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The FBM Blog

Beer Archives

2013 MLS Beer View: Montreal Impact

Editor's Note: The 2013 Major League Soccer season is underway! You've read your season predictions, team-by-team capsules, and all sorts of talk on the state of American soccer. Season eighteen is an important benchmark as it passes the seventeen that the last attempt at professional soccer, the North American Soccer League (version 1.0), in the U.S. survived for.

And while you might be celebrating your side's first victory or scratching your head over their first lost... there's one thing that's been missing from all these early MLS musings... beer.

Don't worry we've got you covered.

By Ludovick Martin / Montreal Impact fan

The Montreal Impact are not the new kid on the block anymore. After a satisfying season where the club still decided to part ways with coach Jesse Marsch, the team from Québec is looking to Swiss Marco Schällibaum to guide them in their second season. Once again the Italian contingent will be key for the Impact. If Marco DiVaio, Andrea Pisanu, Matteo Ferrari and Alessandro Nesta can stay healthy and produce accordingly, then they will fight for a playoff spot. Also, key will be the play of central midfielders Patrice Bernier and Felipe.

Beer Selection: Brassire Dieu du Ciel "Solstice d'hiver" Barley Wine (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

With all the Italians in and around this club you don't really think beer when you think about the Impact, you think finely aged red wine. So why not go for a compromise and taste a barley wine. I would suggest the Solstice d'hiver (winter solstice in English) brewed by Dieu du Ciel. Just like the Impact this beer will wake you up with its strong taste and make you forget about our long, snowy and cold winters.

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

2013 MLS Beer-view: New England Revolution

Editor's Note: The 2013 Major League Soccer season is underway! You've read your season predictions, team-by-team capsules, and all sorts of talk on the state of American soccer. Season eighteen is an important benchmark as it passes the seventeen that the last attempt at professional soccer, the North American Soccer League (version 1.0), in the U.S. survived for.

And while you might be celebrating your side's first victory or scratching your head over their first lost... there's one thing that's been missing from all these early MLS musings... beer.

Don't worry we've got you covered.

By Andy Przystanski / Chapter President, American Outlaws: Adams (MA)

A fairly active offseason has given New Englanders reason to be cautiously optimistic.  Recent acquisitions Andrew Farrell and Donnie Smith, as well as homegrown product Scott Caldwell all put in very promising shifts during the preseason.  Revs fans will also keep an eye on the young Diego Fagundez, who is poised for a breakout year (in terms of goals and possibly dermatologically speaking—he is still in high school, after all).

Saer Sene, Jerry “Springer” Bengston, Juan Toja, Lee Nguyen, and Stephen McCarthy are other standouts on a surprising talented squad.  Since Benny Feilhaber’s departure early in the offseason, Lee Nguyen has become the team’s marquee player.  Arguably the most skillful, technically gifted member of the squad, the Revs will need him to have a great year if it hopes to make it into the postseason.

Heading into his sophomore year as head coach, Jay Heaps will hope to emulate the success his peers Ben Olsen and Jason Kreis had in their second years.

Beer Selection: Cambridge Brewing Co. "The Audacity of Hops" Double IPA (Cambridge, MA)

“This year will be different.”  Being a New England fan is about keeping the faith in the face of hard times.  Even without a big name signing or a soccer-specific stadium in sight, Revs supporters have the audacity to dream big.

The Audacity of Hops is an audaciously hopped Belgian Double IPA with an ABV of 9% and 70 IBUs.  A meld of the quintessentially American flavors of a west coast IPA and the spicy complexities of a Belgian, the beer is a marriage of New and Old World tastes.  Pair with a sharp, aged cheddar from Vermont.

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

2013 MLS Beer-view: Philadelphia Union

Editor's Note: The 2013 Major League Soccer season is underway! You've read your season predictions, team-by-team capsules, and all sorts of talk on the state of American soccer. Season eighteen is an important benchmark as it passes the seventeen that the last attempt at professional soccer, the North American Soccer League (version 1.0), in the U.S. survived for.

And while you might be celebrating your side's first victory or scratching your head over their first lost... there's one thing that's been missing from all these early MLS musings... beer.

Don't worry we've got you covered.

By Richard McGovern / Philly Sports Live & Vuvuzela: The World Soccer Show

Like most expansion teams, the Philadelphia Union spent their first couple of years looking for an identity.  Now in entering their fourth season in MLS they seem to have found it under head coach John Hackworth.  The Union are young, the youngest team in the league for the second straight year, with an average age of 22, predominantly American, with Hackworth stocking the squad with former US Youth Internationals and new addition Conor Casey, a man Honduran mothers tell their children scary stories about to get them to behave, and they increasingly reflect the blue collar nature of the city.  Casey is joined by fellow new addition Jeff Parke, one of the best players Philadelphia has produced.  The pride of Downingtown, PA and a star at Drexel University, the US International will replace departed captain Carlos Valdes.  All-time team leading scorer Sebastian Le Toux will be suiting up for the blue and gold as well, after a year- long odyssey that took him from Birmingham to Vancouver to Harrison, and finally back to the banks of the Delaware.

