Following some negative press in early March, stating that the White House had not made good on a bet between US President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, it was only a few days later when some tasty suds made their way to the home of Canadian leader at 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa, Canada.
The bet was originally made in conjunction with the Olympic hockey contests both between the women’s hockey teams as well as in the men’s tournament. The top dogs were meeting with Mexican Enrique Pena Nieto at the “Three Amigos Summit” in Mexico to discuss the relationship between the three North American nations and to address common issues around trade, energy and much more. They placed the bet in a spirit of camaraderie and as an effort to enhance the enjoyment of the Sochi matchups. It’s one thing to root for your national team but it’s always a little bit more fun when there is a wager on the line to spice things up.
The Canadian teams did indeed beat the Americans in both men’s and women’s hockey action in Sochi with both of the Canadian teams taking home gold medals. Harper learned of the women’s victory while in flight from the Mexican meeting and tweeted about it using the Canadian Olympic hashtag that was trending throughout the games #WeAreWinter. The Canadian men’s team went on to also pick up the gold medal for hockey a few days later and unfortunately, Team USA was shut out of the medals for hockey in Sochi.
When asked in a radio interview mid-March if had received his spoils from the American President, Prime Minister Harper stated, with good humour, that he, in fact, had not yet received the beer that he had been promised in Mexico. He added that he was sure that he would receive it soon, however, as he noted that Obama had always paid up on any bets he had lost to Harper in the past which makes one wonder how much betting is going on between these two.
Word must have travelled quickly to the US as the beer was then sent to the Canadian Embassy in Washington to Ambassador Gary Doer’s office…two beautiful cases of craft brewed White House beer, a case each of Honey Ale and Honey Porter. Apparently the American President had been inspired by so many that are attempting the home brewing process and wanted to try it out for himself, purchasing a home brew kit last year and has been trying to perfect it ever since. Those who have tried the beer says that it does pass muster and are actually surprise that it has turned out so well.
The Honey Ale is said to be the first alcohol brewed at the White House and it even uses honey that was harvested from the South Lawn beehive.
Funnily enough, the beer transition was managed by the National Security Council (NSC) as perhaps they believed the welching of the bet might cause an international incident. We all know how Canadians value their beer and their honour!
After it was sent the NSC tweeted about it, saying “Thirsty friends (at) connect2canada: can you confirm that you received out beer today? We don’t want PM Harper thinking that we didn’t come through” to which the Canadian network in Washington responded that they had and implied that they would be sending it across the border to the Prime Minister. Stephen Harper later confirmed that he had received the White House beer.