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The FBM Blog

VIDEO - Germans Love the Free Beer Movement

Photo Credit: The Guardian (UK)

It's not surprising that some of the world's greatest fans of beer are, of course, going to be fans of the Free Beer Movement. On our old site the evidence of the Germany-FBM alliance was overwhelming and we continue gathering more and more stories of "FBM in Action" in Deutchland.

Today it comes from German fans road-tripping to London for the Champions League Final between two German sides, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. As expected these fans have their priorities straight packing the luggage compartment of their tour bus with beer and not, well, luggage. That's how you spread the free beer love and soccer for sure.

Quite a turn-a-round for Bayern who we featured in 2009 as "FBM in Action" when they gave away 7,000 liters of beer to fans as an apology for their worst start to the club season in 43 years.

(h/t to "The Original Winger" for this find)

Tags: Beer, Champion League, Video

Going Suds Up - The Best Beers, The Best Soccer

By Kirsten Schlewitz / Senior West Coast Beer and Soccer Correspondent

The Champiooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooons! That’s right, this Saturday brings the final of the Champions League, with Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund meeting at Wembley to decide who lifts the trophy. But considering you’ve landed on a soccer site, you almost certainly knew that already.

In fact, you most likely already know all you need to know about the Champions League final. In case you don’t, here’s a quick summary: Dortmund are the mighty underdogs. They’ve been called “hipster” so many times that they’ve gone mainstream, with hipsters now seeking  to replace them with another side boasting amazing support and brightly colored kits. Bayern, meanwhile, ran away with the Bundesliga. They took 91 points from a possible 102, losing just once (!) to Bayer Leverkusen back in October. Bayern scored 98 goals in the league while allowing just 18 past. This is, to put it mildly, an incredible side.

But, again, you know this. You come to Free Beer Movement for something even more important than soccer knowledge: to learn exactly which beers to drink while watching the game. So let’s delay no further.

Bayern fans

One of Bayern’s primary sponsors is Paulaner, one of the six breweries that supplies beer for Oktoberfest. Now, clearly it is not the time of year during which one can usually find Oktoberfest beers, but if you’re trying to raise a glass to FCB, you need to at least make an effort. The Paulaner Oktoberfest Bier is available in bottles and cans, so you might be able to find some at your local German bar. If not, go ahead and look for the Paulaner Original Münchner Hell, a classic Munich beer. This lager is a bit lighter than the Oktoberfest (4.9% ABV as opposed to 6% ABV), but you might want a session beer for this match, particularly if you’re getting to the bar early to grab a seat.

This Paulaner is technically classified as a “Munich Helles Lager,” which is simply a sub-category of a pale lager. These beers are similar to a traditional Czech Pils, with spicy hops, although they have a bit more malts than a pilsner. The Paulaner stays true to the style, with more biscuit and vanilla than hops in the aroma, with the same coming out in the taste. It’s got a subtle, dry hop finish and is perfect as a session beer.

BVB fans

Dortmund, as far as I can tell, does not have a beer manufacturer as one of their sponsors (but one of their first kit sponsors was a cigarette manufacturer, so if that’s your thing…). Like BVB, their homeland, North-Rhine-Westphalia, comes in second to Bavaria when it comes to contributions to Germany’s beer production and styles. But also like BVB, that doesn’t mean there’s not hope of finding something fantastic, of unearthing a diamond overshadowed by its shinier Southern counterparts.

Of course, one of the most common styles of the region is a Kölsch‎, most popular further south, in Cologne. Dortmund actually has its own beer style, known as “Dortmunder”, but it’s almost impossible to find in the U.S.  It is, however, fairly similar to a Pils. Veltins, which makes a great pilsner, also comes from the area, but we can’t have you drinking the beer that sponsors Schalke’s stadium, now, can we?

With that in mind, let’s hoist an Altbier in honor of BVB. Sure, the stuff is primarily brewed in Düsseldorf, but we don’t want yet another Pils – we must stand out from the Bayern fans. Altbiers are more or less the equivalent of an English Ale and the best do a great job of balancing sweet malts with spicy hops. It’s not very common to find a German altbier on tap, unless you’re in a German-style pub, but you’re in luck: Widmer, Victory and Two Brothers all produce decent versions of the style. But if you can manage to find Uerige Doppel Sticke, grab it – it’s possibly more like a barley wine, with lots of caramel malts, but it’s a great brew and weighs in at 8.5% ABV.

Neutrals

How can you be neutral during one of the biggest matches of the soccer season? Bite the bullet and choose a side. If need be, try both the recommended beers and then make your decision. But if anyone asks why you support one of the sides, be sure to say you’ve been a fan since you were wrapped in [B____]’s kit after the doctor pulled you from your mother’s womb.

About Kirsten

I may be a law student at Lewis and Clark, but soccer is my true love, with beer coming in a distant second. That's not to say I don't love beer--I've tasted over a thousand different brews, am a bit obsessed with my "33 Beers" notebooks, and love my Untappd app. Living in Portland, Oregon, I attend quite a few festivals and tastings, and am able to argue passionately about the merits of Cascade hops vs. Chinook.

As for the soccer, I'm the cofounder of SB Nation's Aston Villa site, 7500 to Holte, as well as the editor of SB Nation Italy. Want more? Follow me on Twitter!

Tags: Beer, Champion League, Going Suds Up

The Big Pitcher - Open Season

Editor's Note: Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but It bends toward justice”. Sometimes we American soccer fans get wrapped up in the day-to-day, Monday morning quarterbacking (or centerbacking), knee-jerk reactions and miss out on the big picture. This weekly column will focus on picking out the larger themes and issues of Major League Soccer and the American game.

By Eric Betts / Senior Crystal Ball Correspondent

There’s still a certain, in some places significant, portion of the sports-going population in this country who will look at you funny when you try to explain the U.S. Open Cup to them.

WIth apologies to the diehards who have been there since Bethlehem Steel was winning tournaments, the vast majority of us have stumbled into the tournament in recent years as supporters or rational soccer-watching beings. This alone is enough to engender some skepticism in the part of the population that believes sporting loyalties are passed down like color-blindness or gingerism, through the bloodlines. They don’t believe in the kind of willful generational shift the USOC has seen that has boosted interest in the tournament in recent years. 

Because make no mistake, people should be watching. The tournament has a lot going for it. There’s its history for one – the 100th edition this year! – but to say that we should care about the 2013 running because of all that history is an argument only a baseball person could love, and ignores the ways the Cup combines some of the elements we love most in our sports, including:

Single elimination format: Single elimination makes everything from Pinewood Derbies to Mortal Kombat better. We love it so much we spend the entire month of March voting , and by the year 2024, presidential primaries will be held as a series of four online votes rather than on a state-by-state basis as each party winnows its bracket of 16 contenders down to a lone presidential candidate.

