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A Brew For You Archives

A Brew For You…. And You… And You (USMNT vs. Mexico)

The pomp and circumstance has passed. We “Dos a Cero”-d Mexico otra vez. Tied them at Azteca (and won a year earlier there), and bailed their asses out all the way from Panama. We can close the book on that Gold Cup embarrassment from 2011, shelve it and let it gather dust. Right now there need not be any U.S. is this-or-that vis a vis Mexico.

Another addition of this age old rivalry is upon us, but for all inclined (unless you’re a Mexico fan DESPERATE to save some sort of face from World Cup qualifying) this match is nothing but filler before the main event in Brazil. Tonight’s match from Arizona is really an under-card fight pitting Major League Soccer versus Liga MX. It didn’t end so well for MLS in the CONCACAF Champions League, but we’re willing to bet this round will end better.

Will we or won’t we see Julian Green on the field tonight? Will Clint Dempsey find his USMNT form again? Can we please, please improve on the dreadful back line performance from Ukraine aka Cyprus? Will Michael Bradley grab this game by the balls?

These are the important questions not needless measuring sticks with Mexico.

Another important question is what to drink with your U.S. game tonight?

With any “rivalry” match (even if this one is relatively meaningless) is an occasion to break out the “colors”. If the new U.S. Soccer away jersey wasn’t chalk full of enough patriotism (I love it) then your beer should cover that for you.

We recommend Oskar Blues Brewery Company’s “Dale’s” Pale Ale (Longmont, CO). One of America’s best craft breweries “Dale’s” and Oskar Blues was also one of the first craft breweries to begin putting their suds in cans. Ingenuity… it’s the American way.

And while we’re talking about the can (we’ll get to the insides in a minute) you can’t go wrong with the color scheme for “Dale’s”. Red, white, and blue…. unmistakably patriotic to hold in your hand and hoist in the air when we score on El Tri.

Inside the can you’ll find a healthy dose of citrusy hops alongside pale malts. The New York Times even bestowed “Dale’s” with the title of “best pale ale” in 2005. Even almost a decade later this gem for Oskar Blues holds up as the craft beer scene has exploded.

Better yet Oskar Blues just recently opened a second brewery location in North Carolina meaning you can know enjoy some of Colorado’s finest in nearly every corner of the country.

Drinking Local?

If you find yourself in Phoenix for the match and our looking for something local to taste check out Four Peaks Brewing Company in nearby Temple, AZ. Consistently voted the Phoenix area’s best brewery/ brew pub. And they sell their wares in cans, too, around the area.

Cheers to soccer!

Tags: A Brew For You, Beer, USMNT

A Brew for You…  And You… And You…. (USMNT vs. Panama - Gold Cup Final)

The Gold Cup Final. The Grand Finale. The Big Enchilada. OK... maybe not that last one... Mexico is out after all. (sad face)

The United States men's national team finds itself at the cusp of its fifth CONCACAF Gold Cup Final with only high-flying Panama standing in the way. Today's game will decide whether the consistent U.S. attack (partnered with a sometimes shaky backline) can breakdown the stiff defense of Los Canaleros and successfully hold off their offense led by FC Dallas' Blas Perez.

It comes down to this... as well as the U.S. is playing right now its success will be defined by whether or not they take this trophy home this afternoon. Win and the praise and accolades will continue to roll in and our World Cup qualifying confidence is buoyed heading back into the qualifiers. Lose and we tumble back into the darkness of the post-Honduras loss navel gazing.

Even though the USMNT is without Jurgen Klinsmann on the sidelines (and he SHOULD be with the American Outlaws on the endline!) this U.S. side knows the game plan and exactly what's expected of them.

We've got a little Gold Cup Final special for beer recommendations today. A trio of brews for you to hunt down if you're in Chicago or ever visiting... each with a soccer twist.

(Side Note: The brewery/restaurant chain Rock Bottom used to make a "Chicago" Golden Ale... how perfect of a beer rec would be!??!)

* Meet Finch's Beer Company's "Facist Pig" Red Ale - So maybe calling the CONCACAF disciplinary committee "facist" is a bit over the top, but it shouldn't take away from the fact that their decision to suspend Klinsmann for the final wasn't deeply flawed.

Celebrate the USMNT win over stupidity and Panama (note... two separate things) with this canned craft beer. If you can't find the "pig" try their IPA and/or stout; both highly rated.

