Although none of the rescued Chilean miners has said the entombed miners sang “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” to pass the time during their imprisonment a half-mile underground, British Prime Minister David Cameron toasted Chilean Prime Minister Sebastian Pinera with 33 bottles of Brit brew. Perhaps Cameron opted for beer diplomacy to outdo President Barack Obama’s vaunted beer diplomacy when he called a beer summit in July 2009 to end a racial kerfuffle over a Harvard University prof’s arrest in Cambridge, Mass. Whatever the cause, Cameron had planned to give Pinera the beer after a lunch with key lawmakers in London today, according to a report in the New York Post
Hewing to the stranded theme, Cameron also planned to present Pinera with a copy of "Robinson Crusoe." In turn, Pinera was to give Cameron a rock from the mine where the 33 Crusoes were trapped for 69 days until they were saved Oct. 13.
Pinera, 60, looks forward to his visit, telling Sky News Sunday, "England is a key ally in Europe and I hope we will be able to strengthen our ties. With David Cameron . . . we share the same values, the same views and, therefore, we are looking forward to that meeting."
Also on Pinera’s schedule was a visit to Buckingham Palace, where he had an audience with, and gave another piece of the rock to, Queen Elizabeth II before packing up his 33 cans of beer and heading to France and Germany, which is no slouch in the beer department itself.
Cameron’s beer diplomacy probably makes sense, considering that the annual Great British Beer Festival does draw a crowd of folks to hoist the pints. The August festival crowns beers from around the globe as champions in various categories and overall.
For example, winning the title of Best American Beer this year was Smuttynose Big A IPA, which ales from Portsmouth, N.H.
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