Boston Beer Co. Founder To Dine With President Trump

Jim Koch, founder of the Boston Beer Company. (Andrea Shea/WBUR)
Jim Koch, founder of the Boston Beer Company. (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

On Tuesday night, Boston Beer Company Chairman Jim Koch is scheduled to dine with President Donald Trump.

And exactly a week later, he's set to raise a glass with a vocal Trump critic, state senator and congressional hopeful Barbara L'Italien.

Koch is one of 13 business leaders expected to attend a dinner Tuesday at Trump's golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. The group includes Frederick Smith of FedEx, Honeywell's Darius Adamczyk and outgoing PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi.

"This is an opportunity for the President to hear how the economy is doing from their perspective and what their priorities and thoughts are for the year ahead," deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said, according to a pool report.

Koch is also billed as a "special guest" at an Aug. 14 "Beers with Barbara" event to be held by L'Italien's campaign at Oak & Iron Brewing Company in Andover. Suggested donations range from $50 to $2,700.

A Facebook event listing said the "Beers with Barbara" series has "special meaning to Barbara and her work," citing the Andover Democrat's work with craft brewers as Senate chair of the Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee.

On the campaign trail, L'Italien has frequently blasted the president and his policies. In announcing her energy platform last week, she said the Trump Administration "is gutting our environmental protections and denying climate change."

When a Fox News show in late July contacted her campaign while attempting to book an Arizona candidate, L'Italien used the opportunity to criticize Trump's immigration enforcement policies at the southern border.

"It must be nice to speak directly to Donald Trump without having to go on Fox News," L'Italien said in a statement to the News Service about Koch's dinner with the president. "I think I've made my feelings on Trump very clear."


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