Joe Biden, train-riding teetotaler, gets his own Amtrak-themed beer

Joe Biden
A face you won’t see on a beer can
Photo: ANGELA WEISS (Getty Images)

Joe Biden seems like a regular guy who would be fun to have a beer with, but the truth of the matter is, Joe Biden does not drink alcohol. “There are enough alcoholics in my family,” he explained to The New York Times in a 2008 profile, though his biographer suspects that Biden also thinks that getting drunk would dull his competitive edge in politics. (Donald Trump doesn’t drink either. What a missed opportunity to find common ground during the debates!) During President Obama’s “beer summit” with Henry Louis Gates Jr. and the police officer who arrested him outside his own home, Biden sat by with a Buckler, a non-alcoholic beer from Heineken.

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Nonetheless, Wilmington Brew Works, a brewery in Biden’s home state of Delaware, has created beer in his honor: Rail Car One: Wilmington to Washington. The Delaware News Journal reports that it is “a Biden- and Amtrak-themed Northeast IPA”—a “triple dry-hopped brew, made with Mosaic, Citra and Sultana Hops [that] clocks in at 8% ABV”—and that it will be released on Delaware Day (that’s December 7, when Delawarians celebrate the anniversary of Delaware becoming the first state to ratify the Constitution). It will be available only at the brewery because it doesn’t have an out-of-state distributor, and it will cost $6 a can or $20 for a four-pack.

Out of respect for the President-elect’s teetotalerianism, Wilmington Brew Works will not put his face on the can. Instead, the label depicts an Amtrak Acela, the train Biden used to commute to the capitol during his years in the Senate, drawn in the style of a Depression-era WPA poster. The text says, “While #46 may not engage in the occasional tipple, his fine friends in The First State certainly do. And that’s something we can all agree on.”

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The News Journal, alas, did not have any tasting notes on Rail Car One or any comment from Biden himself. It does seem like an odd choice to make a beer in honor of someone who doesn’t drink, but I guess since their state is small and tends to be overshadowed by its neighbors and most people don’t remember the first state thing, you can’t fault Delawarians from showing their pride any way they can. (Wilmington Brew Works’ previous locally themed beer was “Delabear,” in honor of a black bear that roamed through Wilmington last winter. It sold out in two days.)

Even though he doesn’t drink, Biden doesn’t eschew all worldly pleasures. “I don’t drink. I don’t smoke,” he once declared. “But I eat a lot of ice cream.” His favorite brand is Jeni’s. But it’s based not in Delaware, but Cincinnati. Delawarians: it’s time for one of you to step up and show your state pride by making a Biden ice cream.

But here’s a question: what would Joe Biden ice cream taste like?

Aimee Levitt is associate editor of The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

it will cost $6 a can or $20 for a four-pack

I hate this. I don’t mind paying absurd amounts for craft beers I enjoy as I don’t drink craft beers all that often, but this is ridiculous. The amount of times I’ve spent $5-$10 on a can of beer I assumed I would like, and ended up disliking it, is too many to count.

I drink at home specifically so that I don’t have to pay bar (let’s be honest, this is reaching Vegas club levels) prices for alcohol.