Drinking with the devil

Politics + Other Mistakes
By AL DIAMON  |  August 22, 2012

As the dog days of August drag on, you may be unlucky enough to encounter a campaigning politician. If so, Maine law discourages the use of pepper spray or Tasers. Fortunately, though, there's no statute that forbids mitigating the candidates' mind-numbing mumblings by downing alcoholic beverages. This method works even if the pol decides to join you for a round or two.

The question then becomes what to drink. Republican US Senate hopeful Charlie Summers may be a lightweight, but it's doubtful that just one of those ultra-low-carb beers, such as Miller 64, would pack sufficient punch to render his pandering palatable. Plan on pounding down an entire suitcase.

Before you offer goofy Democratic US Senate long shot Cynthia Dill a glass of Clown Shoes' Belgian-style India pale ale, consider whether she'd be offended by a beer called Tramp Stamp. (Although if she is, that means you won't have to share.)

Just because independent Senate also-ran Andrew Ian Dodge dresses in black, that doesn't mean the beer selection has to be limited to stouts to match his wardrobe. His pompous pronouncements mix well with Stone Brewing's Arrogant Bastard Ale.

Another Senate independent, Steve Woods, used to be a roadie for the mentalist and magician called the Amazing Kreskin. With that background, he'll undoubtedly prefer Magic Hat Brewing's Feast of Fools Stout or Wacko Summer Ale.

If non-party non-contender for the Senate Danny Dalton starts in on his tales of CIA conspiracies, counter his claims with brews from California's Under Cover Ale Works. Incognito Saison might work, although you may have to resort to Ambush IPA or Espionage Red Ale.

Then there's Angus King, the wry and witty independent frontrunner. To acknowledge that first trait, pour some Harpoon Rye IPA. For the second one, go with witbier, such as Portland's own Allagash White. The latter is unfiltered, evoking King's cloudy positions on issues. But he always manages to sound convincing, so maybe a pint of Stoudt's Smooth Hoperator would be in order.

It's too bad the clear beer fad is over. Something nearly invisible (do they still make Zima?) would suit the undetectable 1st District congressional campaign of the GOP's Jonathan Courtney. As an alternative, try Rogue Brewery's Dead Guy Ale. If Courtney starts to blather on about immigration policy, call on Marshall Wharf Brewing in Belfast, where they make Illegal Ale-Ien.

There are no such beers as Billionaire Bock or Hedge Fund Hefeweizen, either of which would have nicely complemented the campaign of Democratic US Representative Chellie Pingree, the 1st District incumbent, and wealthy hubby Donald Sussman. The best I could come up with is Humboldt Brewing's Gold Rush Pale Ale. Although, given persistent rumors that Sussman hides some of his wealth in the Virgin Islands, a keg of Offshore Amber Ale from Martha's Vineyard might suit the occasion.

In Maine's vast 2nd District, it's important for candidates not to appear too snooty when mixing with the shot-and-a-beer crowd. Republican Party chairman Charlie Webster may be able to get away with a PBR pounder and a side of Jim Beam (Webster's Democratic counterpart, Ben Grant, has to avoid offending granola types, so offer him a Peak Organic Nut Brown Ale), but the congressional candidates have to walk a fine line between the working class and Yankee puritans. For GOP congressional challenger Kevin Raye, the obvious choice is Dogfish Head's Snowblower Ale. Order Democratic Congressman Michael Michaud a schooner of Big Sky Brewing's Moose Drool.

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