Friday, September 3, 2010

Going Suds Up: The Best Beers, The Best Soccer

By Kirsten Schlewitz / Senior West Coast Beer and Aston Villa Correspondent


Not a lot of league games happening in Europe this weekend, which is likely causing Fox Soccer Channel to throw itself into a tizzy and make us watch even more commercials with close-ups of Katy Parry. But do not despair, US soccer fans! Rather than do a lick of work on Friday, point your computer to ESPN3.com and fire up the Euros. Yes, Europe’s championship is back and we’ll be paying attention to qualifying until next November. Tomorrow’s matches start at 10 AM CT and finish around 3:30 PM. My thought is that any free soccer is good soccer…until you look at some of those matchups. Faroe Islands against Italy? San Marino versus Netherlands? I know Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben are injured, but I still don’t see that match as a nail biter.

So if you’re fortunate enough to be self-employed, or have taken the day off to devote yourself to soccer, here’s the beer that you should be drinking to celebrate the Euros:

Orval Brewing Trappist Ale (Belgium): Belgium may not be heavyweights in the world of international soccer, but even if they can’t beat Germany to the top of Group A, they can steamroll right over them in almost any beer-to-beer competition. Now, this is a debate that goes on almost nightly among beer snobs—which country makes the best beer—but Belgium started it all and Belgium continues to wear the crown. And although many will assert that Chimay or Rochefort are better brews than Orval, my loyalty lies with this honey-brown beer. Smells of citrus and lemon. It’s quite a dry Belgian, but it still has all the familiar characteristics: candy sugar, citrus and coriander are all present in the taste, with some oak as well.

FSC really has nothing to choose from on Saturday, so they’ll be showing us the DC United-Columbus game at 6pm CT. Didn’t we just watch this match? I could have sworn I saw the Crew win in extra time on Wednesday night, denying DC a chance to lift the Open Cup. And so for you I give you this sessionable beer:

Elysian Loser Pale Ale (Seattle, WA): You might have Beck running through your head as you sip, but I promise, this beer fails to live up to its name. It’s a good beer for the end of summer. Slightly skunky smell, but some bitter citrus and caramel as well. Flowery taste, followed by caramel with a slight bitter finish.

About Kirsten:

Ever since Brazil caught my eye during the 1994 World Cup I’ve considered myself a soccer fan, but it wasn’t until the summer 2008 that I decided to find a club. I focused on the Premier League and eventually chose Aston Villa. Initially drawn in by the pretty clarets and blues, I found I liked their organization, their owner and their manager. I fell hard and now it’s too late—I can’t give them up. As for MLS, that was easy, as I live in Seattle. I also support Exeter FC, SSC Napoli, FC Koln, Estudiantes Tecos and Tooting & Mitcham FC, all for a variety of reasons including cider, tattoos, scarves, owls, and a soccer player texting while on the pitch. I’m the Managing Editor of SB Nation’s Aston Villa site, 7500 to Holte. I also contribute to Two Footed Tackle.

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4 comments:

  1. Have you ever tried St. Peter's Ale or Porter from England. Comes in a beautiful collector type green bottle. Only sold @ a few hi end groceries in individual bottles here in San Diego which is good because its pricey. This has become my once in a while treat as I usually support my fine area micros. Both are awesome. Would like to hear what you think.

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  2. I personally have not. Kirsten may have since she lives on the West Coast. I'll keep my eye out for it around here in Texas. Thanks for the recommendation. Always looking for new brews.

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  3. My wife & kids gave me a beer of the month club - ales division - subscription for my birthday. I'm openly weeping with joy.

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"Anyone who tells me soccer is boring, I'm going to punch them in the face."
- Former Dallas Burn (aka FC Dallas) coach Dave Dir

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