Beer Man

Five craft beers Obama should drink while he's debating in Denver

President Obama has been making a point of drinking beer on the campaign trail this year, from Pennsylvania to Iowa to Florida. It was a sore spot for him in 2008 when he was seen more as a wine-slurper than an an everyday beer-drinking kind of fellow, but it's a distinct advantage in this year's race against tee-totaling Mormon Mitt Romney.

The only problem is that Obama doesn't always make the best choices in the beer line, seeming to prefer macro brews over those produced by small American businesses. He could turn that around this week in Denver -- a city that's working into a craft beer frenzy in anticipating of the Great American Beer Festival -- while he's in town. Here are five beers that the President might want to think about ordering.

5. Hollow Idol TRVE Brewing Only the man behind the curtain -- or in this case, the Presidential podium -- can know what it is like to be worshiped and to be hated, to live in a bubble, to bear the weight of the world on this shoulders -- but to still be just a man, an ordinary man with a wife, two kids and a garden out back. In 2008, Obama promised Hope. He promised Change. Did he deliver? Does he think he delivered? Only time, and the history books, will be able to answer those questions. But in the meantime, Obama can soothe his mortal doubts -- and ours -- with this 5.7 percent ABV hoppy-but-clean India White Ale from the relatively new TRVE Brewing. 4. Patty's Chile Beer Wynkoop Brewing This spicy beer was first brewed under the guidance of an unemployed geologist-turned-brewpub owner named John Hickenlooper. The 4.4 percent ABV German-style lager is made with anaheim chiles and smoked ancho peppers and is named for, yes, Westword founder and editor Patty Calhoun. Since then, the beer and the unemployed geologist have moved up in the world. Patty's Chile Beer, available on tap at the Wynkoop, won a bronze medal at the 2006 Great American Beer Festival, while Hickenlooper became the mayor of Denver, where he hosted the Obama-nominating 2008 Democratic National Convention, and then Colorado Governor, and recently gave a speech at the 2012 DNC. 3. Mayor Mike's Pumpkin Patch Brew Denver Beer Company Okay, that is only one of several suggestions for the beer that Mayor Michael B. Hancock (sort of) helped brew on September 19 at Denver Beer Co. But as we said above, beer is hot in politics this year, and Hancock is no slouch at politics. This one was brewed with pumpkins dug up from Denver Digs, an series of urban gardens that would make Michelle Obama swoon. The beer doesn't go on tap until October 5, but we're betting Obama could get a sneak peek. 2. Rumble Great Divide Brewing The President didn't come here to mince words. He didn't fly to Denver to play nice. No, Obama is in the Mile High City for one reason and one reason alone: to rumble! And so is GOP challenger Mitt Romney for that matter. But since Romney doesn't drink, there will plenty of room at the Great Divide taproom for the Democrats, who can get their left-leanin' spirits up with this unusual tasting 7.1 percent ABV American IPA. It's been aged in both French and American oak barrels, but its birth certificate, like the president's, says "Made in the USA." 1. Ale to the Chief Avery Brewing This one's a no-brainer. In 2008, Boulder's Avery Brewing released Ale to the Chief to celebrate the Democratic National Convention in Denver and the election that November; the beer carried a message to the candidates asking for certain issues to be addressed. The Boulder brewery decided to re-release the 8.1 percent ABV pale ale this year (although it's only on tap) with the following mandate: "Ale to the Chief! A Presidential Pale Ale to celebrate Inauguration Day, January 20th, 2013. We the Brewers of Avery Brewing Company, in order to form a more perfect ale, require leadership that can liberate us from our quagmires in foreign lands; embrace environmentally sound energy alternatives to imported oil; heal our ailing health care system; free us from tyrannical debt and resurrect the collapsing dollar. We hereby pledge to provide him or her with an ample amount of our Presidential Pale Ale to support in the struggle for the aforementioned goals! Hail to the Chief!" Find it at Freshcraft.

Follow Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan