Heard on the Hill

Congressional Games Ahead With a Side of Bipartisan Beer

Anheuser-Busch sponsors three Hill athletic competitions

Anheuser-Busch is hoping to get rid of some partisan rhetoric this spring. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s congressional athletic competition season and Anheuser-Busch wants to get people in the spirit.

The games are usually positive showings of bipartisanship and putting aside political differences for fun and charity. Anheuser-Busch thinks it might be able to help.

“Every now and then we feel like we should just have a beer and talk about some of this stuff instead of being so partisan, so polarizing,” said Doug Bailey, head of Anheuser-Busch’s D.C. office.“These events certainly give us a good chance to do that. Sports is such a natural place for us.”

AB InBev, the parent company of Anheuser-Busch, has a hand in the Congressional Baseball game and the Congressional Softball game coming up. Last week’s Congressional Soccer game also featured some of the adult beverage giant’s product.

The relationship with congressional sports and beer started last year.

“The baseball game was such a good experience for us last year,” Bailey said. “It was neat to see everybody in that stadium, it was neat to see the members of Congress putting aside the challenges they typically face day to day, drinking a beer or two. All the staff was there, having fun, carrying on.”

AB InBev provided all the beer at the Capital Soccer Classic on Tuesday, and because the members’ game was surrounded by an Embassy tournament, they had a Global Beer Garden.

[Blue Beats Red in Congressional Soccer Game]

“We can put our global hat on. It’s a good chance for us to bring beers in from around the world and highlight those along with our U.S. products,” Bailey said.

For the baseball game, they will host a reception and bring in a famous Budweiser Clyesdale horse to participate in the opening ceremony.

The softball game is held at a city park. The company will host an event after and provide the beverages.

AB InBev’s big kick off into politics was at the 2016 party conventions and presidential debates. It had a large presence at those as a primary sponsor.

“We always say that beer’s the perfect thing to put people together,” Bailey said. “Let’s just grab a beer, have a conversation about the issues and take a breath from the polarizing rhetoric.”

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