* Meet Revolution Brewing Co. "Anti-Hero" IPA - Klinsmann's revolution is finally playing out to great success. Ten wins in a row and the U.S. game play is flowing like...err... wine. The engine for this revolution is not only Das Coach's tactics, but American soccer's anti-hero Landon Donovan. The role of "savior" he never wanted, but none-the-less had thrust upon him. Donovan will, of course, be the difference maker today.

* Meet Half Acre Beer Company "Daisy Cutter" Pale Ale - Jurgen's tactics have traded out the set-piece bombing squad (along with with the quick counter-attack) of the Bob Bradley era for the on-the-floor possession-based defend-and-distribute. If the pitch was full of daisies JK would have this Nats side mow them all down with their passes to get the ball in the back of the net. Will Klinsmann's daisy cutter tactics have the USMNT's Gold Cup hopes coming up roses?

What are you drinking for today's game?

 

Tags: A Brew For You, Beer, USMNT

A Brew for You… And You… And You…. (USMNT vs. Honduras - Gold Cup)

Win or go home. Thems the breaks in the elimination rounds of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Gone are the comforts of the group stage where a slip up could be made up. As the United States men's national team saw (at least until Eddie Johnson walked on the field) on Sunday against El Salvador that success is perilous and advancement not always guaranteed.

Despite the early and dominating advantage the game was only at 2-1 and El Salvador gaining confidence. Of course we know that the match ended extremely lopsided and we're sitting her today staring down Honduras for a place in the Finals against either Panama or Mexico.

In a flick of a switch the USMNT went from on the back heel to the front foot and slammed the Salvadoreans. This tournament has shown that this Nats side has the ability to just "drop the hammer".

Belize got the hammer. Cuba, despite a little early resistance, got the hammer. Costa Rica held firm until Landon Donovan dropped the hammer and a brilliant pass to Brek Shea. And, just last Sunday, El Salvador felt the hammer blow as well.

Twenty-two goals in their last five matches. In their record-setting nine match win streak the national team has scored 31 total goals.

Hammer time.

As the U.S. faces Honduras tonight, an opponent that was stingy in Salt Lake City during World Cup qualifying (and also beat us on their home turf) the question is whether the hammer will continue to fall against on opponents. Will it be a series of blows or one perfect strike? Will we finally see Gold Cup revenge against Mexico where we've been the victim of crush losses in the last two finals?

Tonight we recommend a local beer that, you guessed it, drops the hammer. Meet Peticolas Brewing Company's "Velvet Hammer" Imperial Red Ale. Malty, sweet, yet balanced with good hop character. Soft and heavy at the same time. This multidimensional beer is a great representation of the many ways the U.S. has come to dominate this Gold Cup tournament.

There is no one route to success for the U.S. today and that's is the key to their success so far this summer as well. Stu's soft creativity and Wondo(w)lowski's (or more recently EJ's) heavy headers have led the way as the U.S. hammers away at another chance for Gold Cup glory.

What are you drinking for tonight's match?

Tags: A Brew For You, Beer, USMNT

A Beer for You… And You… And You… (USMNT vs. Costa Rica)

The United States men's national team is looking awfully golden right now in the 2013 edition of the Gold Cup. They've easily dispatched Belize and Cuba, but tonight will face a much sterner test in Costa Rica. With a place in the quarterfinals in Baltimore already assured this game is about topping the group and bragging rights.

Costa Rica... THAT Costa Rica. Those Ticos that couldn't handle juuuuuust a tinsy-winsey bit of snow in Denver a few moths ago during World Cup qualifying.

Unless U.S. Soccer rented a snow machine the forecast is going to be much different than that frozen night at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in March. Side note.... why DIDN'T U.S. Soccer rent a snow machine?!!?!?

Hartford is going to be hot! And that's going to be more familiar for the Costa Ricans, but unfortunately for our Central American counterparts... the Nats are hotter than ever.

What should you drink for tonight's match against the weather whiners? We're going to play another round of "six degrees of beer separation".

Hartford is in Connecticut. Connecticut is nicknamed the "Nutmeg State". In nearby Boston Harpoon Brewing Company brews a "Winter Warmer" with heavy hints of nutmeg. But it's most certainly not winter and to be honest the beer itself it pretty terrible.

Buuuut.... since it IS a hot summer day in New England we're recommended a great beer for tailgatin', porch sittin', and soccer watchin'.

Meet Harpoon's UFO White. Refreshing, summer-y, and sessionable. Have one again and again. Just like the USMNT is going to beat Costa Rica again and again. Sun or snow... it doesn't matter. In this wheat beer fruit or no fruit... it doesn't matter.

