Republican Presidential Debates go down better with craft beers

The GOP debates are enough to drive anyone to drink. Get through the rest of primary season with our Republican Presidential Debates Drinking Game. Photo: Reagan Library

SAN DIEGO and PHILADELPHIA, January 16, 2012If the seemingly endless series of Republican Presidential candidate debates is starting to become a blur to you, you’re not alone. But if you are a diligent citizen, you know you should be watching the debates and learning about the candidates even if they deliver nothing but a painful litany of clichés. It’s enough to drive any red-blooded voter to drink.

So why fight it? Allow us to provide instructions for the Communities-approved Republican Presidential Debates Drinking Game for the rest of primary season. Some of these debates will take place during cocktail hour. Perfect.

What red-blooded American doesn’t like a good craft beer?

Communities craft beer expert Bryan Kolesar of the After-Hours at the Brew Lounge column weighs in to help get us through the rest of the debates in a tasty way. No matter what issues are important to you, Bryan has carefully selected just the right brews to compliment your viewing and participation.

This game works best if you and some friends each choose one of the candidates participating and play against each other. Otherwise you’re going to wind up in the emergency room with a serious case of alcohol poisoning.

Now, grab a cup and step up. Take it from here, Bryan.


Main Street: Down on Main Street (great song). Makes me think Bob Seger. Makes me think Silver Bullet Band. Makes me think Coors Light. Now while I wouldn’t normally endorse bland and lifeless swill such as Coors Light (or any bottle label that has color-changing mountains), we’re going to hear Main Street so often that you’re gonna need a low-alcohol, light-bodied beer like Coors Light to throw back every time you hear “Main Street”, “Wall Street”, or any combination thereof. WHERE TO FIND: Unfortunately, just about everywhere for mere pennies per ounce.

Taxes: The subject of taxes is surely a hot topic. Raise taxes, lower taxes, provide services, cut waste, tax the rich, flat tax, and on and on. Republicans will surely argue some form of death by taxes. Moonlight Brewery in Sonoma, Calif. produces it. Death and Taxes. And, it’s a wonderful dark beer, low in alcohol (5.0% ABV) and calories, but high in flavor. WHERE TO FIND: You won’t find this beer many places outside of the San Francisco Bay area and northern California. But, if you do, drink it every time you hear the word “tax” come out of a candidate’s mouth.

Freedoms and Free dumbs: Conservatives, to varying degrees, will argue against a “nanny state” which they perceive to be the end-game of the Liberal Way. Every time you hear a candidate refer to “Nanny State”, “Over Protectionism”, or “Freedoms” (or the taking away of them), have a swig of BrewDog’s Nanny State (an American IPA).  WHERE TO FIND: BrewDog is imported to a dozen states from Colorado to Florida and Pennsylvania and DC in the mid-Atlantic states.

Sticking with this UK (Scotland) brewery, every time you hear “Religious Freedom”, take two swigs of a BrewDog Dogma.

Founding Fathers: Speaking of freedoms, who loved, and fought for, freedom more than our founding fathers? When a candidate refers to a “founding father,” “writers of the constitution,” “constitutional freedoms,” or any of the first three Presidents, toast these British expats with a George Washington Porter or Thomas Jefferson Tavern Ale from Yards Brewery in Philadelphia. WHERE TO FIND: Beers from the brewery’s Ales of the Revolution collection can be found fairly regularly around the mid-Atlantic states from New Jersey through Virginia.

Not to be overlooked, of course, is Mr. Samuel Adams, signer of the Declaration of Independence and naming inspiration for Boston Beer Company’s Sam Adams Boston Lager. This beer has some decent flavor, is available in most states, and is one of many-a-beer-geek’s gateway beers to the craft beer segment. Sam Adams, the statesman, was also a maltster and occasional brewer, hence another natural tie-in here. Plus, at less than 5% ABV, you can drink it all night long while watching the debates and waiting for the primary returns to be finalized.