Underdogs:  Last time I wrote about the difficulties involved in projecting a player’s performance at different levels of competition. Here’s a chance to find out firsthand what happens when some young amateurs or career lower-leaguers go up against teams a couple of levels up on the pyramid, giving those of us who ordinarily couldn’t care less about a midweek May game between two Midwest teams the slightest bit of a rooting interest to serve as a foothold into the match.

Rivalries: With those underdogs comes a whole new ecosystem of local or regional grudge matches. Last Tuesday, PDL darlings FC Tucson dropped in-state rivals and USL-Pro debutantes Phoenix FC in the first USOC game either team has ever played. Last season’s fourth-round featured a much-anticipated grudge match between eventual-finalists Seattle and their bitter regional rivals...Cal FC?

But caring about the USOC is still a learned response. As sports fans in America, we’re trained not to give a crap about assorted cups and prizes. Why should our team waste energy and resources competing for a trophy when trophies are what everyone gets at the end of the T-ball season for participating?

Our sporting landscape is littered with adjunct and inessential competitions: all-star games in every sport, 34 out of 35 college football bowl games, the AFC South. Quick, name the last three winners of the Maui Invitational? Do they still have the Maui Invitational? How about the World Baseball Classic; is that still a thing?

Even those of us who care deeply about the world of soccer hold onto some of these attitudes. If you’re like me, then more than one of the soccer people you follow on Twitter thought they were being super-clever when they congratulated Chelsea for winning the European NIT on Wednesday. That’s a little unfair – no one knows who won the 2013 NITbut even UEFA is making noise about trying to find more efficient ways of making money than a second-class tournament.

For us, the currency of success is championships. The only trophies that matter are the larger, more famous ones that come with titles, the ones that Yankees teams the world over can shove straight up their you-know-where. I grew up a Braves fan, and the regret I feel looking at this picture outweighs the pride. (Yes, we were spoiled and Atlanta is on the whole a terrible baseball city. But still.)

Which is what makes the USOC interesting from a sporting perspective: By existing in that gap between top-level championship and utter insignificance, it pushes us to ask what makes a competition matter in the first place. Is it the stakes or the audience? Whose caring matters more, the players or the fans?

There are some fans who care deeply about their team’s fate in the USOC, and some for whom it would be a nifty bonus, the cherry on top of a successful season. I don’t question the first group’s passion, though I do believe that passion stems more than a little from passive overseas peer pressure; namely, that our model soccer nations all have high-stakes cup competitions that supporters care deeply about, so clearly since we are becoming a soccer nation ours should be high-stakes and deeply-cared-about as well.

Here’s the thing: The U.S. Open Cup doesn’t have to matter for you to appreciate its benefits. It’s a well-constructed and wonderfully fun sporting event on its own. The next time someone looks at you funny, that’s all you need to say.

Tags: Big Pitcher, We've Got History

The Spilt Pint - Week Ten

By Brian Wachholz / Senior Beer Rag Correspondent

South Africa 2010.  No matter where you were in the world, when American soccer fans saw Landon Donovan's strike hit the back of the net, beer went errrrrvrywhere. The pubs erupted with World Cup joy.  Lucky for us we don't have to wait four years for an equalizing moment.  Major League Soccer is jam-packed with amazing strikes, goals, headers, and golazos. Every week there are goals that make you leap out of your seat. Since great goals often come from the most unlikely of places you're often not prepared when that beer of yours goes tumbling over in that moment of goal-scoring ecstasy.

In the spirit of these unforgettable moments, we at the Free Beer Movement offer you a fitting pairing to replace that spilt pint.  Each week we bring you a carefully selected beer to go perfectly with the best scoring moments MLS has to offer.  Enjoy responsibly.

Goal of the Week Ten: Luis Gil – Real Salt Lake

 

Major League Soccer fans awarded Real Salt Lake's Luis Gil the 2013 Goal of the Week Award for week #10.  The RSL midfielder headed home his second goal of the year; this time against the Vancouver Whitecaps.  In this goal sequence the ball only touches three RSL players start to finish.  It begins on the home endline with GK Nick Rimando blasting a goal kck forward across the pitch.  As the whole RSL offense bombs forward, Joao Plata catches the ball as it slows outside the Whitecaps’ 18 yard box.  He sends in the cross to a fleet-footed Luis Gil who is crashing the box like a bull in a china shop.  Gil heads the ball into the net with his last bit of energy before rolling to the ground from a collision with Joe Cannon.

This teenager is stacked to the gills with talent.  In his honor (and your soggy socks) we at the Free Beer Movement recommend you replace your "Spilt Pint" with a Ballast Point brew.  Ballast Point Brewing Co (San Diego, CA) originates from Southern California, much like our young, goal-scoring prodigy.  All of their beverages are fantastic, but the "Wahoo" Wheat Beer is the recommendation this week.  Summer is quickly approaching, so it is time to start transitioning your taste buds to the refreshing flavors of hefeweizens (as well as other summery beer categories).  We like “Wahoo” because it succinctly summarizes the end to end sprinting motion of Gil’s bombing header and subsequent spiral to the turf.

Ballast Point is available across the country at better beer stores and bars.  Pick one up today.  

Until the next one… cheers to good beer and good goals!

Tags: Beer, Brian Wachholz, Major League Soccer, Spilt Pint

The Best of Both Worlds - DC Brau to Brew D.C. United Beer, Fans Get to Choose Name

D.C. United, in collaboration with DC Brau Brewing Company announced that DC Brau will brew a limited edition D.C. United specific beer. While the beer is currently without a name, D.C. United fans have the opportunity to name the new brew. Fans can submit their suggestions at "Brand the Brew" on the United website.

The special DC Brau craft beer, a golden ale, is crafted specifically for D.C. United and its fans to enjoy. One thousand gallons of the beer will be produced and will be made available exclusively at participating D.C. United official bar partners and at the DC Brau Brewing Company.

“My motivation for making this particular beer with D.C. United came from a willingness to make an ale that all soccer fans can enjoy,” said DC Brau President and Head Brewer Jeff Hancock. “United fans drink all kinds of different beer, and with this particular ale I wanted it to reach a broad spectrum of palettes from those who drink everything from light lagers to hoppy pale ales. There's a little something for everybody in this Golden Ale!”

The D.C. United “Brand the Brew” contest launched yesterday, and will run until May 29. The final list of fan suggestions will be given to a panel of D.C. United players to choose the winning name to appear on beer. The winner will receive a field-side D.C. United gameday experience for two and bragging rights for naming the new D.C. United and DC Brau beer. The brew is planned to become available for order on June 11.

