President Barack Obama toasts local villagers in Kruen, southern Germany, prior to the G-7 summit. (Photo: Markus Schreiber/AP)
These days, it seems President Barack Obama can’t even enjoy a beer without controversy.
On Sunday morning ahead of the G-7 summit, Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the village of Kruen, where they enjoyed a traditional Bavarian breakfast replete with sausages, pretzels, alpenhorns, men dressed in lederhosen and, yes, beer.
“When I first heard Angela was hosting the G-7 in Bavaria, I was hoping that it would fall during Oktoberfest,” Obama said. “But, then again, there’s never a bad day for a beer and a weisswurst.”
President Obama drinks a beer in Kruen, southern Germany, prior to the start of the G-7 summit. (Photo: Markus Schreiber/AP)
Not surprisingly, photos of the president knocking back a tall beer at 11 a.m. local time — about an hour before the socially accepted time for alcohol consumption in the United States — lit up social media.
“Why is Barack Obama drinking beer at 11am?” the Drudge Report tweeted.
But Kruen Mayor Thomas Schwarzenberger told a Dutch news agency that the beer they served was nonalcoholic at the request of German and U.S. officials.
If it was nonalcoholic, the White House said, Obama didn’t order it.
“I’m not aware of what kind of beer the president was served, but I’m confident that he did not order a nonalcoholic beer,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters. “I don’t know what he was eventually served. But I would be very, very surprised if he ordered a nonalcoholic beer — even after an overnight flight on a Sunday morning.”
This is, after all, an administration that became the first to brew its own beer on the White House grounds.
Ale to the chief! (Photo: Markus Schreiber/AP)
Victoria Schubert, the Bavarian brewer who crafted Sunday’s spirits, told the Guardian that Obama was, indeed, drinking a real beer.
“They were certainly not drinking alcohol-free beer,” Schubert said. “It was 5 percent proof, with an original gravity of 11 percent, and, like all German beer, it was brewed according to the 500-year-old purity laws.”
The brewery even renamed the wheat beer “Summit Weissbier” in honor of the G-7.
Whatever it was, the president clearly enjoyed it.
“We should have all our summit meetings in this incredible village and drink beer,” Obama said.