Tea Party: Saving the lightning rod snarky commentary for this lightning rod topic, if you hear anyone refer to the Tea Party, knock back two sips from a bottle of Founders Backwoods Bastard.

To stick with the Founders theme, whose beer can be found in at least 15 states east of the Mississippi, plus Missouri, if all of this political mess is just too much to handle, reach for a Founders Bitter Ol’ Man or Curmudgeon Old Ale. At nearly 10% ABV, the latter should help numb some of the monotony of the campaign trail.

The Ronald Reagan Pub at the Reagan Library was brought to the U.S. piece by piece from Ireland.

The Gipper: Republicans make the much-beloved 40th President out to be a founding father. Or, at least one of the greatest Presidents since the founding fathers. Reagan was a Californian and a Hollywood star long before politics took him to Washington, D.C.  but he was proud of his Irish roots. So proud that the pub he visited in Ballyporeen, Ireland during a 1984 trip was moved in its entirely to the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California, where it serves a variety of Irish beers, among them Smithwick’s. Brewed nearby in Kilkenny, not far from Ballyporeen, Smithwick’s would be a fine Irish Ale to toast with every time Reagan or The Gipper is mentioned by a candidate to evoke his worthiness. 

Gayle: Cheers and thanks, Bryan! I’m thirsty already. On to the game…

Newt Gingrich

Take a sip if… Gingrich says his rivals aren’t tough enough to beat Barack Obama.

Down a healthy swig if… Gingrich dings a competitor for being bilingual.

Chug an entire six-pack if … Gingrich confesses he’s just in the race to impress chicks.

Ron Paul

Take a sip if… Paul mentions the Constitution or Founding Fathers.

Down a healthy swig if… Paul says the U.S. shouldn’t be the world’s police force.

Chug an entire six-pack if … Paul says he would ask Jon Stewart to be his Vice-Presidential running mate.

Rick Perry

Take a sip if… Perry about creating jobs in Texas. 

Down a healthy swig if… Perry tries to explain why South Carolina native Stephen Colbert is beating him in the polls. 

Chug an entire six-pack if … Perry confuses President Andrew Jackson with Shoeless Joe Jackson, also from South Carolina. 

It’s only root beer… Governor Romney abstains from alcohol due to his Mormon faith.

Mitt Romney

Take a sip if… Romney talks about his executive experience.

Down a healthy swig if… Romney makes a joke about firing anyone.

Chug an entire six-pack if… Romney admits he’s wearing flip-flops.

Rick Santorum shows he enjoys a brew on the campaign trail. Associated Press.

Rick Santorum

Take a sip if… Santorum mentions God, or Mike Huckabee.

Down a healthy swig if… Santorum talks about opposing gay marriage.

Chug an entire six-pack if … Santorum Tebows.

Bonus Points

Drink if someone mentions working class families.

Drink if someone discusses taxing the rich.

Drink if someone gives a shout-out to Michael Jordan. Whoops, that’s North Carolina.

Drink if someone declares himself a Reagan conservative.

Drink if someone rags on Obamacare.

Drink if someone says he’s against gay marriage but for equal rights.

Drink if someone says “God Bless America.”

Drink if someone says “our brave men and women in uniform.”

Drink whenever someone from the liberal media whines about the debate format or the question asked by the Fox News panel members. 

DISCLAIMER: In this litigious, risk-averse society, we must pause here to admonish anyone reading this column that it is strictly for entertainment purposes ONLY. Please drink responsibly if at all. Please do not be a dunderhead and drink and tweet/post/drive, or you will never be able to run for public office.

The Communities implores “Please, always, drink responsibily. Do not drink if you are pregnant.  Do not drink and drive.  Do not drink if you are underage.”

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. Read more Media Migraine in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.

Read more of Bryan’s work at After Hours in the Communities at the Washington Times or at his blog,


Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal/Bryan Kolesar for Communities at” when quoting from or linking to this story.   


Copyright © 2012 by Falcon Valley Group


This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.


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