“The unifying factor between D.C. United and DC Brau is the same element that connects both of us to our fans,” said DC Brau CEO Brandon Skall. “Pride: Pride in what we produce, pride in our city and pride in ourselves!”

“Anyone who walks through the Lot 8 tailgate will undoubtedly see DC Brau’s distinctive silver cans and Capitol Dome logo in the hands of our most ardent fans,” said D.C. United Marketing Manager Andrew Minucci. “The quality of their product is what our fans demand and we are excited to quench their thirst by combining the beer they crave with the team they love.”

Beer Specs

Classification: Ale

Approx. ABV: 4.5-5.0%

IBU’s: 15

Hops: U.S. Fuggle, U.S. Cascade

Malts: Pale, CaraPils

Tags: Beer, Major League Soccer, The Best of Both Worlds

EVENT - “Good Brews, Social Change” at Hops and Grain Craft Brewery

At the Free Beer Movement we aren't content with just helping "build American soccer one beer at a time". We're also focused on doing more with our organization.

That means using the power of suds for social change.

On Wednesday, May 29th we're hosting "Good Brews, Social Change" (link to RSVP on Facebook) in FBM HQ's Austin, Texas at Hops and Grain Craft Brewery. Hops and Grain is one of Austin's best breweries and they've got a World Beer Cup Gold Medal to prove it (for their flagship "Alt-eration" a German alt beer).

"Good Brews, Social Change" is being held to benefit the Homeless World Cup, a global organization that serves over 250,000 players in over 70 countries. The founder of the Homeless World Cup, Mel Young, is in Austin to be the keynote speaker at the North American Society for Sport Management and before that speech we're hosting him at Hops and Grain for a meet-and-greet.

From 5pm to 9pm a $20 donation will get you in the door, a Hops and Grain pint glass (for you to keep), and five pours of any of their great beers on tap.

Plus you get to mingle with us.... and Mel, too.

And don't worry we'll have the U.S. men's game versus Belgium on somewhere, too.

If you can't make the event, but would still like to help the Homeless World Cup and support their mission please make a donation through their website.

We hope you'll join us for our first philianthropic effort (minus all the soccer and beer Kickstarter projects we've funded!) and use the power of beer and soccer for even more good.

Tags: Beer, Event, FBM In Action

Going Suds Up - The Best Beers, The Best Soccer

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

It’s not the Champions League final. It’s not even the most exciting match on tap this week. Yet the Europa League final means midweek soccer and the chance to drink beers in the afternoon, so there’s no reason to miss Wednesday’s game. Besides, there’s something strangely compelling about the match between Chelsea and Benfica.

First of all, it’s not every year that last season’s Champions League winners crash out of the group stages and wind up in the Europa League final. Most managers would’ve crawled into a corner to lick their injured pride, but Rafa Benitez outfitted Fernando Torres in a Zorro mask and went charging through Thursday nights. Something about his superhero costume perked Zorres right up, and the Blues cruised through courtesy of his goals – although, it must be said, Chelsea was quite generous about allowing their opponents back into every match.

Then there’s Benfica, who haven’t lifted a European trophy in 51 years. They last won the European Cup in 1962, with Bela Guttmann at the helm. But after beating Real Madrid, the Hungarian demanded a pay raise. When Benfica refused, Guttmann left, but not before cursing the club, claiming they’d never boast of European glory again. Interestingly enough, Benfica have made it to a European final six times since Guttmann’s pronouncement – will this seventh time finally see them break the curse?

Of course, we all know what’s most important about the Europa League final: the beer you choose to sip while watching. With the match taking place in Amsterdam, you might be tempted to grab a Heineken. Resist this urge. There’s really nothing that sets Heineken apart from Budweiser or Coors, except that it comes in a prettier bottle. You can do better.

For the best Dutch beer, you’ll need to find La Trappe, which has almost certainly been written about on this site before – but it’s pretty close to perfection, so I make no apologies. La Trappe used to be called Koningshoeven in the U.S., but the brewery realized absolutely no one outside of Holland could pronounce the beer, and made the smart decision to use La Trappe. Koningshoeven actually brews eight beers (try Isid’or if you get the chance) but usually the only one you can find in the States is the quadrupel.

Prior to sitting down to write this column, I had no idea that the “quad” style was modeled on the La Trappe Quad. It’s the prototype, and while other brewers can gussy theirs up with added fruits or oaked barrels, they’ve yet to make a simple quadrupel as flawless as this one. Be sure you pour it into your Trappist glass – come on, we’re all beer snobs here, and you know you’ve got one – and don’t be worried when there’s little or no head. Instead, take a big whiff. Mmmm…caramel apples. Sure, you can fancy up that description with “Belgian yeast” or “spiced dark fruits,” but really, it’s caramel apples.

Now, time to taste. Despite a 10% ABV, the alcohol in this quad isn’t at all overwhelming. The taste has some of that caramel you’ve been smelling, along with raisins and plums. It’s not too sweet though, ending on a slightly bitter note and leaving a bit of an alcohol burn behind.

About Kirsten

I may be a law student at Lewis and Clark, but soccer is my true love, with beer coming in a distant second. That's not to say I don't love beer--I've tasted over a thousand different brews, am a bit obsessed with my "33 Beers" notebooks, and love my Untappd app. Living in Portland, Oregon, I attend quite a few festivals and tastings, and am able to argue passionately about the merits of Cascade hops vs. Chinook.

As for the soccer, I'm the cofounder of SB Nation's Aston Villa site, 7500 to Holte, as well as the editor of SB Nation Italy. Want more? Follow me on Twitter!

Tags: Beer, Going Suds Up

American Craft Beer Week (May 13-19)

"It's the most wonderful time of the year".

Perhaps that was being spoken about a different season on the calendar, but American Craft Beer Week kicks off.... this week..... across.... well... America.

Events in all 50 states celebrate the small and independent craft brewer and the Free Beer Movement is ready to celebrate as well.

We're ready to do our soccer and beer thing with two local soccer matches (the USL PDL Austin Aztex in the U.S. Open Cup and their home opener) and loads of American craft beer at the ready.

What are you doing to celebrate American Craft Beer Week?

 

Tags:

The Spilt Pint - Week Nine

South Africa 2010.  No matter where you were in the world, when American soccer fans saw Landon Donovan's strike hit the back of the net, beer went errrrrvrywhere. The pubs erupted with World Cup joy.  Lucky for us we don't have to wait four years for an equalizing moment.  Major League Soccer is jam-packed with amazing strikes, goals, headers, and golazos. Every week there are goals that make you leap out of your seat. Since great goals often come from the most unlikely of places you're often not prepared when that beer of yours goes tumbling over in that moment of goal-scoring ecstasy.

