Sunday, November 29, 2009

Constantly Offside and the Free Beer Movement at MLS Cup 2009

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Editor's Note: Our friend Biggy from Constantly Offside wrote to us a few weeks ago asking for a bunch of our stickers so he could represent the Free Beer Movement when he went to MLS Cup 2009 in Seattle. "On one condition," we said. As long as he was introducing the sport to soccer newbies then we could reward him with a stack of FBM stickers.

Biggy brought soccer newbie Shawn with him on the journey from San Jose to Seattle and they represented the FBM and American soccer in style. Here is Biggy's "free beer mover" story:

Day One


So we pretty much took the Free Beer Movement everywhere we went in Seattle.


Saturday we hit the Seattle Underground tour, and we found even gnomes and gremlins like free beer. Probably because they generally don't use US currency, so beer for free is their only option.

We then hit up the gift shop and among all the sweet signs there was a warning for free beer!

We headed down to Pike Place to scope the sights and even the pigs were all about the FBM, and honestly who could blame them. It is hard to drink though if you are made of metal, so we kept the beers to ourselves and they kept the swine flu in return.

Our friend at the sports shop on Pier 57 was all about the FBM, he even stashed his sticker right by the register, which is pretty legit. I was impressed at all the jerseys they had on sale, particularly the Sounders gear that dominated the store. Surprising coming from San Jose but it's awesome what soccer is doing in Seattle.


Day Two


On gameday I got my buddy Shawn involved in the movement by hooking him up with a free beer as it was his first professional soccer match. He likes soccer now almost as much as he likes beer. He likes beer a lot, so that should tell you something. I bought myself a tasty refreshing cold one as well just so I could be one of the cool kids.



Of course, the NES (North End Supporters) are all about soccer and beer, so they wanted in on the action as well. Some fine fan support out in Seattle.

Then we got in a different sort of Free Beer Movement, the Free Beer related Wristband Movement, which is solid.

We found an RSL fan from LA at the bar, and he embodied everything we were all about all weekend, unfortunately he already bought his beer.

Many stickers were given out, many beers were enjoyed, and we really hope RSL downed at least one beer outta that bad boy.

The FBM x Constantly Offside were just part of the epic movement that is the MLS and American Soccer, in general. Cheers from Biggy at Constantly Offside dot com! Make sure you get to an MLS Cup in the near future, one of the greatest experiences of my life for sure.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Found Free Beer Movement

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We're everywhere!


Well.... not quite yet, but through your efforts we can be. We've been sending our FBM stickers to all corners of the nation and now we're starting to see them pop up in some pretty cool places.

If you've already got one (our Free Beer Movers) we want to see where you've put it; your car, your computer... we dunno... your cat? Drop us a line with where you've plastered the FBM and we'll post it on our site with our new feature called "Found Free Beer Movement".

If you don't have one yet then send us your free beer stories and pictures (with your mailing address) and we'll drop one in the mail for your efforts on behalf of the Free Beer Movement.

Who We're Buying a Beer For....

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This week's "Who We're Buying a Beer for..." is our all-female, all hottie (yes we just used that word) edition.

We know, we know... didn't last week feature Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who of course is a total MILF? Yes, but we've got even more attractive ladies in this week's episode.

These lucky ladies are definitely deserving of a beer bought courtesy of the FBM for their efforts in promoting soccer in the US of A. And frankly, given how ugly we are I think maybe more than one free beer would be in order to make us tolerable.

On to this week's list!

1. Jessica Alba

The silver screen star (like the alliteration there?) recently penned a column for The Huffington Post promoting the 1Goal: Education for All campaign

About 1Goal:

This World Cup, we’re asking fans to sign up to give 75 million children a fair chance in life. Education beats Poverty – and gives people the tools to help themselves.


Global football stars, the football world and its governing body, FIFA, are behind 1GOAL. This World Cup is a moment for us to shine – let’s leave a legacy of education. We don’t want your money – we just want you on our team. Write Your Name for those who can’t. Join1GOAL.org

1 GOAL is an ambitious and important campaign that will change the lives of children living in poverty by helping to give them an education. We’re campaigning in over 200 countries from now until the FIFA World Cup final in South Africa in 2010.