So grab yourself a nice, light, yet full-bodied, wit beer (Harpoon or otherwise) and watch the U.S. whip the Costa Ricans.

What are drinking for tonight's match?

Tags: A Brew For You, Beer, USMNT

A Brew for You and You and You… (USMNT vs. Cuba)

It's mid-afternoon madness! Perhaps not "mad", but more likely "delightful" if you're sitting at one of 87 American Outlaws chapter bars and they happen to have nice patio (like FBM HQ's Austin.... Cuatros!). Even if you're trapped indoors there's nothing like a little afternoon soccer delight to make anyone's day.

Two straight games with a touchdown (Darn missed extra points! You'd think we'd be good at them...) is bolstering U.S. men's national team fans that today's game against Cuba could be equally as high scoring. The USMNT is on a six game unbeaten run (it's second longest ever). The last time the Nats rattled off so many wins in a row they were on their way to a Benny Feilhaber wonder-strike win over Mexico in the 2007 Gold Cup.

With such a early kickoff we're pressed for time with our beer recommendation. We're up against Cuba, the tiny Communist island off the coast of Florida, and so if there's anything that can combat a bunch of Commies coming ashore (think Red Dawn by sea) it's the competing economic theory of capitalism. Every man or woman, and their beers, for him or herself!

Buy American. Not just a red, white, and blue can, but honest-to-God, local beer. The beer brewed by the some of the hardest working people in the country. You want one of the greatest examples of democracy, capitalism, entrepreneurial spirit, and the "American Dream" then spend a day with a craft brewer.

Tampa, Florida? Cigar City.

Grand Rapids, Michigan? Founders.

Missoula, Montana? Big Sky.

San Antonio, Texas? Freetail.

Any City, USA? Your local craft brewer.

You get the picture. Craft beer is exploding all across this country and never at any point in the history of this great nation has excellent, local beer been available to the masses.

Chances are there's a good local craft beer available at your watering hole. And if you're a stay-at-home couch surfer you've got a gluttony of choices at your grocery store, liquor store, or government-approved distributor (regulations! America, too!).

Today you're Rambo. Fighting Communism. One beer at a time.

Go local. Go America.

Tags: A Brew For You, Beer

A Brew for You and You and You…. (USMNT vs. Belize)

If you've been following the run-up to the United States national team opening game against Belize tonight you may have stumbled across this quote:

“I call on our national team to not only beat the United States but to humiliate the United States.”
That gem came from Ruperto Vicente president of the Football Federation of Belize' speaking to a local newspaper in Portland.

BWHAHAHAHAHHAHA. (Deep breath) AHAHHAHAHAHA!

Perhaps this gentlemen has been imbibing a bit too much on all the fine beers that Rose City has to offer, but you've. got. to. be. kidding. me.

Last Friday's warm up match against Guatemala, like we called it, was an impressive "victory at sea". We destroyed a team that has actually been competitive in CONCACAF before and now Belize thinks they are going to come into one of the best soccer cities and stadiums in the country and "humiliate" us?

We say that sounds "un-Belize-able."

AMIRITE?

(crickets)

Moving past fake outrage and to what you all came here for... our beer of the match recommendation.

Portland calls itself "Soccer City USA", but the beer's not half bad either.

Duh.

Portland's beer scene offers so many choices. It has more breweries per capita than any other city in the country. Additionally, it's the epic center of the India Pale Ale (and it's bigger brother the double or imperial IPA) and "hop bomb" beers.

So many good choices and we're going to go against convention just a bit here.

Instead of hoppy we're going to pick another style that Portland is making a name for itself.

 Photo Credit: 99Pours.com

Meet Cascade Brewing Company and their "Vlad the Imp Aler" sour. The quality and craft of their beers is inversely proportional to their website's.

Not that we like to be a party pooper (OK we do), but we're a little more "sour" on Belize's chances against this well-stocked USMNT.

In fact the real Vlad the Impaler might watch this game and say "whoa guys... calm down a bit."

The beer. Yes. the beer. Cascade's "Vlad" is low on hops (6 IBUs) and big on alcohol (10.3%). It's most definitely for sipping and sharing, not slamming. And, of course, it's sour. Really sour.

Cascade describes the beer as such: "This strong north-west sour is a blend of strong blonde quads and tripels aged in oak and Bourbon barrels, then further blended with spiced blondes and left to condition for an additional five months."