With Freddy Adu sidelined with a terminal case of arrested development and salary inflation, the keys to the Union offense will pass to 2012 all-star Michael Farfan.  A dynamic attacking talent who can strike as beautiful a cross as any midfielder in MLS, the U will go as far as he can take them.   Another key player to watch will be third year goalie Zac MacMath.  The former Maryland standout enters his second season as the undisputed starter in net, and will need a strong performance to get the Union back into playoff contention.

Beer Selection:  Victory Brewing Co. "Mad King's" Weiss (Downingtown, PA)

Like the Union, who used to be ruled over by a mad king, this Bavarian-style hefe is a mix of disparate flavors with an unexpected finish.  One of the lesser known Victory beers outside of the Philadelphia area, as it is rarely bottled, Mad King Weiss plays with several different malt flavors, and a prominent clove presence, but has an almost pilsner like bite at the top.  Very refreshing and a good post-game beer to celebrate a Union win.

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

2013 MLS Beer-view: Houston Dynamo

Editor's Note: The 2013 Major League Soccer season is underway! You've read your season predictions, team-by-team capsules, and all sorts of talk on the state of American soccer. Season eighteen is an important benchmark as it passes the seventeen that the last attempt at professional soccer, the North American Soccer League (version 1.0), in the U.S. survived for.

And while you might be celebrating your side's first victory or scratching your head over their first lost... there's one thing that's been missing from all these early MLS musings... beer.

Don't worry we've got you covered.

By Andrew Schueneman / Houston Dynamo fan and Texian Army supporters group member

2013 started off with another three points in BBVA Compass Stadium, the Houston Dynamo look to repeat again as Eastern Conference champs and make another trip to the MLS Cup. It won't be an easy run, as they take on Santos Laguna in the knock-out rounds of the 2012-2013 CONCACAF Champions League and start the group stage of the 2013-2014 Champions League later this year.

Personnel-wise, Houston lost Andre Hainault, Colin Clark, and the rarely-seen Josue Soto. Despite that, recent additions of Omar Cummings, Eric Brunner, Jason Johnson, Andrew Driver, the return of Mike Chabala, and homegrown Bryan Salazar, bolster the squad. Englishman Giles Barnes and Honduran Oscar Boniek Garcia both had a full off-season with the club after arriving in the summer, and look to build upon impressive performances. Both Calen Carr and Omar Cummings start the season injured, however, Cummings is slated to return by the summer and Carr hopes to be back in time for the post season. Dynamo legend Brian Ching will play his last season as a player-coach, looking to make the transition to assistant coach next year as smooth as possible.

With the slight weaknesses from 2012 addressed, and depth for Champions league added, the 2013 Houston Dynamo look yet again to be an MLS Cup finalist.

Beer Selection: Karback Brewing Co. "Hellfighter" Bourbon Barrel Porter (Houston, TX)

My beer pairing for the 2013 Dynamo squad is Karbach's Bourbon Barrel Hellfighter. Despite being a limited-release, this 10.8% American Porter still is a favorite to many in Houston, just like the Dynamo.

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

2013 FBM Beer-view: D.C. United

Editor's Note: The 2013 Major League Soccer season is underway! You've read your season predictions, team-by-team capsules, and all sorts of talk on the state of American soccer. Season eighteen is an important benchmark as it passes the seventeen that the last attempt at professional soccer, the North American Soccer League (version 1.0), in the U.S. survived for.

And while you might be celebrating your side's first victory or scratching your head over their first lost... there's one thing that's been missing from all these early MLS musings... beer.

Don't worry we've got you covered.

By Justin CoughlanThe Screaming Eagles

With new faces both new and veteran, D.C. United begins the 2013 MLS Season in a position unfamiliar in recent history. Returning to the playoffs last season after a five year absence and one uncalled red card away from hosting the MLS Cup, The Black and Red are amidst the list of teams to beat this year.

In the offseason, D.C. United has bolstered a roster captained by Chris Pontius and Dwayne De Rosario with the acquisition of young international players like Brazilian Rafael and Indonesian Alam Syamsir on loan. This year also sees Michael Seaton joining an elite squad of players cultivated from the D.C. United Homegrown Player System (HPS). He becomes a member of the First Team with other HPS alumni Conor Shanosky, Ethan White and Bill Hamid. Rounding out the young roster are established veteran players new to D.C., but not new to MLS, John Thorrington and Carlos Ruiz.

Beer Selection: Three Stars Brewery Brewing Co. "The Urban Farmhouse” (Washington, D.C.)

When I think about a D.C. United match at RFK, I think of the best tailgate in the MLS. With so many flavors in the shared dishes, a beer should be chosen that complements every flavor on my plate. In preparation for 90+ minutes of singing, jumping, cheering and celebrating, there is nothing like beer with a kick of spice. This Peppercorn Saison pairs exceptionally well with anything grilled and should happily be in anyone’s growler.

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

Contest - “Cheers To Soccer” Photography Contest

The brave purveyors of beer in the name of American soccer, known more commonly as the Free Beer Movement, are joining up with The Beautiful Gear and Beertography for a once in a lifetime Soccer + Beer + Photography themed contest.