1 GOAL is quite simply a global team that will voice our wishes to world leaders to keep their promise of giving everyone an education by 2015.


One recommendation is that I'd scrub Thierry Henry's picture from the homepage of the site. I doubt you're going to get any donations from Ireland for a while until you do.

2. Kate Perry


Soccer is never lacking in beauty. You've got great footwork, heart pounding strikes, superb saves, and, of course, WAGs. But add a different element to the equation: team-specific lingerie (and no I'm not talking about Austin Aztex cotton thongs).

American singer Kate Perry recently debuted an outfit for her boyfriend and West Ham United fan Russel Brand at the MTV Europe Music Awards and now you can purchase the same little thang for your special Hammers fan. According to the WHU site the team shop will be selling a 50 limited edition "outfits" for about $480.

I may go to hell for this, but you know who else is a West Ham United fan? Maybe he'll get a nice X-mas present from the missus?

3. Ben Olsen

Hey, we didn't say it would be all-female hotties, did we? Oh we did? At the top of the post? Yes, we have short memories. No, we're not deleting this and putting up scantily-clad pictures of Victoria Beckham to make up for it.

The DC United midfield retired this Tuesday from professional soccer and more than pretty much any one else (maybe Frankie), Olsen epitomized all that was great about American soccer. Over the course of 12 seasons with DC, Olsen made over 200 appearances, winning two MLS Cup titles, two MLS Supporters' Shields and one U.S. Open Cup winners medal. Not just a model player on the field, he contributed off the field as he awarded U.S. Soccer Foundation Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2003.

Olsen's presence on and off the field will be sorely missed, but his departure leave only a few of Major League Soccer's old guard left (Hejduk, the Fire's Brian McBride are the two that come to mind). And while his departure is a bitter pill to swallow for DC United and the league's fans it draws our attention back to the next generation of American soccer stars.

Not too mention modesty: "I'm not that great of a soccer player, but I've fit in. had a knack of fitting in and working hard and doing what I've needed to do."

I think that statement speaking volume for who Olsen is as a person and was a player. Someone who was the backbone of DC United's championship teams and a great image for a league that sometimes is starved for stardom, but is carried by the day-to-day efforts of a number of individuals.

For all that Olsen has contributed in bringing great American soccer to the greater nation. Thank you. Here's a raised glass (and hopefully a bought brew) to you, Ben Olsen.

Video from Olsen's retirement announcement:


Thursday, November 26, 2009

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

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From all of us at the Free Beer Movement.

Just remember when you're watching American football today you'd really rather be watching soccer!

Happy:
Day!


Get it. Turkey! Soccer! We're hilarious!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Free Beer Movement Must Read: What "The Shin Guardian" is Thankful For

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Long time followers of this site knows that we have a very strong relationship with the brotherly writing duo of Mark and Matthew over at "The Shin Guardian". While the blog is young, their ascent to the top in the soccer blogging has been quick. In my humble opinion the news, views, insight, and, most importantly, the community that has developed over there has been an incredible addition to my soccer Internet world.

This precipitous rise for TSG has not gone unnoticed by the larger soccer blogging world as they were recently nominated in one of USSoccer.com's "best of..." awards (Full Disclosure: I voted for TSG in the "Best Soccer Blog" category and you should too!). Having been a reader, commenter, and fan of TSG from the earliest days of their site, this is something I take great pride in.

Along with another site, TSG is my first stop before and after any USMNT game. Their embrace and support of the Free Beer Movement has been uncompromising (in fact, they were the first to suggest Frankie Hejduk as our spokesperson). Their willingness to try and get into Major League Soccer and the quick growth I've already seen in their appreciation of our fledgling domestic game (and how it connected to the larger National Team equation) is encouraging.