That's beer with a lot of variety, loads of flavor, and aged well.

This Gold Cup squad could be described similarly.

What are you drinking tonight?

Tags: A Brew For You, Beer, USMNT

A Brew For You and You and You… (USMNT vs. Guatemala)

The Gold Cup is back! Well... not quite. The run-up to the Gold Cup is back!

There. That's more like it.

Tonight's match from Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego is, hopefully, a prologue to a victorious Gold Cup campaign. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann said, despite not being in the upcoming tournament, he expects a "tricky" test from Guatemala.

What sort of things can one take away from a one-off warm up international friendly? Certainly Guatemala's side is going to be similar to what the USMNT will see from the other Central American and Caribbean sides, Belize, Cuba, and Costa Rica, the face in the group play.

More important is the return of Landon Donovan to the national team fold. Will he play his way into Klinsmann's heart and starting XI when World Cup qualifiers return in September?

As always the Gold Cup provides an exciting opportunity to see some of the future stars of the Nats. Josh Gatt is, again, questionable with an untimely injury, but other youngsters like Mix Diskerud and the return of Stu Holden should create plenty of excitement for U.S. fan.

This Gold Cup squad is about the future, but it is also about resurrection. Alongside Donovan and Holden is Oguchi Onyewu (gone so long I had to think hard about how to spell it name) in the "welcome back" column. None more surprising is the comeback of DaMarcus Beasley, named captain of this tournament team.

Our beer pick for tonight's game is going to be very straight forward. We're nothing if not consistent here at the Free Beer Movement (actually that's one word I would never use to describe us) and so we're doubling down (no, not the KFC sandwich) on the pick we made earlier this week in our interview with MLSSoccer.com.

Photo Credit: Brewed for Thought

Meet Ballast Point Brewing Company's "Victory at Sea" Imperial Porter. The San Diego brewery is probably best known for its "Sulpin" Double IPA (also highly recommended and now available in cans!), but don't overlook the incredible work on this porter. San Diego is one of the epic epicenters (epic-centers!?!?) of West Coast brewing (Portland and Seattle and Northern California included) and sports loads of great breweries including Karl Strauss, Green Flash, Mission, Pizza Port, AleSmith, and The Lost Abbey.

BP's "Victory" is just what you're going to want to get your hands on when setting down for this match in front of the TV. Especially since it's such a late match it's a heavy, yet smooth "night cap" to settling into a comfy spot on the couch.

And a "victory" is exactly what fans will want from this team playing by the sea in San Diego in order to get set for an important 2013 Gold Cup tournament.

What are you drinking tonight?

Tags: A Brew For You, Beer, USMNT

A Brew For You… And You… And You…. (USMNT vs. Honduras)

The American Outlaws' call of #WeWant9 is looking more and more likely as the United States national team faces a depleted Honduran side at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Securing three points from this revenge match will pretty much book the Nats to Brazil as the rest of the "Hex" qualifying group slips into disarray.

Honduras is not the same side that the U.S. went up early on and then fell to the heat of San Pedro Sula. Through injury, suspension, and out-right abandonment of the team Los Catrachos may be without the services of six of their starters.

What are we recommending for this match? We stepped away from our local recommendation last time to play a little "six degrees of beer" game, but we're back to honor SLC's contribution to the craft beer world.

Before you making any snarky remarks about Utah and their beer.... check yourself. While the labyrinth of laws would make David Bowie's head spin getting a good brew in the "U" isn't impossible... it just means you just have to work a little bit harder for it.

Meet Epic Brewing Co. First off, this is Real Salt Lake and U.S. goalkeeper Nick Rimando's favorite brewery. And you trust him, right? Epic Brewing makes some of the state's finest craft beers (Unita Brewing Co. should also be on your "to-drink" list) and their "Elevation" series is impressive.

And why not? This USMNT on the last stop on their "elevation" part of the tour (Denver, Seattle, SLC) and what makes this series so interesting is that "tweeks" that the brewers work in every time they brew a new batch of one of the styles (which includes an IPA, stout, golden, and a pale ale) from this series.

Photo Credit: "Pops On Hops"

"Tweeks" is the name of the game for coach Jurgen Klinsmann who's constant meddling of the USMNT lineup has re-vitalized some careers (DMB) and re-invented others (Evans, Cameron, etc) and put the team on course for qualification.

