The White House was once again the setting for beer diplomacy.

This time to demonstrate the chumminess of the new British Prime Minister David Cameron and the not-so-new American President Barack Obama and reaffirm that “special relationship” enjoyed by the two allies. (The two leaders are also both left-handed, so plenty in common). BRITAIN-USA/

They discussed the benefits of cold beer versus warm ale and Cameron showed sporting enthusiasm for the “312″ ale that Obama introduced him to.

“We have just concluded some excellent discussions, including whether the beers from our hometowns that we exchanged are best served warm or cold,” Obama said. “My understanding is that the prime minister enjoyed our 312 beer and we may send him some more.”

Our understanding is that Cameron gave Obama bitter ale called Hobgoblin from a brewery near his Oxfordshire parliamentary constitutency.

Being from the Northeast, some of us had never heard of “312″ ale, whose name is the area code for Chicago from where Obama hails. So we Googled it, and found this description  of the “urban wheat ale” : “Densely populated with flavor, 312’s spicy aroma of Cascade hops is followed by a crisp, fruity ale flavor delivered in a smooth, creamy body. This gives 312 a balance of flavor and refreshment that never fills you up and won’t let you down.”