Beer and Politics: Ohio Statehouse Mulls Adding a Basement Bar

File this under “never going to happen.”

A caterer who runs the Capitol Cafe in the basement of the Ohio Statehouse wants to turn the space into a pub for after-hours events.  Lawmakers and the public would be able to reserve the space in the evenings, after all the touring schoolchildren are back home and safely snuggled in their beds.  This would be the first statehouse bar in the nation.  “Would” is the operative word here, because this thing has a pretzel’s chance on the floor of GABF of not getting crushed under someone’s heel.

Wouldn't this look nicer with a few tasty beers on the tables?

Why?  Politics, of course!  If you’ve forgotten, alcohol is evil, grown ups can’t be trusted, and small business people (like the caterer in the basement) are simply pawns in the sanctimonious game of political posturing.  Never mind that alcohol is served at catered events at the statehouse already.  Never mind that most every office in the building probably houses a bottle of hooch or a mini-fridge full of beer.  Never mind that 10% of all sales from the cafe go to pay off the 1996 restoration of the statehouse and to a vocational training program for the disabled.  There’s no way this political punching bag will see the light of day.

As a matter of fact, it’s already dying a slow death.  According to the AP, “The panel that oversees Statehouse operations has slowed the project’s pace, assigning it to a study committee that will sort out what the business should offer.”

Uh oh.  A “study committee” doesn’t sound good.  It sounds like a place where fun ideas go to die.

Anyway, nice try Ohio.  Too bad, too, as beer and politics make pretty good bedfellows.

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Categories: Beer, Lifestyle, News

Author:Jim

Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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5 Comments on “Beer and Politics: Ohio Statehouse Mulls Adding a Basement Bar”

  1. Jeff W
    August 17, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    This is a great idea and should be expanded to every state and to DC. Furthermore, each and every member should be required to have a couple pints prior to each session. They couldn’t possibly do worse and a little social lube might make them more honest, or at the very least less clever. In fact maybe they’ed all just stay at the pub and NOT go into session and leave us the hell alone!

    Once again beer to the rescue.

    • August 17, 2011 at 11:06 am #

      Yes, they should have a minimum one-pint-per-hour requirement for all sessions of congress. That’d clear the log jam.

    • August 17, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

      Excellent idea Jeff–a pint or 2 per motion couldn’t make things any worse than they already are. But in today’s world, where being a congressperson is a career instead of a civil responsibility, very few politicians are gonna risk taking a positive stand on something as ‘controversial’ as this–it might offend someone or other’s holy shibboleths for heaven’s sake!

  2. August 17, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    We just need more former brewers in public office! I’m incredibly proud of the fact that Colorado’s governor, John Hickenlooper, founded Denver’s Wynkoop brew pub in the 80s and recently hosted a beer dinner at the governor’s mansion.

  3. Don
    August 17, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    They could be the only Statehouse in the Nation with a two pint minimum!

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