Of all the "elevation" series to choose from we're picking the "825 State" Stout which Epic describes the range of it "from dry to sweet, creamy or bitter". The "flavors Epic explores within this stout are roast chocolate, toffee, mocha, coffee, burnt marshmallow and roasted nuts or combinations there-of."

If that's not a tinker's beer for JK we don't what is. And just like this stout (and here's to hoping for another "stout" defense") the tinkering has finally paid off.

What you drinking for tonight's match?

Tags: A Brew For You, American Outlaws, Beer, The Best of Both Worlds, USMNT

A Brew for You…. And You…. And You… (USMNT vs. Panama)

Seattle. Washington. United States.

The Nats are back home and in one of America's biggest soccer cities. Panama... we hope you're ready for this. With three, dramatic points in the bag from their Jamaican vacation the USMNT will have to avoid overconfidence against this weakened opponent (FC Dallas man Blas Perez is out with gastroenteritis) and playing in front of, arguably, one of the largest pro-U.S. crowds they've ever had.

A win tonight makes the tougher, revenge match against Honduras in Sandy, Utah look less daunting. Bottom line: do work, get a result.

For today's game day beer recommendation we're going to play a little six degrees of separation. Although this one doesn't involve bacon; Kevin or Rogue's Voodoo Maple.

Long time readers of this piece (wait... what? I've only been doing for about six months) knows that FBM is a big history nerd so let's dive in. In the early 1900s the United States and President Theodore Roosevelt "assisted" in the Panamanian Revolution that would see the isthmus win their independence from Colombia in 1903. Lo and behold, the next year the U.S. was given the rights to build a canal through Panama, and it was completed in 1914. The United States would control the canal until 1999. Teddy also was found of the suds, once, allegedly, bringing 500 gallons of beer on an African expedition in 1909.

Theodore Roosevelt was cousins with another U.S. president, Franklin D. Roosevelt the 32nd to hold the office. FDR, during the Great Depression and World War Two was found of giving "Fireside Chats" to reassure a nation nervous with economic troubles and the global conflict. "Fireside Chat" is the name of an awesome "winter warmer" by 21st Amendment. 21st Amendment is an awesome San Francisco brewery and some other similarly named patriotic brews.

Today, enjoy 21st Amendment's "Hell or High Watermelon" wheat beer. Their webpage introduces the beer as such: "Like Lady Liberty, we stand for independence and perseverance. In the pursuit of innovative beer, there is no obstacle too great."

Sounds a lot like our USMNT. Let's do this boys... for Lady Liberty.

What are you drinking tonight?

Tags: A Brew For You, Beer, The Best of Both Worlds, USMNT

A Beer for You… And You… And You… (USMNT vs. Jamaica)

Tonight is the night.

That sounds like some gondola singer's line in Venice, but it's appropriate for what's on the line for the United States men's national team in Kingston, Jamaica.

For Jamaica it's win or their World Cup qualifying odyssey is in "beyond serious" trouble. For the Nats the need to play for the "W" while keeping a close eye on not blowing the draw. Dropping points at "The Office" like during the last round is not an option. It's no nail in the qualifying coffin, but it a blow to the momentum-generating win against Germany last Sunday and what we need to get in gear for home matches against Panama and Honduras in the next two weeks.

Without wasting your time let's get right to today's beer of the match.

Meet Sierra Nevada "Torpedo" Extra India Pale Ale. The Chico, California brewery is one of the "greats" and "originals". Their pioneering work on the hoppy side of beers has made their brand a staple even at bars that are allergic to craft beer.  If you can't get "Torpedo" fill up your pint with the less, hoppy, flagship "Pale Ale". Draft, bottles, or even in a can Sierra Nevada's got you covered.

We chose "Torpedo" because we're hoping that tonight's match is the one that sinks Jamaica's World Cup hopes. The worse off the Reggae Boyz sit in the table the more distance we can put between us and them and securing our own qualification to Brazil.

Who's the lead Torpedo in the USMNT arsenal? It's none other than captain, my captain Clint Dempsey. He'd got the biggest balls of them all and he's putting them out there to secure passage to Brazil. Jozy is in tube two getting ready to follow up his banner performance against Germany.

Bottom line? Jamaica's got a mountain to climb in this match (the Sierra Nevada mountains?) and a loss for them means they're basically done-zo.

The U.S. needs to come out torpedoes a-blazin' and get the job done in Kingston. Their backline, set-piece defending, and attack need that "extra" something tonight or otherwise USMNT fans will be looking "pale".

What are you drinking for tonight's U.S. game?

