivals around the nation.

The craft beer phenomenon could even quell partisan politics, organizers say.

“For centuries beer has been the common denominator beverage bringing adult appreciators and foodies together in a way that far surpasses even wine. Exciting today is the momentum small and independent craft brewers have in bringing together the red and the blue - and yes - the donkey and the elephant, the Democrats and the Republicans,” Julia Herz tells The Watercooler.

She is publisher of and craft beer program director of the Brewers Association, a not-for-profit trade association.

“Small business brewers are helping us find common ground, all the while contributing $34 billion to the U.S. economy, more than 360,000 jobs, with 108,440 jobs directly at breweries and brewpubs. Surely that is something both sides of the aisle can applaud,” she adds.


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