When Prime Minister Stephen Harper agreed to a wager with U.S. President Obama on the outcome of two Olympic hockey games, the bets were made in beer.
The President put up a White House home brew.
The Prime Minister’s stake wasn’t revealed until Tuesday evening
Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company and Big Rock Brewery were chosen to represent Canadian beer, according to a message from the Prime Minister’s Twitter account on Tuesday.
The decision is sure to excite debate, not least by its neglect of Quebec’s formidable independent brewing industry. But Mr. Harper’s decision has a few things going for it.
Both breweries are independent of the big players that control most of the market and, unlike the big players, are 100 per cent Canadian.
The combination also reflects Mr. Harper’s personal geography. Big Rock Brewery is based in Calgary, where Mr. Harper has long resided and where he won his first election as an MP in Calgary West in 1993. Beau’s is based in Vankleek Hill, a town in eastern Ontario about halfway between Ottawa and Montreal.
In the event, it was Mr. Obama who had to pay up on both hockey bets after the Canadian men beat the United States 1-0 in the semi-finals while the Canadian women took gold with a comeback 3-2 victory for the gold medal.
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that the delivery was made to Gary Doer, Canada’s ambassador to the United States, by a representative of the National Security Council.