Budget deficit be damned, lawmakers of both parties are supporting a $67 million tax break for microbreweries. The Center for Public Integrity reveals how the industry is winning new friends.


President Obama touched down in Ireland to an enthusiastic crowd on Monday morning, as thousands lined up on the streets in a village near Dublin, braving rain and hail to shake hands with their distant ancestor. In Moneygall—the home of Obama's great-great-great-grandfather—the president raised a glass (three-quarters of a pint, to be exact) of Guinness to cheer his distant "cousins" who are suffering from their country's economic decline. A local shopkeeper who currently lives in what has been declared Obama's ancestral home told reporters he would not serve tea and crumpets to the president. "I think he's more interested in a pint," he said.

Molly Riley / Reuters


Barack Obama enjoys a cold one while sitting court side at a Washington Wizards game in February 2009. In what was the first, all too easily named, "brew-ha-ha" of his presidency, Politico re-printed comments from a radio caller who took umbrage at the commander in chief throwing one back on the job: “The president is the president 24 hours a day. I don’t think he should drink on the job.”

Elise Amendola / AP Photo


Hillary Clinton, then the junior senator from New York and presidential hopeful, hoists a bottle of Presidente beer at a bar in San Juan, Puerto Rico, a week before the island's primary on June 1, 2008. Clinton's all smiles here, but five days earlier Barack Obama won a victory in Oregon, securing the majority of pledged delegates.

Diana Walker, Time Life Pictures / Getty Images


Perhaps it was a Budweiser that Bill Clinton is enjoying here, a beer that despite its American flag-waving reputation has its original roots in the former Czechoslovakia. Here, the president takes a sip between Madeline Albright, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and Vaclav Havel, the Czech president and playwright.

Christophe Ena / AP Photo


One-time frat boy and current teetotaler George W. Bush has a nonalcoholic beer with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Heiligendamm, Germany, where the 2007 G-8 summit was held. During his youth, the party-hardy Bush reportedly bragged about how much he could drink.

Ron Edmonds / AP Photo


Like father, like son. George H.W. Bush makes a toast with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl in May 1989. The two leaders were aboard a cruiser on a tour of the river Rhine. Alcohol may have greased the wheels of diplomacy for Bush Senior but it also proved an obstacle: His nominee for Secretary of Defense John Tower was derailed under allegations of a drinking problem. Forty-one was a finicky dining guest on trips abroad. In one memorable state dinner, Bush fell ill while seated next to the Prime Minister of Japan.



Bridging the gap between the two Americas, former North Carolina Senator and erstwhile presidential candidate John Edwards takes a seat the bar of VFW Post 775 in Ottumwa, Iowa. Not only did Edwards lose to Barack Obama in 2008, but he also trailed his fellow senator in a survey undertaken by the National Beer Wholesalers Association, which asked residents of Iowa and New Hampshire which candidate they would rather have a beer with.

John Duricka / AP Photo


Two-time presidential candidate Gary Hart, the Colorado senator, celebrates his Connecticut primary victory with the patrons of the Old Pump Inn in Brooklyn, N.Y. Four years later, in 1988, Hart's political career would become permanently stalled with the revelation that he'd had an extramarital affair.

Gerald Herbert / AP Photo


For French-speaking, wind-surfing Yankee dandy John Kerry, having a brew with the boys was an important political maneuver. Here, Kerry drinks straight from the bottle at Francie's Bar in Des Moines, Iowa, while on the campaign trail in 2004. One survey from that year dogged the Massachusetts senator: Undecided voters said that would prefer having a beer with his opponent George W. Bush. Perhaps the most famous drink of Kerry's life came when he and opponent Bill Weld met in 1996 over a few beers at the Boston bar McGann's to let bygones be bygones following a hard-fought campaign for Kerry's Senate seat.

David Hume Kennerly / Getty Images


Ronald Reagan lifts a pint during a trip to Ireland in 1983. During that trip, the president and his wife Nancy visited the ancestral home of the Reagan clan, Ballyporeen, where the proprietors of O'Farrell's Pub had named a room, the Ronald Reagan Salon. Later they renamed the entire place after the president. In 2004, after Reagan's death, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library purchased the bar and all its fixtures and had it shipped off to Simi Valley, California, where the Ronald Reagan pub now stands. Sadly, the pub's draughts now flow with water, not beer.

Spina / AP Photo


The famously stiff Richard Nixon lets loose during the locker room celebration of the California Angels who defeated the Kansas City Royals to win the Western Division title of the American League in September 1979. Nixon was born in Yorba Linda, California, only a few miles from Anaheim.

Thomas D. Mcavoy, Time Life Pictures / Getty Images


It's not a beer in his hand, but Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the first president to have a drink--a legal one that is--following the end of Prohibition in 1933. Here, FDR is drinking white wine at a Democratic fundraiser. The 21st Amendment ended America's 14-year drought, on December 5, 1933. Roosevelt told those gathered, "I believed this would be a good time for a beer."