In the spirit of these unforgettable moments, we at the Free Beer Movement offer you a fitting pairing to replace that spilt pint.  Each week we bring you a carefully selected beer to go perfectly with the best scoring moments MLS has to offer.  Enjoy responsibly.

By Brian Wachholz / Senior Beer Rag Correspondent

Goal of the Week Nine: Jonathan Osorio – Toronto FC

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Canadian dude extraordinaire Jonathan Osorio rides away with the 2013 "Goal of the Week" award for week nine.  Osorio, born in Toronto, Ontario, is plying away his debut in the league with his hometown club, Toronto FC.  This is his second goal of the season.

The play originated with a free kick in the attacking half against the New York Red Bulls.  The ball was played in to the mixer from distance, and Luis Robles whiffed the punch clearance.  The ball fell to a red foot and was instantly passed out of the box to an eager Osorio.  The rookie side stepped an on-rushing NYRB defender to give him a tiny bit of breathing room to let loose a precision strike to thread the gap between (a slightly recovered) Robles and the crossbar.

In honor of this goal and your floor-beer now seeping into the carpet, we here at the Free Beer Movement recommend you replace your spilt pint with the best of the best Canadian flavors.  Founders Brewing Company’s “Canadian Breakfast Stout” (Grand Rapids, Michigan), or CBS for short.  This brew has topped the international tasting charts with some of the highest ratings found on the interwebs.  It drips of maple and bourbon, having been aged in each before being put out to the masses.  If you are lucky enough to snag a bottle, savor it as you would Osorio’s wondrous effort.  Cheers!

Tags: Beer, Brian Wachholz, Spilt Pint

The Big Pitcher - Project Projection

Editor's Note: Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but It bends toward justice”. Sometimes we American soccer fans get wrapped up in the day-to-day, Monday morning quarterbacking (or centerbacking), knee-jerk reactions and miss out on the big picture. This weekly column will focus on picking out the larger themes and issues of Major League Soccer and the American game.

By Eric Betts / Senior Crystal Ball Correspondent

One of the toughest things to do as a soccer watcher is to project. How will a player performing well on Field A for Team 1 will do if placed on Field B and Team 2?

Even the people who are paid to make these judgments at the highest levels have a far from sterling success rate. For us amateurs, it can feel like the height of foolishness even to guess whether the way-better-than-everyone-on-the-field girl at pickup is former-Division-1 or former-Division-III good, much less whether someone who’s scoring consistently in MLS will be able to repeat the feat for the U.S. team or in the Premier Bundesligue A.  

So then it’s a little satisfying to see a pair of players we had pegged for success three tiers down move on to MLS and do pretty well in their first two months in the league. Those of us who live in Austin got to see two of the young season’s promising rookies, Dillon Powers and Kekuta Manneh.

It didn’t take the Football Manager database to figure that out those two had futures at a higher level, not when they were the two best players on the field every time they stepped on it. (The Aztex had a third player drafted in the first round, Blake Smith at number 8 to the Impact. I get Smith’s strengths, but given the choice I would have taken Powers and ran with him, positional needs be damned.) We’ve covered their influence on the Aztex here before

Last year I saw Manneh do this in Houston live, mere minutes after he stepped onto the field for the first time and just hours after he actually joined the team. It was like those teams who show up for the finals of a rec league season with that one guy who hasn’t been to any of the previous games. And that guy starts juggling as he jogs around the field to warm up. Manneh Manneh indeed.

With Manneh and Powers it may have been easy, but this projection is supposedly one of our weak points as a soccer-culture. As the narrative goes, we see kids who are bigger, stronger or faster than everyone they’re competing against and decide they could probably cut it at the next level, while Lil Messi and Xavi Jr. ...sorry... while Young Schweinsteiger and Mini-Reus are left picking up the discarded Capri Sun husks. (I sense a wonderful Muppet Babies/JL8-esque web show coming on.)

Those physical gifts obviously help when making the jump. Manneh demonstrated with his assist Saturday that being significantly faster than your opponent is an advantage no matter how old you are. Similarly Kei Kamara, who’s off doing his best Iron Fist impression with Norwich City, has discovered that just because the Premier League is the “Best League in the World” (© 2008) doesn’t mean the defenders can jump any higher than they do in MLS. On the other hand, ask Brad Davis, or even Omar Gonzalez for a while there, about what it’s like to be too slow for international play. The technical skills that come with constant (and year-round) practice at a higher level are slowly learned, but speed kills on day one.

You’ve likely heard all the reasons our system has trouble picking out these gems: inexperienced coaching at the youngest ages, overemphasis on winning rather than player development, poor playing surfaces hampering touch, close control and passing. Because of that difficulty we seem to be trying option B: Teach everyone the technical stuff, and then siphon off the ones who picked it up and are still strong and fast. That’s what newly triumphant Germany appears to have done. Young Schweinsteiger (It’s pronounced Schweinst-ee-ger) would be playing forward and goalie and probably point guard and quarterback long after his more diminutive Spanish counterparts had been relegated to the number eight shirt on the Chess Club.

We do need to do more to find and polish those less-obvious gems, but for now it’s a strategy that makes sense for American soccer. If you’ve traditionally produced athletes, then why not take those known commodities and try to make them better rather than reaching for a kind of player we may not even be able to find?

The Austin Aztex begin their second PDL season next weekend in Oklahoma City. I have no idea how many future first round picks we’ll find on the field here this season, but I’m looking forward to trying to figure it out.

About Eric

Eric Betts is a freelancer writer who lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and his dog Lando (yup). He is a contributing writer for "The Other 87 Minutes", their brilliance featured every Tuesday on the Free Beer Movement in the form of "the Tuesday 10" or the "Tuesday XI". While attending Emory University he won "College Jeopardy"

Tags: Big Pitcher, Eric Betts, Major League Soccer

Contest: FBM In Action - Free Tickets and Free Beer at a D.C. United Match

D.C. United is embracing the Free Beer Movement in their latest gameday promotion!

For just $44 you can get two tickets and two FREE BEERS for next Wednesday's (May 8th, 7pm ET) match against the two-time defending Eastern Conference champion Houston Dynamo.

That's a great deal, and in the spirit of the FBM philosophy.

Even better, though? We're giving away two of the FBM-esque packages for Wednesday's game.

Yup, that's FREE BEER and FREE TICKETS for you and a friend! Why not make it an epic FBM night and bring a newbie and show 'em what American soccer is all about?