Tags: A Brew For You, Beer, The Best of Both Worlds, USMNT

A Brew For You… And You…. And You…. (US vs. Germany)

One of the pleasures of international soccer and, subsequently beer writing, is that you get to explore the brews of your opponent in preparation for the Shakespearean prose you’ll have to scribe later. In the case of this last week’s United States men’s national team friendlies coach Jurgen Klinsmann couldn’t picked better opposition. On the soccer side of things, for American fans, last Wednesday’s match was a doozy and today’s match against Germany might be equally so, but on the beer fan side we’re talking about two of Europe’s boozy best.

Get it?

Soccer equals doozy. Sad face.

Beer is equals boozy. Happy face.

Today’s match is the perfect example of where we’re at as both a soccer nation and a brewing nation. This USMNT squad is led by a German coach with deep American roots and features a number of German-Americans (“Germericans” as Shawn Francis of “The Offside Rules” puts it) as the Nats struggle to find their identity as soccer team in the shadow of a world footballing power from the European continent. These Germans have left greener pastures to forge a new international career playing (or coaching) for the United States. The verdict is still out, but the future looks bright.

Whereas, in the brewing world, American craft brewers are more than holding their own in the face of hundreds of years of German brewing pedigree. In fact U.S. breweries are now successfully invading Germany and giving the land of the pilsner, bock, and Oktoberfest a run for their money as Germans and other Europeans demand to be liberated by hoppier and more innovative beers or just be challenged on their own turf as American craft brewers take on traditional German styles (Don’t get me wrong Germany still does “traditional” the best).

Invasion. Liberation. Tell me if you’ve heard this one before?

But you all didn’t come here for a history lesson (or did you?…. I do teach for a living). You came here for a beer lesson.

You can have both, though. This match is the Centennial match celebrating 100 years of the United States Soccer Federation.  A time to celebrate how far we’ve come as a soccer nation and look forward to what we still have to (and will) accomplish as a soccer nation. A nod to old traditions while establishing new ones.

Here we go again. USA vs. Germany

Here are a few of our favorite American beers with their own nods to German tradition:

- Victory Brewing Company “Prima Pils” Pilsner (Dowington, Pennsylvania)

- Firestone Walker Brewing Company “Pivo” Pilsner (Paso Robles, California)

- Hops and Grain Craft Brewery “Alteration” German-Style Alt (Austin, Texas)

- DC Brau/ Ska Brewing Company “Taster’s Choice” Coffee Doppelbock (Washington, D.C.)

- Rogue Ales “Dead Guy Ale” Maibock (Newport, Oregon)

- Lakefront Brewing Company “Riverwest Stein” Amber Lager/Oktoberfest (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

What are you all drinking with your USMNT soccer today?

Tags: A Brew For You, Beer, The Best of Both Worlds, USMNT

A Brew For You… And You…. And You…. (USMNT vs. Mexico)

The United States men's national team walks into Estadio Azteca tonight with a huge momentum boost from Friday's "snow-pocalypse" match against Costa Rica.

You were probably looking for a beer to drink during with the last game and we failed you because we were too busy tailgating in Denver to order our team of monkeys to bang one out on the ol' typewriter. You can have this one though... it's still cold.

When one thinks of Mexico and beer they're stuck with very few choices that don't conjure up images of college spring break "Save Water, Drink Beer" Coronas on the beach and the inevitable hangover that accompanies indulging in such things. A beer like that is certainly to be avoided not only because it's terrible (unless buried in a michelada) and, well, it's Mexican and this is exactly the wrong time to be supporting Mexico.

So why not try and beat the Mexicans at their own game? Tonight when you're tuning into another late Michael Orzco Fiscal winner you should be holding onto Ska Brewing Company's "Mexican Logger" lager. It's craft in a can and it kicks Corona, Dos XX, Pacifico, or other light lager right in the can.

Photo Credit: Brewed For Thought

Additionally it's from Durango, Colorado. Colorado. USMNT fans have some happy memories of that place if my short-term memory serves me right. Granted it's a six hour jaunt to Denver and the site of Friday's whitewash of the Ticos, but they're all buried in the same snow up there so it should be just as inspiring.

A bit of saaz hops to top it all off and a Mexican caricature that looks more like the Landon Donovan lottery commercial "Mexican" that any El Tri fan I've ever met and there's your Ska "Mexican Logger" and our brew recommendation for this crucial Hex match.

And something, something about chopping down Mexico.