Lest this turn too much into a "love" piece about TSG (something I'm totally fine with) I wanted to highlight their latest column that dropped right before this Thanksgiving holiday. It is titled "What I'm Thankful For" and it is a great piece that spells out coherently (even if the author doesn't think so!) what it means to be a American soccer fan (both in the USMNT sense and beyond) and what is fundamentally right about being one.

Go and read it now; it might be the best post I've read all year (except ours here, of course!). Enjoy it, embrace it, and add your two sense and become a part of their unbelievable community.

Link: The Shin Guardian's "What I'm Thankful For"

- Dan

Monday, November 23, 2009

Photo Essay: The Making of Aztex Amber Ale

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Ever since the FBM decided to flee the country of Honduras because of their political problems and move to Austin, Texas we'd meticulously researched the local soccer scene.

We knew that where ever we moved when we returned to the US we were going to fully invest myself in the soccer opportunities that were available to us. Both Major League Soccer franchises, FC Dallas and the Houston Dynamo were both about three hours away so it fell to the United Soccer League One's Austin Aztex.

This past season was their first in USL-1 and despite the on-going political and logistical difficulties the league and its rivals are facing, the club is looking forward to a positive 2010 season.

The FBM immediately hooked up with the local supporter's group for the Aztex, Chantico's Army and dove head first into recruit friends as fans of American and Austin soccer. Long-time followers of the site know that we've hosted several "Free Beer Match Days" for Aztex games and continue to look for more chances to work with the local soccer scene.

This weekend provided the perfect opening to combine the two loves of the FBM: beer and soccer. Chantico's Army is looking to expand its influence in the city of Austin and decided that brewing a team-centric beer might crack the divide between us as soccer fans and the larger Austin social scene.

Thus the idea of Aztex Amber Ale was conceived (our name suggestion by-the-way). That idea was put into motion this weekend when one of the members of Chantico's Army, Ed, who also happens to be great homebrewer made a preliminary batch of the "Triple A," as its called.










This batch is supposed to be ready about mid-December just in time for some holiday cheer in the void that is non-American soccer winter. We'll have a full run down on its (fingers-crossed) deliciousness).

Sunday, November 22, 2009

So, um, I Hear There's a Soccer Match on Tonight?

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Yeah there is. Maybe you've heard of:





National TV and PRIMETIME - ESPN and ESPN360 7:30pm (central).

Friday, November 20, 2009

Who We're Buying a Beer For...

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An abbreviated list this week to get it out for Friday:

1. Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

The South American nation's government forked over $155 million to purchase the rights to all of their national team's game an televise them for free. (Link: National Public Radio)

President Fernández de Kirchner (MILF?) announced this summer that Argentines would no longer be subject to pay-per-view matches or congregating at bars in order to catch Los Albicelestes.

Given the fiasco with the Honduran TV rights last month US President Barack Obama might want to take a page out of her political playbook. Think health care will lock in votes for Democrats? Just wait until he gets the soccer fan vote!

2. The Irish

The Guinness and Irish whiskey factories are going to have to kick it into overdrive after their national soccer team was gut-punched by France and striker Thierry Henry's extra-time handball.

There's nothing like not qualifying for the World Cup, then there's missing qualification by such a blatant touch on the ball as Henry's. This will probably go down as one of the most notorious no-call touches in the history of the game (alongside Maradona's "Hand of God" in 1986).

To add insult to injury at least Maradona was more coy in admitting his offense where as Henry comes off a bit less-than-impressive ("I will be honest, it was a handball. But I'm not the ref.")

3. Frankie Hejduk

Was given the arm band in the 71st minute of the international friendly against Denmark earlier this week.

While his defensive performance (Soccer By Ives said "Frankie Hejduk is still in the match. Is this one of these matches where you give a veteran the full 90 and then after the match you tell them 'See, you don't have it anymore'?") left a lot to be desired we'll definitely give him a round of applause for captaining the USMNT (his 1st time we believe).

That's always a special moment, no matter the circumstances.