Entering the contest is simple. Just tweet at us the following:

"Hey @FreeBeerMovemnt... I want free tickets and free beer from @DCUnited! #FBMDC"

Want a second chance to enter? Like us on Facebook and comment on the D.C. United ticket post.

It's that simple!

A great contest, great American soccer, and a chance to practice the Free Beer Movement in action!

 

Tags: Beer, contest, FBM In Action, Major League Soccer

The Spilt Pint - MLS Week 8

South Africa 2010.  No matter where you were in the world, when American soccer fans saw Landon Donovan's strike hit the back of the net, beer went errrrrvrywhere. The pubs erupted with World Cup joy.  Lucky for us we don't have to wait four years for an equalizing moment.  Major League Soccer is jam-packed with amazing strikes, goals, headers, and golazos. Every week there are goals that make you leap out of your seat. Since great goals often come from the most unlikely of places you're often not prepared when that beer of yours goes tumbling over in that moment of goal-scoring ecstasy.

In the spirit of these unforgettable moments, we at the Free Beer Movement offer you a fitting pairing to replace that spilt pint.  Each week we bring you a carefully selected beer to go perfectly with the best scoring moments MLS has to offer.  Enjoy responsibly.

By Brian Wachholz / Senior Beer Rag Correspondent

Goal of the Week #8: Javier Morales – Real Salt Lake

Javier Morales nets a rare headed goal for this eighth edition of the 2013 Major League Soccer "Goal of the Week" Award.  The play starts on a failed counter attack from Chivas USA.  Morales takes off with the give-away when Eric Avila slips at the centerline.  Three short passes sets the ball at the feet of Álvaro Saborío who sends in the cross.  Morales, who never stops running during this play, loses his mark at that exact moment to head the ball past Dan Kennedy for the eventual game-winner and lone goal of the match.

This is only the Real Salt Lake midfielder’s third headed goal in his career.  In his honor, we at the Free Beer Movement recommend you replace your spilt pint with a superior beverage from local Salt Lake City outfit: Epic Brewing.  The beer of choice comes from Epic’s “Elevated Series” of brews because no regular everyday drink is worthy of Morales’ constant effort for RSL.  The Argentine has been a near constant presence for the team, creating positive impact every season since joining MLS in 2007.  We’re having a bit of fun this week suggesting that the “Brainless" Belgian-Style Golden Ale represents Javier’s latest award in a whimsical way.  This is a pairing that is ironic in the sense that Javier is an incredibly intelligent athlete with some of the best vision and positioning awareness in the league.  However, the distinction is literal since he almost never scores a headed goal (his physical brain-cage) theretofore… an oft brainless striker.

You can find Epic beers in 12 states plus the District of Columbia.  Check out their beer directory to see if it is available near you.

Tags: Beer, Brian Wachholz, Spilt Pint

The Big Pitcher - Mac Attack is Back, Jack Edition

Editor's Note: Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but It bends toward justice”. Sometimes we American soccer fans get wrapped up in the day-to-day, Monday morning quarterbacking (or centerbacking), knee-jerk reactions and miss out on the big picture. This weekly column will focus on picking out the larger themes and issues of Major League Soccer and the American game.

By Eric Betts / Senior Crystal Ball Correspondent

(For those of you born before 1981.)

Why stop at Chicharito?

If we’re going to set off a silly debate every time we compare Jack McInerney to a more established forward, then why not earn it? Six goals in seven games? Let’s declare him the American Inzaghi, the Klose from Chattanooga, the Philadelph-Owen. We should scrap the Jack Mac nickname so we can start calling him the B-29, Der Amerikanische Bomber.

Is it too soon? Yes, absolutely. We’re looking for the ceiling when we don’t even know where the floor is. Worse things have happened. 

I think we’re fascinated with McInerney because his skill-set seems to be so ingrained. His Spidey-sense combination of anticipation, positioning and three-step acceleration encapsulates what it must be like to be a footballing natural: Right place, right time, two touches and a goal. It sounds so simple, but if it was the kind of stuff they could teach, then everyone would be able to do it.

Even better, as everyone you know has likely pointed out over the course of the last week, it’s a skill-set that seems sorely lacking (or at least pushed out thanklessly onto the left wing) from the U.S. national team right now. He’s young, he’s American, he can put the ball into the back of the net. Who can ask for anything more?

Well, that’s kind of the point. Should we be asking for something more?

Javier Hernandez may be playing for the ninth-best team in Europe, but that’s only when he does play. So far this year that’s been eighteen times in the league: seven starts and eleven substitute appearances. You can count on one hand the number of players who would start over Robin Van Persie right now and still have fingers left over to double-check your work, but RVP has played roughly four times as many English minutes as the Little Pea this year. Danny Welbeck has eight more appearances and 500 more minutes, even though Chicharito’s scored eight times to Welbeck’s one.

That’s because Chicharito’s experiencing firsthand something fans and pundits and Jonathan Wilson have been discussing for years: In the modern game, it’s not enough to just score goals. Space has been squeezed out, fewer teams play the high lines that allowed players like Owen to thrive in space behind them, and most importantly, the emphasis many teams are placing on possession means everyone has to contribute in the build-up to keep their teams from playing 10 v 11.

Forwards have to bring something else to the table: the ability to hold the ball up or drop deep to help retain possession, to move to the flanks to overload fullbacks or one-touch through balls to onrushing teammates. Goalscoring is the number one objective, but the most successful teams need players who can also fulfill 1b and 1c on the gameplan.

There lies the concern with McInerney; what else might he eventually be able to bring to the table? McInerney’s goals so far this season fall broadly into one of two categories: tap-ins from inside (sometimes well inside) the 18 or well-timed surges beyond defenders, both of which require him to be at the tip of the spear, not out on the flanks or between the lines.

Compare McInerney’s passing from the game against DC (granted, in 77 minutes) to one of Will Bruin’s (also against DC) or Juan Agudelo’s (against Chicago, his last full game) and it’s easy to see the array of crosses, lay-offs and flick-ons that the other young forwards have incorporated into their game that McInerney isn’t asked to do for the Union. He has fewer key passes and chances created than either of those others in more minutes of playing time.

You might rightly point out that that’s not what he’s asked to do in Philly; that’s what Conor Casey’s for. And indeed, McInerney has thrived with the big man partnering him. Casey has assisted on two of Jack’s six and played a key flick to Danny Cruz to set up another. Will he require such a partner with the national team to be successful? (Can I nominate a certain 18-year-old target forward in L.A., giving the U.S. it’s very own Jack-Jack Attack, featuring a Big and Little Mac? Headline writers everywhere are salivating at the prospect.) If he does, then would he get such a partner? The U.S. in the JK plays mostly with one striker up top and another in the hybrid forward-left-wing role Robinho used to play for Brazil than a partnership.