Tags: A Brew For You, Beer, FBM In Action, The Best of Both Worlds, USMNT

A Brew For You… And You…. And You….

Editor's Note: We're continuing our contributions over at the SB Nation U.S. soccer blog, Stars and Stripes FC with this same piece. Check 'em out as they've got other great stuff than just FBM contributing.

Our USMNT - Honduras Game Day Beer Recommendations

Today the United States men’s national team travels down to steamy San Pedro Sula, Honduras for the first match of their Hexagonal round of World Cup Qualifying.

For anyone that’s ever been to San Pedro Sula or Honduras… it’s quite the place. I lived there for a while and experienced life, love, and libations.
Wait? What was I even talking about?

Oh yeah… libations.

If you’re ever in Honduras chances are it will be on the beautiful Bay Islands. Roatan, Utila, or less likely, La Guanaja. Wherever you are in Honduras you’ll find three beers: Barena, Port Royal, or Imperial (not the Imperial from Costa Rica that’s wildly available in the U.S.). Each one is a relatively light beer. Barena a Bud or Coruna knock-off; Port Royal similar to Heinekin right down to the green bottle; and Imperial is a bit darker like a Negra Modelo. Each one delightful on a white sandy beach in front of clear, blue water far away for the throat-clogging pollution surroundings of Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano.

But you probably didn’t come here to read about a bunch of tropical beers that are hard to find here. You want your good ol’ American craft beer fix for this afternoon’s game.
If it’s a lighter lager fare you’re looking for on par with today’s USMNT location then we’ve got a few well-crafted pilsner lagers to sip on during the afternoon.  Plus, they’re not too heavy on the ABV for you to get back to your desk after that “doctor’s appointment” you had.

The light lager has typically been a category of beer that craft brewers have left well alone to the domain of the macro-brewers. Times are changing though. In order to bridge the “craft gap” 

between macro drinkers and those who love their double-triple-IPA-cherry-barrel-aged-stouts (note: not a real style... yet) craft brewers are now using their talents to take on this typically tame beer style.

Our game day recommendations for best craft pilsners:

New Belgium Brewing Co. “Shift” Pale Lager (Fort Collins, CO)

Victory Brewing Co. “Prima Pils” (Downington, PA)

Lagunitas Brewing Co. “Pils” (Petaluma, CA)

Oskar Blues Brewing Co. “Mama’s Little Yella Pils” (Longmont, CO)

Each of these is sure to be a “refreshing” change of pace from any macro-pilsners or crazy craft concoctions you might normally imbibe. And leave you somewhat ready for getting back to the desk or not falling asleep at the dinner table tonight.


What are you drinking for today’s USMNT game?

 

Tags: A Brew For You, Beer, The Best of Both Worlds, USMNT, World Cup

A Brew For You… And You… And You…

Our USMNT - Canada Beer Recommendation(s)

Editor's Note: We're continuing our contributions over at the SB Nation U.S. soccer blog, Stars and Stripes FC with this same piece. Check 'em out as they've got other great stuff than just FBM contributing.

As an American craft beer drinker there’s really no better symbol for U.S-Canadian beer relations than the classic 1995 film, “Canadian Bacon”. The premise is that a faltering U.S. President dreams up a plan to make Canada our new enemy.

The whole conflict begins when American John Candy attends Canadian hockey game and, after a string of anti-Canadian statements by him and his friends, belts out, “I'll tell ya another thing: their beer sucks!

The crowd stops and turns toward Candy, as do the players, and a huge riot breaks out. Eventually the incident boils into a full-blown international incident.

Hockey Fight
Canadian Bacon — MOVIECLIPS.com


Candy was mostly likely referring to one of their macro-beers such as Molson’s or Labatt’s, but when craft beer is compared we’re certain that:

“Their beer STILL sucks!”

Now both American AND Canadian craft beer has come a long way since 1995 and we mostly say that to get a rise out of any Canuck that might wander onto this post, but when compared head-to-head American craft beer, like pretty much anything when compared to Canada, comes out on top.

How much does the United States dominate in craft beer? Consider Beer Advocate’s list of top 250 beers. A Canadian brewery, Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel’s Peche Mortel (an AMERICAN Double Stout), doesn’t arrive until the 43rd spot and a second one, Unibroue’s La Fin Du Monde (a Belgian Tripel), shows up in 70th place. Granted Canadian craft beers are hard to come by and harder to rate, but still…..

WE’RE NUMBER ONE AND NUMBER TWO AND NUMBER THREE AND NUMBER FOUR…… AND WE’RE NUMBER 42!