Oh, and there was Jessica Alba, but we'll get to her next week. I know... it kills you that I didn't post a picture of her... too bad!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Do it. Do it.

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America, Fuck Yeah: International Friendly Edition

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Our boys in the red, white, and blue take to the pitch again today; this time from Aarhus, Denmark. And while we'd love to publish our game-day feature "Today's the Day", it seems a bit "over-the-top" for a test match at the end of 2009.

Television Note: Coverage begins at 2:25 EST / 11:25 PST on ESPNClassic. Upon the conclusion of the 2nd leg of the Ukraine / Greece WCQ which is being shown on ESPN2, the USMNT match will be simulcast on both ESPNClassic and ESPN2.

What we do hope for is a solid game against another World Cup-bound opponent, Denmark. Several of the USMNT regulars are away for Bob Bradley will tinker with the line-up to give a few other options the run out. And maybe FRANKIE HEJDUK!??!!?!

Before we get to into it, we have to remind you that we're not an analysis site (we're a American soccer loving and beer drinking site) and so we'll direct you to some people who actually know what they're talking about from a nuts-and-bolts perspective of this afternoon's match.

- The Shin Guardian, as always, has their Orange Wedges pre-game set up.

- The American Outlaws and their scouting report.

- ESPN Soccernet with their whatever. I mean the top story on the sidebar is that Robin van Persie is undergoing "placenta treatment". I think that speaks for itself.

Enjoy, we'll be catching all the action on tape delay this evening.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Frankie Hejduk is the Third Best Player on the US Men's National Team

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So says this video:



Listen to that crowd when Frankie scores the first time.

So why not celebrate Frankie's third place finish by signing our "Frankie Hejduk for FBM Spokesperson" petition.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Who We're Buying a Beer For...

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This segement of "Who We're Buying a Beer For..." is slightly on the sympathetic side. We're handing out free beers to those who need it the most right now.

Starting with:

1. Section 8 (Chicago Fire supporter's group) chairman Ben Burton

Last night's loss to Real Salt Lake was a heartbreaker to Fire fans, but take solace in the fact that your supporter group's chairperson is awesome! Seriously, though... over the two home games that the Fire have put on during the 2009 MLS playoffs their fans have proven to be some of the best in the league. Two SOLD OUT matches, banners, flares, the whole nine yards... this franchise is putting on the best face for the American league.

Watching last night's game with a few soccer newbies, they were stunned at the atmosphere that Chicago hosted. They were stunned at a packed American soccer stadium and were blown away when the flares went off during the second half.

Even though it looks like Mr. Burton has a beer right now (ha!), we'd love to buy the next one for him. Section 8 and the Chicago Fire fandom is in good hands.

2. Winning Ugly Radio Host Scott Bornstein

After appearing on Episode 51 of Winning Ugly Radio I think we owe Scott a nice cold one. The host was great as FBM Prez Dan got to share the stage with Sandra Franz and Ginge (of the soccer blog, Ginge Talks the Footy)

Bornstein put up with Dan's antics for quite a bit including a crashing Internet, bad microphone, and offensive lines (which didn't make it on the show... thank goodness!).

We'll either buy him a pint of his favorite beer or maybe a "Coking, Choaking Argentini".

3. New Mexico Women's defender Elizabeth Lambert



By now the soccer world and beyond has heard for Ms. Lambert's outrageous "defending" during a college soccer match against BYU. I mean, even my uncle sent me this clip and he thinks soccer is a lefty, socialist attempt to destroy America.

And while the world lashes out at Lambert we're not going to condone her actions, but certainly try to get her past them. I think a nice cold one will bring everyone's frustration-level down quite a bit.

Lambert is suffering a lot right now, but beyond her actions the fact that this was allowed to go on for so long is a poor reflection of not just her, but her coaches who clearly knew this was how she was playing. This time she just got caught which I'm sure the coaching staff wasn't betting that their little approval of her actions would be broadcast on ESPN.

In the end, its the coaches who deserve the brunt of our criticism and Lambert a beer to settle what I'm sure has not been an easy end to her collegiate career.