More importantly, though goal-scoring is in short supply at the moment, the transition process Klinsmann has attempted to put the team through – from more reactive to more proactive, a style closer to that of the world’s heavyweights (Not you, England) – mean’s there’s even less room for a poacher in the lineup. Mario Gomez is pretty good, but Germany has been experimenting with Mario Gotze as a nominal striker anyway. The additional qualities that Bruin or Agudelo bring to the fold might give them the edge on the depth chart, even if they were to score at a Heskeyian pace.

In other words, McInerney’s stock is rising at a time when the team has the stated goal of evolving beyond him. He’s a steampunk striker; an awesome relic of an earlier era built in a world that’s already moved beyond him, like a coal-burning pocket watch or a nuclear zeppelin.

Can he adapt his game? The flip side of saying that he’s young and this current run might be unsustainable is that he’s young and still has time to adapt and grow. His savant’s knack for intra-box movement could be adapted to open space not just for him but for his teammates as well. He can still add elements to his game, a wicked right-footed cross or expanded vision that shifts between field panorama and laser-like focus on the corners of the goal.

During the build-up to 2012’s failed Olympic bid, Caleb Porter used McInerney sparingly on the wings in his 4-3-3, a goal-scoring counterbalance to a more traditional winger such as a Brek Shea or Joe Gyau just as Eddie Johnson or Herculez Gomez are used opposite Landon Donovan or Graham Zusi. But Klinsmann’s system requires more defensive work out of these wide players so that Clint Dempsey can stay high, and that would pull McInerney away from the places where his Spider-sense goes tingling. Could he balance those two duties?

Any of these adjustments could jeopardize his chances of becoming the American Chicharito. The right one, though, could turn him into something much more.

About Eric

Eric Betts is a freelancer writer who lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and his dog Lando (yup). He is a contributing writer for "The Other 87 Minutes", their brilliance featured every Tuesday on the Free Beer Movement in the form of "the Tuesday 10" or the "Tuesday XI". While attending Emory University he won "College Jeopardy"

Tags:

Going Suds Up - The Best Beers, The Best Soccer

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

In the world of modern football, certain matches are labeled “derbies” and played with as much – often even more – venom as those that involve cross-town rivals. There are different types of these fake derbies. Some take the form of a regional rivalry, such as the Revierderby between Schalke and Dortmund, or the Derby du Rhône, between ASSE and Lyon. Then there are the derbies between clubs that traditionally lead the league, including the Derby della Italia featuring Juventus and Inter Milan, or everyone’s favorite match, when Barcelona and Real Madrid play out El Clasico.

But even in the post-globalization era, in which we’re all watching the same match at the same time and making the same pithy comments on Twitter, there’s something more compelling about an intra-city derby. Sure, you can mock your friends long-distance when, for example, LA Galaxy and DC United meet. It’s likely that Manchester United and Chelsea supporters wind up working in the same office, even outside of England. Yet spending a weekend treating your neighbor, who came over just yesterday to share a six-pack, like he’s your greatest enemy…well, that’s the magic of a real derby.

This weekend brings a couple good derby matches. The first, on Saturday, is El Derbi Madrileño. Atlético Madrid are just three points back of rivals Real. Sure, it doesn’t really matter which side gets second and which gets third, but the point here is pride, people. And if Atlético get those three points in a derby, so much the better.

Then on Sunday, we have the Derby della Mole, played between Torino and Juventus. Sadly, this match is very near meaningless: if Juve win and Napoli lose, Juventus will clinch the scudetto. Torino, fresh out of Serie B, are simply happy to be almost safe from relegation. But if il granata manage to delay the victory parades through Turin, Torino will have to consider their season a success.

This weekend’s derbies call for a different sort of direction than I had you take during #RivalryWeek, when you were encouraged to find beer from the opposing city and give it a taste. Intra-city derbies should be all about the strong ales, as a touch of tipsiness is essential when thinking up the clever one-liners necessary to sink the opposition.

Belgian beers are often the best to choose when seeking this particular style. They might be a bit expensive, but since they taste great and you’ll drink less of them, it’s worth paying a little extra. Standard Belgians come in dubbels, tripels and quadrupels. The quads usually weigh in around 10%, but the best ones manage not to overpower the palate with heavy alcohol tastes. One of the bests is a Rochefort 10, a trappist beer that’s fairly easy to track down. The Rochefort has a fantastic aroma of dark fruits, mostly plum and raisin. The taste balances the fruits with chocolate and caramel malts, but with a slightly bitter finish, it manages not to be too sweet.

If you’re looking to buy a six-pack you can share with your non-enemy neighbors, give New Belgium Brewing Co.'s Trippel (Fort Collins, CO) a try. Often New Belgium standards are a bit boring, but, as could be assumed from the name of the brewery, they’ve managed to create a solid tripel. There’s nothing flashy about this one, but it stays true to the style, with candy-sugar aromas and plenty of caramel malts in the taste. It’s spiced with coriander, which keeps the sweetness from being overpowering.
Finally, if you love derbies as much as I do, be sure to check out two of the most heated, coming up in the next couple weeks. In Istanbul, expect to pay a high premium if you need to purchase a flare around May 11, when Fenerbahçe hosts Galatasaray. Just a few days later, on May 17, Belgrade batters down the hatches as Partizan and Red Star meet in a match that could very well determine which side will grab the title.

About Kirsten

I may be a law student at Lewis and Clark, but soccer is my true love, with beer coming in a distant second. That's not to say I don't love beer--I've tasted over a thousand different brews, am a bit obsessed with my "33 Beers" notebooks, and love my Untappd app. Living in Portland, Oregon, I attend quite a few festivals and tastings, and am able to argue passionately about the merits of Cascade hops vs. Chinook.

As for the soccer, I'm the cofounder of SB Nation's Aston Villa site, 7500 to Holte, as well as the editor of SB Nation Italy. Want more? Follow me on Twitter!

Tags: Beer, Going Suds Up

FBM Cookbook - Boulevard Beer Ribs

By Collin MallSenior "Kiss The Cook" Correspondent

Okay time for this recipe. I have to admit, I enjoyed the way these ribs came out, but all my friends and family have said these are the best ribs I’ve ever made. These are a Kansas City style baby back rib with a Boulevard Wheat beer mop and BBQ sauce.

Apologies, but this is a long recipe, in time that is. So if you can take off a friday, prep these ribs, read your soccer blogs, and enjoy some craft beer it will make the time go by faster.