You get the idea.

So what’s a full-of-patriotism, rub-it-in-Canada’s-face American soccer and craft beer fan to drink for today’s international friendly?

We’re going to recommend a beer style that plays on the former plan the United States military held in the early 1930s to invade Canada in the event of a war with Great Britain: War Plan Red. Once World War II broke out and the British (and by extension, the Canadians) and the U.S. were all allies the plan was shelved, but not de-classified until 1974. Canadians have always been suspicious of an U.S invasion; as they should be since we’ve tried (and failed) three times and apparently harbor some fears to this day.

American soccer and craft beer fans… arm yourself with a red ale!

A few for you to seek out:

1) Tröegs Brewing Company (Hersey, PA) “Nugget Nectar” – Very hoppy. Just hoppy enough to perhaps jump across the border. Plus, it’s got an umlaut in the name so Jurgen will like that.

2) AleSmith Brewing Co. (San Diego, CA) “Evil Dead” – Nothing says American like having Bruce Campbell introduce Canada to his “boom stick”.

3) Saint Arnold (Houston, TX) “Amber Ale” – Go red. Go local. Go USA!

Can’t find any of these “red” beers?

Blame Canada.

Tags: A Brew For You, Beer, USMNT

A Brew For You… And You… And You…

Our USMNT - Jamaica Game Day Beer Recommendation(s)

Editor's Note: We're making our contributing debut over at the new SB Nation U.S. soccer blog, Stars and Stripes FC with this same piece. Check 'em out as they've got other great stuff than just FBM contributing.

If you asked the FBM what to drink following last Friday's loss to Jamaica, we would've said.... "everything.... drink all the beers" because that seemed like a sensible solution to that unmitigated disaster.

With a few sobering (literally) days between our second clash with the Caribbean nation we've come to a couple of conclusions:

1) Red Stripe.... never again. Sorry, but you're on the no-fly list like Costa Rica's "Imperial". You beat us in CONCACAF qualifying and you're out. Note, of course, by limiting the list to North and Central America we only have to eliminate crappy light lagers from consumption and not have to deal with the hard truths of cutting of, say, Germany, since 2002.

2) Speaking of Germany, though, we're going need a break. Jurgen Klinsmann's tactics have been baffling enough and until he rights the ship (and/or dumps Jose Torres) we're not touching his native country's delicious beers. And that's saying a lot since Oktoberfest is right around the corner. Luckily there's plenty of awesome American craft breweries doing the style right... something we'll address in this space during next month's qualifiers.

Our Game Day Beer Recommendation:

Photo Credit: "Columbus Crave" Magazine

Columbus Brewing Co. "Summer Teeth" Keller Bier

Even though this beer is only available for those making the trek to Columbus, Ohio for the match, there's a lot of symbolism in this brew for USMNT fans. A light blonde, rare German-style who's contents (or tactics) are all over the place? The outlook is hazy, but a significant departure from the blunter approach of other styles. Sound a little like JK?

Actually we're describing a keller bier. Kellers are a rare style of German bier; light blonde in color with an alcohol content that's varies quite a bit (often because of the maturing of the beer which happens in un-bunged kegs and in deep vaults) for a style, from 4% to 7%. While the beer itself appears quite cloudy, most would agree that keller biers are a refreshing change of pace from the hop bombs of the pale ale and IPA styles of beer or the fruitiness of many other summer beers.

Columbus' version is even award-winning capturing the bronze medal at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado. Third place... where have we heard a German finishing third before?

If the United States is going to survive this round of World Cup qualifying and the Hexagonal Klinsmann's boys are going to have to find their "summer teeth" again and get "nasty" as the coach called for earlier in the year. The same team that dispatched Italy (although that was more in the early spring than summer) and Mexico, showed glimmers of promise against Brazil and throttled Scotland.

Time to dig deep and show those teeth.

Extra Time Beer:

Columbus is also the stomping grounds of former USMNT defender (and future FBM Spokeperson) Frankie Hejduk. Hejduk, who featured for the Nats from 1996 to 2009 including two World Cups (he suffered a ACL injury before the 2006 tournament), won the 2008 Major League Soccer Cup with the Crew and is now the club's "brand ambassador".

Photo Credit: ColumbusCrew.com

Frankie's favorite beer is Guinness and so if you're in any corner of America and almost any bar if it's good enough for Hejduk it should be good enough for the rest of us.

Tags: A Brew For You, Beer, USMNT