4. MidnightRevs

This one is not sympathetic, but celebratory.

Our guest-hosted "Free Beer Match Day" was held by New England Revolution blogger MidnightRevs who cracked open a case of post-Halloween night beers for the Major League Soccer playoff match against the Chicago Fire at Gilette Stadium in Boston, Mass.

MidnightRevs was kind enough to share his story on the blog and was handsomely rewarded for his efforts. And you can be too!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

News Watch: US National Team Names Roster for Slovakia Friendly and FRANKIE is On Board!!!

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USMNT Coach Bob Bradley announced his squad for Saturday's upcoming international friendly against World Cup qualifiers, Slovakia. The game is at 9am CT on Fox Soccer Channel.

Major League Soccer is represented well, although missing heavy hitters Landon Donovan, Stu Holden, and Brian Ching because their clubs are still competing for the MLS Cup in the playoffs. More important that all of that COMBINED is the inclusion of one very special man:



Mr. Frankie Hejduk!!!!!!!

Look at that intensity, that focus, that hair!

Frankie, despite some up and down play in the MLS playoffs is going to get another solid look from Bradley heading into the crucial run up to the 2010 World Cup. The FBM is keeping their collective fingers crossed that coach sees the value in keeping veteran leadership around in the squad for South Africa.

We had hoped that Mr. Hejduk would give us a call immediately after the Columbus Crew's tough loss to Real Salt Lake in the playoffs, but we understand that the healing process is a long one. Now with his Eurotrip book it looks like our "Recruit Frankie" drive has a little more time to collect signatures. Your's could be next!!!

We'll announce our own details for where the FBM is going to be on game day later this week.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Free Beer Stories: MLS Playoffs in New England

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From Midnight Revs:

Sunday, Nov 1st, All Saints Day... also known as Post Halloween Sugar Crash Day.

I was packing up the car to go to Foxboro to watch the New England Revolution take on the Chicago Fire in the first leg of the MLS Playoffs, and realized that my cooler was still full of beer from the night before. Halloween is always a big party in my neighborhood, and so I was well stocked to provide refreshment to those adults accompanying their kids out trick or treating. And it occurred to me - I should use my beer to aid the Free Beer Movement. So I sent out a post on Twitter, and headed down route 1 to Foxboro.

Heading to gillette for #revs. Will be there by 1:00.#freebeermovement will be in effect.@FreeBeerMovemnt

Now the tailgate party at Gillette Stadium is usually pretty well stocked with beer, even at Revolution games. And it was a pretty nice November day by New England Standards - Warm (meaning above 50 degrees) Sunny (i.e. NOT raining) and just a slight hint of Autumn (leaves stuck on your windshield wipers). I was hoping for a big crowd - but it never showed up. Maybe it was the fact that it was Sunday, and usually the Patriots are playing, or maybe there was a youth hockey tournament, or maybe everybody was just suffering from post Halloween meltdown disorder... but the crowd was minimal. The Midnight Riders of course showed up, and they were getting their rowdy faces on. Other small tailgating groups were already in full grill out mode - I broke out the cooler, made a quick sign, and let 'er rip.


Thanks to Midnight Revs for sharing his "Free Beer Match Day"! We'll be sending a Free Beer Movement bumper sticker his way for his efforts.

And you can get one too! Just send us your stories, pictures, and/or video showing how your free beer efforts are bringing people closer to American soccer. Next time you're off to a match grab a few friends, a case of beer, and good times will follow for sure. When the hangover is done, send us your tales!

Friday, November 6, 2009

FBM Appearance on Winning Ugly Radio

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FBM Prez Dan was one of the guest panelists on this week's episode of Winning Ugly Radio, a show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network.

On the show Dan talked about the Free Beer Movement, but mostly it was all fun and games with host Scott Bornstein and other guests Ginge (of Ginge Talks the Footy) and Sandra Franz.