Ingredients:

2 racks of Baby back pork ribs
1 1/2 cup of Brown sugar
3/4 cup of paprika
2 tbs of black pepper
2 tbs of Kosher salt
2 tbs of onion powder
2 tbs of chili powder
2 tbs of garlic powder
1 1/2 cayenne pepper (if you like spice)

1) Figure out when you would like to cook these ribs because they require a day of “rest.”

2) Combine all ingredients and mix well.

3) The night before cooking your ribs, apply a thin layer of spice mixture to the ribs and wrap in plastic wrap, let rest over night in your refrigerator. This will let the brown sugar “melt” into the meat with the other spices.

4) Now time for us to cook the ribs! About an hour before cooking take the ribs out of the refrigerator. Apply the rest of the spice blend. At this time warm your grill to medium heat, or 350 degrees. If using charcoal try to move all charcoal bricks to one side of the grill, or if using gas only turn of half the grill. The object to use whats called “indirect” cooking. This enables you to cook the food, but not over direct heat. Creates a slow cooking process.

5) These ribs will cook for 2-3 hrs, depending on the heat source. Every 30 mins apply some “Mop sauce,” to keep the ribs moist.

Mop Sauce:

12 oz of Boulevard beer

1 tbs of worcestershire sauce

2 1/2 garlic cloves minced

1/2 red onion medium dice

1/2 olive oil

2 tbs of paprika

*Combine all ingredients with a 1/2 of water. Bring to simmer, and reduce by half.

6) Now lets take a moment and reflect on our USMNT! Honduras...well let's forget that and soldier on to Costa Rica. While I almost drove “Brutus” my Mini Cooper up to Denver when my flight details fell through, I’m happy I didn’t. I doubt I would have returned home.. safely that is. The “Battle at Azteca,” gave me close to three ulcers. We proved Azteca isn’t what it use to be and this USA side is gaining more and more confidence! I, for one, am believing in my bold prediction I made when Jurgen took over. I told several of our chapter members “the USA will make the semifinals in the world cup!”

7) Okay, check your ribs.

8) In the last 30 mins of cooking, apply some of the BBQ sauce. Pull the ribs off the heat source apply some more BBQ sauce, and “let rest” for 15 minutes. Slice ribs, serve with your favorite slaw and potato salad...stay tuned and ill give you those recipes also!

Boulevard Beer BBQ sauce:

12 oz of Boulevard Wheat beer
3/4 cup of maple syrup
1/2 cup butter
2 red onions, diced
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup of ketchup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup orange juice
2 cloves of garlic minced

* Combine butter, garlic and onion in a sauce pan. Saute until onion turns light brown. Add all other ingredents and let simmer for about 30-40 mins.

Tags: Collin Mall, FBM Cookbook

We’ve Got History - “Dear U.S Open Cup: Happy 100th Birthday”

For many critics of the American game (among a plethora of other complaints) they cite a lack of history of the sport in the United States. But contrary to popular belief, the beautiful game was established here for much longer than most realize.

It goes past 1996 and the foundation of Major League Soccer. Past the 1960s and 70s of the New York Cosmos and the North American Soccer League. Even past Joe Gaetjens and the 1950 "Miracle on Grass". American soccer history is long and storied; nearly as old as it's European foundations.

We've got history. It's time to tell those tales.

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Say what you want about "SoccerReform", the American soccer (anti-collectivist) crusader... he's got a deep affinity for the U.S. Open Cup.

We're not here to get into a debate about the merits of the current setup of U.S. Soccer (hear that Ted!), but this video paying tribute to American soccer's longest-running, most under-appreciated cup competition is spot on.

For the last 100 years, the U.S Open Cup has featured some of American soccer's greatest players and teams, many of them lost to the dusty shelves of libraries or buried in microfiche drawers, and they deserve credit in helping sustain American soccer in its darkest days.

Tags: Video, We've Got History

VIDEO - Cascadia Supporters Group Beers Face Off

Emerald City Supporters members, Seattle Sounders player Roger Levesque, and Sounders announcer Ross Fletcher taste test Redhook Brewing Company's No Equal" Amber Lager (made for the Emerald City Supporters SG)) and Widmer Brother's Brewing Company's "Green & Gold" Kolsch (made for the Timbers Army SG).

Think they might have been a little biased?

Now we've tried both "No Equal" and "Green & Gold" and while the Sounders are having fun and games with propping up te ECS beer and burning of the TA beer they're both very well-crafted brews. 

Beer Advocate and Rate Beer both give solid ratings for ECS' amber while the TA kolsch doesn't have enough ratings to aggregate a score yet on either BA or RB they early reviews are just as positive as their Cascadia competitor.

We've always stressed at the Free Beer Movement that its completely fine to hate your opponent for those 90 minutes on the field just as long as you can share a brew before or after the match. 

Both "No Equal" and "Green & Gold" should be brews that either a Sounders fan or Timbers fan can share, and appreciate, when their beer is in the others' glass

Tags: Beer, Major League Soccer, Through The Drinking Glass, Video

The Spilt Pint - MLS Week Six

South Africa 2010.  No matter where you were in the world, when American soccer fans saw Landon Donovan's strike hit the back of the net, beer went errrrrvrywhere. The pubs erupted with World Cup joy.  Lucky for us we don't have to wait four years for an equalizing moment.  Major League Soccer is jam-packed with amazing strikes, goals, headers, and golazos. Every week there are goals that make you leap out of your seat. Since great goals often come from the most unlikely of places you're often not prepared when that beer of yours goes tumbling over in that moment of goal-scoring ecstasy.

In the spirit of these unforgettable moments, we at the Free Beer Movement offer you a fitting pairing to replace that spilt pint.  Each week we bring you a carefully selected beer to go perfectly with the best scoring moments MLS has to offer.  Enjoy responsibly.

By Brian Wachholz / Senior Beer Rag Correspondent

Goal of the Week No. 6: Ryan Johnson – Portland Timbers

Ryan Johnson of the Portland Timbers runs away with the 2013 Goal of the Week Award for week six.  Toronto’s Darel Russell was expected to be the favorite during voting; however MLSSoccer.com reports that a late surge in voting swept the result for Johnson on the last day of the poll.

The sequence began with Darlington Nagbe picking the ball off of a Houston Dynamo player in the orange half of the field.  Nagbe plays a give-and-go with Rodney Wallace and then another with Kalif Alhassan to free up ample space in the center circle.  With Dynamo defenders trying to adjust to the developing threat, Nagbe sends a perfectly weighted pass to the quickly advancing Ryan Johnson to beat the offside trap.  Johnson moves in on goal and quite easily defeats the keeper and onrushing orange to net the ball.

