Friday, November 19, 2010

Going Suds Up: The Best Beers, The Best Soccer

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

If you’re reading this site, there’s a 99.9% chance you know that there’s a pretty important game on Sunday. You know, that one between Los Angeles and New York…oh. Oh wait. Colorado and Dallas, you say? That just makes it all the more fun! While Dallas certainly look to be the better side, by cheering on the Rapids, you can play the underdog card. Or you can sit back and simply cross your fingers for a great game, full of pace and attack. Or possibly just red cards.

What’s most important, however, is noting which region has the edge in beer. And that award goes—on a unanimous vote—to Colorado. Granted, they have an advantage in the fact that they represent an entire state, but really, we could allow Dallas to select beer from all over Texas and the best they could give us is St. Arnold, which isn’t even available outside the Lone Star State.

Colorado not only forces us to look at the shiny dome of Conor Casey, it also steals certain club colors and then blasphemes them by announcing their kits to be “burgundy.” However, at least the Mile High State gives the world some fantastic brews, the best of which come from Great Divide, Avery, and New Belgium. And since it’s a Sunday night and you’re watching the MLS Championship game (7:30pm CT on ESPN and, why not pick up all three?

Who cares if you’re hungover come Monday. It’s not like anyone works before Thanksgiving, anyway.

Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout (Denver, CO): The Yeti also comes in espresso and chocolate flavors, but I find the basic oak-aged to be the best. Pours an inky black and smells of chocolate, oak and caramel. Tastes of coffee and chocolate (who needs added flavors?) and is balanced by a bittery hop background. The finish is pure bourbon.

Avery "Old Jubilation" Winter Warmer Ale (Boulder, CO): It may not be Avery’s absolute best beer, but the brewery’s winter offering is more than solid, and who doesn’t want to celebrate the cup winners with a brew called Jubilation? This winter warmer tastes rather like a porter: lots of hazelnut, coffee and chocolate in the taste, with a bitter mocha finish.

New Belgium "La Folie" Sour Brown Ale (Fort Collins, CO): If you’ve only had Fat Tire, or even Mothership Wit or (god forbid) Skinny Dip, you’re missing out on the true greatness that is New Belgium. Skip the six packs next time and head for the fancy aisle, where you can either choose any of the Lips of Faith series, or just grab the brewery’s best—La Folie. This is Colorado trying to be like Belgium—again with the copying—and they managed to nail a sour red. This one has a tangy, sour aroma, with a taste of tart apples. Afraid of sour? Don’t worry, for a mild sweetness perfectly balances the sour.

***And yes, I did memorize each state’s nickname as a child. We didn’t have DVD players in cars in my day, and my parents thought flashcards were a fun alternative. Go ahead, quiz me. ***

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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1 comment:

  1. What about Rahr & Sons Brewery in Ft. Worth? I've seen them listed in top beer lists but haven't had the opportunity to try any of their beers.


"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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