Dan talks the curse of England's over-inflated sense of self-worth (and how that translates to penalty kick woe), a super STD between Paris Hilton and Cristiano Ronaldo, the "Coking, Choaking Argentini", PANCAKES! and other hilarious answers.

Listen Now: Episode 51 of Winning Ugly Radio (click on any of the links in the post).

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

News Watch: Numbers in the Stands, Numbers on TV, ESPN Ups its WC Coverage, Eastwood a Soccer Fan? and More

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The Free Beer Movement is not focused solely on drinking. I know... it surprises us to say that too. In our more sober moments we also reflect on the state of the sport, culture-wise, with one eye on the headlines that pop up across the soccer Inter-blogo-sphere.

Here's a look at a few key stories that are shaping American soccer this week.

* Despite the recession, Major League Soccer is doing pretty OK.

This is great news given the current economic situation in the nation. All of the major sports leagues are suffering due to the down turn, but MLS's modesty seems to have helped it through the worst part of the storm.

The National Football league is struggling to sell tickets and Major League Baseball saw its attendance drop 6.9%, while MLS fell only 2.9%. The bad news is that if you take new franchise Seattle out of the figures (who averaged 30,897 per game) the league attendance suffered a 9% drop. The other bad news is that established clubs on, average, suffered more than the league's newer clubs. Long-struggling clubs like Kansas City, FC Dallas, and New York Red Bulls continue to lose fans not only because of the recession, but because they're just bad.

Back to the upside. The Summer of Soccer put American soccer on the map. Not 1994 World Cup on the map, but between the high profile matches and the USMNT's run the Gold Cup and Confed Cup it drew larg number of people to the sport and in the stands

* Even as attendance numbers are a mixed bag, TV ratings for soccer are pretty straight forward: a big jump for the footy. Fox Soccer Channel saw huge boosts for its English Premier League numbers and modest gains for its MLS broadcasts. Just keep in mind, its not worth it to compare the two.

* More good TV news: ESPN is going all-out for its World Cup coverage in South Africa next year.

* Speaking of the World Cup, the Los Angeles Time reports that the U.S. hosting the 2018 or 2022 tourney could mean an estimated $5 BILLION, with a "B" windfall for the nation's ecomomy.

* And how is that big going?

* A great "shoe on the other foot" perspective of American basketball from the Brits.

* If Dirty Harry is a soccer fan then why not the rest of America? Huh, punks?

* The Americans are Coming! The rest of the world ought to get used to the USMNT participating in its marquee soccer event.

Monday, November 2, 2009

FBM Photo: Free Beer Match Day in New England

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MidnightRevs was kind enough to send us this picture from Sunday's Major League Soccer playoff clash between the New England Revolution and the Chicago Fire.

He "tweeted" me earlier in the day to let me know he was hosting a Free Beer Match Day at Foxboro Stadium.

Here's his first pic from the afternoon:



Simple, yet elegant, for sure. For his efforts we're sending MidnightRevs a FREE FBM bumper sticker! You can get one, too!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Photo Essay: The Making of the FBM Bumper Sticker

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You've seen the stickers on our fans (maybe a few cars?) and we've handed out a ton at the two Free Beer Match Days we've had since we got them, now you can see the "making of..." our Free Beer Movement Bumper Stickers.

Our "marketing director" Craig was kind enough to lend the services of the print company, Sign Satisfaction, where he works to print the stickers for us. We highly recommend them if you're in the Austin, TX area.

Craig converting the image for print.


It wouldn't be Free Beer Movement work without free beer!

Setting up the beast.

Rolling of the presses.


The cutting room.

Dan making precision-perfect cuts.

This is serious business, folks.

Get used to this shot. You'll be seeing all over the place!

I'm sure now you're left wondering, "How can I get my hands on one of these awesome stickers?" It's simple... just tell us your free beer stories.

We want to know how free beer has bridged the soccer gap for you and your friends. Write to us, send us your pictures, and we'll send you a FREE Free Beer Movement bumper sticker to put where ever you like. Hit us up at freebeermovement@gmail.com and your story could be the next on our site!