In honor of the winning goal, the FBM recommends you replace your empty glass with a local Portland pint of Cascade Brewing’s Spring IPA.  The winter must have seemed especially long for Portland Timbers fans, having to wait until week five of the 2013 season for a win.  However, spring and victory are here now, and the Timbers faithful can rejoice with a fitting seasonal brew!  The beer menu description:

This spring IPA is a hop showcase. Floral and citrus aromas from the Amarillo, then tropical lemon and lime notes from the Motueka combine with the herbal and lemony Sorachi- Ace hops to get you in the mood. A bright hop spice bite on the palate from the Brewers gold and Amarillo blends with biscuity malts, leading to a sublime, multifaceted refreshing IPA that is built to awe, not shock

Cascade Brewing operates two brewpubs: the Cascade Brewing Barrel House east of the river near downtown and Art Larrance’s Raccoon Lodge & Brew Pub in Raleigh Hills, OR (southwest of the city center).  If you aren’t local to the Pacific Northwest, you can also mail order brews through the website to be delivered by your friendly neighborhood UPS guy.

In addition to the Timbers’ win, Cascade Brewing owner, Art Larrance, won the Brewers Association Recognition Award at the Craft Brewers Conference in Washington, DC, last month.  Cheers to Portland beer, and cheers to soccer!

Tags: Beer, Brian Wachholz, Spilt Pint

Making The Case - Please Drink Responsibly

This is a case of beer. We are making an argument or case about something. See the connection?

Last night 20,465 "fans" attended a Major League Soccer game between FC Dallas and Los Angeles Galaxy. We say "fans" because late in the match there was one person who couldn't help himself from being not a fan, but a massive idiot. It would be more likely to say that 20,464 fans attended the match along with a single, bumbling moron.

Late in the game, one that saw two PK saves and a red card, FC Dallas' George John redirected a header that already bounced off the crossbar to earn the home side a dramatic late winner against the defending MLS Cup Champion Galaxy. In the ensuing celebration John was struck by a flying projectile later identified as an aluminum Budweiser bottle. Directly behind the goal is FC Dallas Stadium's beer garden, home to one of the supporters groups, the "Dallas Beer Guardians", and, apparently, at least one total dumbass.

To be clear we've already spoken to the DBGs and they've informed us that the suspect (caught on camera above and arrested for public intoxication) was NOT a member of their group or any of the other FC Dallas SGs. Furthermore a member of DBG told us that they were concerned about aluminum bottles being sold in the garden (and informed the FCD FO as well) because of the potential of incidents just like last night's. Given Dallas' proximity to FBM HQ in Austin some our biggest adherents to the "FBM philosophy" are up in Dallas. We're proud of the responsible FBM-ing the Beer Guardians do and, more importantly, their condeming of the fan.

John's gash after being struck with a bottle.

Matches like those against high-profile teams like Los Angeles, (back-to-back Cup holders, stacked with talent like Robbie Keane and the just-returned Landon Donovan) often draw big crowds. Not too mention FC Dallas is sitting pretty in first place in the Western Conference so what you have is a recipe for a stadium full of relative newbies and/or casual fans. A last-minute goal, combined with too much alcohol, a first-timer acting stupidly, and a player ends up getting hurt. A team and its supporters painted with broad stokes.

The switch to put beer from the beer garden in only aluminum bottles was definitely a poor move. Certainly it was to speed up serving time versus tap beer and increase brand visibility on a bottle versus a plastic, see-through cup. More likely than not the FC Dallas front office will re-examine the issue of the bottles and listen to the SGs that warned them earlier. Hopefully it doesn't mean the closing or moving of of a place that is credited as a "a significant success and improved the usually quiet atmosphere of FC Dallas Stadium." The actions of one person shouldn't determine the future of many.

The Free Beer Movement creed is "building American soccer one beer at a time" and we firmly believe that the power of a few free beers can open the doors for many, many people to the beauty of soccer in the United States. Except for when the power of that beer is used to tear down the American soccer experience.

Posted at the footer of our site is the following: 

"Free Beer Movement promotes the RESPONSIBLE consumption of alcohol. While viewing matches at bars or stadiums please look out for yourselves and appoint a designated driver to return all FBM participants and guests home SAFELY.

Free Beer Movement is not responsible for the actions of its members or guests and asks that each member of guest of the Free Beer Movement exercise PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY in not over-consuming alcohol while viewing or attending soccer matches."

It's easy to get wrapped up in the "beer" part of the FBM, but beer is just the medium while soccer is the message. If at any point the over-consumption or irresponsible use of alcohol gets in the way of the greater message then you're doing it wrong. We've yet to hear about any FBM experiences that have gotten out of hand and, from our interactions with our friends, followers, and supporters FBM is just as much about beer education as it is soccer education; both how to be a good beer drinkers and good fans. Last night's individual was neither.

If the Free Beer Movement ever became associated with these sort of actions on a regular basis we will shut this thing down. Without hesitation. 

George John, to his credit, was a sport about the incident and posted to Twitter that evening:

 

According to the Dallas Morning News John is not pressing charges against the suspect. Certainly the Frisco Police Department will have other avenues to charge the man and FC Dallas and stadium security will make sure his first soccer game there was his last.

There is a reason soccer is often referred to "the beautiful game", but, unfortunately, it can also create some ugly moments. There's no questioning that these "ugly" parts of our game are influenced by a variety of factors around the world: racism, nationalism, civic pride, etc and often inflamed by alcohol.

It's important that we, as American soccer fans and soccer fans in the United States, hold ourselves to the highest standards as to avoid the darkest corners of the sport and where fandom sometimes exists.

For the Free Beer Movement it is important that we continue to promote the utmost responsibility when doing what we do best: "building American soccer one beer at time".

Drink on. Drink responsibly.

Tags: Major League Soccer, Making The Case

Through The Drinking Glass - Widmer Brother’s Brewing Co.‘s Timber’s Army “Green and Gold” Kolsch

We don't get to do this often enough, but when a soccer-specific beer lands at FBM HQ we can't help but bust out the ol' camera and snap a few pictures. A brewery that's interested in supporting local soccer deserves a photo essay to honor their commitment to the American game.

Widmer Brothers Brewing Company took the winner of the Timbers Army Home Brew Competition "Full 90" category and turned their brewery on to produce Abram Goldman-Armstrong's "Green and Gold" kolsch.

A few weeks ago we spoke with Abe as a a part of our "Six Pack Interview Series" and now we're featuring our very own snap shots of the brew that Widmer graciously sent us.

Every MLS team and/or supporters group needs their own beer.

Cheers!

* All photography featured on this page was taken by the Free Beer Movement and is property of the Free Beer Movement.

Tags: Beer, Soccer Marketing 101, Supporters Groups, The Best of Both Worlds, Through The Drinking Glass

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