the national interest

White House Forces Paul Ryan to Drink Non-Terrible Beer

Representative Paul Ryan, Republican vice presidential candidate, gestures to his mother, Elizabeth 'Betty' Ryan, while speaking at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Tampa, Florida, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. Ryan takes the stage tonight to address the RNC with a dual mission: to provide a spark, along with his big ideas about cutting the budget, to energize the party's base.
Waiter! Another round of this – how do you pronounce it? Lay-ger? I am but a simple Midwestern farmboy. Photo: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Michael Scherer reports that White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough met Paul Ryan for a Secret Beer at a Belgian brewery. Ryan’s quote in the story is what stands out here, though. Ryan hastens to explain that he is but a simple Midwestern yokel lured to a fancy European-style establishment unwittingly and against his will:


The Belgian restaurant lists 115 beers on its menu, but not Miller Lite, Ryan’s beer of choice. “I ended up getting some lager I’d never heard of,” said Ryan, who mistook the place for a French joint.

Such a man of the people!

Such a man of the people!

It’s worth noting that Ryan’s tastes in alcoholic beverages do not always run along such downscale lines. In 2011, a liberal confronted him drinking a $350 bottle of wine at Bistro Bis, a swanky French restaurant catering to the political elite. (“Its regular guests include Senators, Congressmen, celebrities and powerbrokers looking to dine in the ambiance and luxury of one of Washington’s most popular restaurants,” boasts its website.)

Bistro Bis probably does not serve Miller Lite, which likely forced Ryan to instead order $350 wine as a fallback, as most Miller Lite fans do when their beer of choice is unavailable. And you can see why he mistook a Belgian brewery for a French restaurant. The one time he was publicly confronted at Bistro Bis is probably the only time he has ever patronized a European restaurant of any kind, and he probably naturally assumed that all European restaurants are French.

Paul Ryan Forced to Drink Non-Terrible Beer