Friday, November 5, 2010

Going Suds Up: The Best Beers, The Best Soccer

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

The San Jose Earthquakes pulled off a 3-1 win over Red Bull New York to advance to the Eastern Conference semi-finals—but you all know that already. The important part now is who else advances with them: Real Salt Lake or FC Dallas, Columbus Crew or Colorado Rapids, Los Angeles Galaxy or Seattle Sounders. And no matter if your team wins or loses, I’ve got the perfect beer for you.

Sad about your team losing in the first round of the MLS playoffs? Ready to wallow in utter misery and dejection, rocking back and forth and muttering about how you’re not sure you’ll survive until March? Then Elysian Brewing Co. "Loser" Pale Ale (Seattle, WA) is for you! Pours orange, or perhaps red, with a minimal head. Slightly skunky smell, rather reminiscent of the dweeb that sat next to you in biology. Initial caramel taste fades into a floral, bitter finish. At 6.5% ABV, this should be enough to take the edge off, but not strong enough to numb you entirely.

Your team won? Congratulations! (Unless you’re a Galaxy fan. If so, I kind of hope someone spits in your drink). This calls for a Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. "Celebration" Ale (Chico, CA). It’s November now, so it’s safe to put away the Pumking and pull out the holiday beers, including this yearly offering. This one pours orange gold with a minimal head. Aromas of spruce, florals, and caramel in the background—like a beery Christmas. Tastes of spicy hops, floral hops, and citrus peel. The 6.8% ABV will allow you to temporarily forget to worry about your next opponent, but still give you plenty of joy.

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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"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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