U.S. political leaders find common ground over a beer: Inside Anheuser-Busch’s one-of-a-kind Congressional brewing competition

Posted: November 08, 2021
U.S. political leaders find common ground over a beer: Inside Anheuser-Busch’s one-of-a-kind Congressional brewing competition

For more than 160 years, Anheuser-Busch has carried on a legacy of making great-tasting, high-quality beers, such as Budweiser, Bud Light and Michelob ULTRA. America’s leading brewer also helps brew democracy by hosting a unique competition that brings together members of Congress from both sides of the aisle.

The Brew Across America Congressional Brewing Competition was launched in 2017 as a way to bring U.S. political leaders together over a beer to discuss issues facing the country. The initiative highlights the nonpartisan nature of beer and its ability to strengthen democracy by fostering dialogue and finding common ground.

“Bringing people together over a beer has long been a central ingredient of everything we do at Anheuser-Busch,” said CEO Brendan Whitworth. “As the leader of the U.S. beer industry, we are proud to host the annual Brew Across America competition that provides lawmakers from differing political backgrounds with an opportunity to find common ground while also learning more about the quality and care that goes into brewing great beer.”

Bipartisan buddies tap into local flavors, hometown pride

Starting in August, members of Congress visited an Anheuser-Busch brewery in their home state and worked alongside brewmasters to create a signature beer inspired by local flavors and ingredients. New to the competition this year was the requirement that members of Congress work with a ‘bipartisan buddy’ to brew the beer – an ask to help strengthen the ties between members from different political parties.

Common Ground, was brewed by U.S. Representative Jason Crow, a Democrat from Colorado (left) and U.S. Representative Peter Meijer, a Republican from Michigan, along with Colorado’s Breckenridge Brew Pub. The whiskey barrel-aged Baltic Porter was aged on vanilla chai and cold-pressed coffee. Source: Twitter

Among the entries this year were ‘The Yeas and Nays’ from Representative Steve Womack, a Republican from Arkansas, Representative Dan Kildee, a Democrat from Michigan, and the Anheuser-Busch brewery in St. Louis, Missouri, and Unanimoose Consent, a New-England inspired cider donut ale, from Democrat Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine, and the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Merrimack, New Hampshire.

‘Orange You Glad I Didn’t Order Wine’, flavored with citrus and Madagascar vanilla, was brewed by Representative Kat Cammack, a Republican from Florida (pictured) with California Representative Sara Jacobs, a Democrat, and Anheuser-Busch brewers in Jacksonville, Florida. Source: Twitter

And the Brew Democracy Cup goes to…

The competition came to a head at an event in Washington D.C. on October 20, where the beers were judged by a panel of journalists for appearance, aroma, taste, balance and drinkability. ‘LA Vida Lager’, a Mexican-style lager made by Representative Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) and Representative Fred Upton (R-MI), along with the Anheuser-Busch Los Angeles Brewery, was selected as the winner.

The winners of the fourth Anheuser-Busch Brew Across America Congressional Brewing Competition, were Representative Fred Upton, a Republican from Michigan, (left) and Representative Tony Cárdenas, a Democrat from California. Their brew, LA Vida Lager, paid tribute to the Mexican roots of Los Angeles.

“I’m excited our beer won this year’s Brew Democracy Cup, which embodies the common ground and strong communities we can create through beer,” said Representative Cárdenas.

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