With MLS "First Kick" rapidly approaching American soccer is about to jump off to heights unseen. Beer, on the other hand, is never not awesome. So, the three of us decided to get together and put on a photography contest celebrating those two incredibly lush entities. All you have to do is send us your best original beer and soccer photographs.

To enter just follow @CarterTDaly, @FreeBeerMovement, and @Beertography on Twitter and tweet using the hashtag #CheersToSoccer. Whether you're on the pitch, tailgating, in the stadium, at the pub, or hanging out in your own living room we want you to share what you're drinking, where you're drinking and/or who you're drinking with.

We'll get together in a top secret location and select the THREE best entries that demonstrate the essence of beer and soccer to receive one of these incredibly clean "Pints Up!" Adidas X Free Beer Movement t-shirts. Three more honorable mentions will win a sticker pack from FBM.

So get to playing, watching, drinking, and photographing and get at us with your work. We'll announce the winners in two weeks time.

Cheers To Soccer!

Tags: Beer, Cheers To Soccer, contest, Major League Soccer, photography

Making the Case - Why Local Matters

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

On Friday, Toronto FC announced a major sponsorship deal with beer giant Budweiser for the upcoming Major League Soccer season. The five-year deal will give Budweiser and its sub-brands Bud Light, Stella Artois, Alexander Keith's and Michelob Ultra pouring rights at BMO Field, plus many promotional events in and around the stadium including tailgates and a new Budweiser "King Club" beer garden.

This is a disturbing move for North American soccer, which despite a league-wide sponsorship agreement with Budweiser, has been surprisingly open to the craft beer revolution going on in North America. In recent years, clubs such as the Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas have entered into deals with Coors and Budweiser respectively.

Meanwhile teams like Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders, and Sporting KC grow closer to local craft beer brands to increase the mantra of "local soccer, local beer".

That's the natural extension of the Free Beer Movement way. Go local. Go local soccer. Go local beer. Go local economies. If you're making the decision to support live, local North American soccer you ought to be making the same commitment to local businesses. The more dollars we can keep in our communities the more we sustain them. 

If you work in the front office of a North American soccer team that chooses this approach then you've decided that authenticity is a central tenent of your organization. That community, the people that live and work in the town, are your most important assest and they need to be embraced and their wants and needs respect.

As soccer pushes closer to the mainstream of our sports scene the siren song of "major sponsorship agreements" has and will continue to tempt the front offices of clubs around MLS. Obviously the league has already attracted dozens of major partners that pump millions of dollars into the game, but now the individual clubs are attracting interest from big-time sponsors as well; the ones that make the game-day decisions: the "party zones" fans will occupy before the matches, the "meet-the-player" events they'll attend in-between games, and, lastly, and most importantly, the beer they'll drink inside the stadium.

The biggest question of all is whether or not this deal is for the benefit of Toronto FC or any other North American soccer club in the long-term. Certainly TFC's partnership injects a much-needed marketing boost for a team with slouching ticket sales. Since their founding in 2006, this Canadian side has never made the playoffs. In season's past the TFC faithful have weathered this disappointing storm, but cracks are showing. Last season their average attendance dropped to 18,681 from 20,267 in 2011. On television, seat backs have been more and more common as Toronto slumped to dead last in the league.

If you worked in the front office of a team like Toronto FC would you look a marketing gift horse like Budweiser in the mouth? Would you choose the long-term "potential" revenue growth of building authenticity with your fanbase or the fast-track, short-term cash grab (especially as a team like TFC is hemorrhaging dollars at the gate)?

It's a tough call.

Consider the pieces of the TFC-Bud deal:

- Budweiser will launch a commemorative Toronto FC-branded Budweiser aluminum bottle at LCBO locations (Liquor Control Board of Ontario... where you HAVE to buy your booze) in the Greater Toronto Area beginning February 25 (An aside: If you're a TFC fan there's definitely some novelty in drinking a beer with your team's crest on it. But if you're NOT a TFC fan... what's the incentive to buy the TFC-branded four pack instead of, say, a plain, 30 pack? Surely there are few people who, in walking into their local LCBO, will spy the TFC Bud and exclaim "Oh my! We have a local soccer team? I never knew!")

- Having Budweiser "host a pre-game celebration at BMO Field with the Budweiser Big Rig (a mobile bar), live music and great giveaways"

- Fans will "enjoy food and beverages at the new Budweiser King Club at the North End of BMO Field"

- "For those watching at select bars across the GTA, Budweiser will extend the excitement with TFC prizing and giveaways for fans"

- Budweiser has committed to donating over US$350,000 to Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment’s (owners of TFC) Team Up Foundation, which funds charities that support children through sport.

The irony of Budweiser's approach is all of this is a Free Beer Movement wet dream. Each one of the elements of Budweiser's approach to marketing soccer through beer is the cornerstone of the FBM Philosophy.

With one, very large exception. Where's the authenticity? Where's the local connection? Why does this stink of a big, glossy PR campaign without a soul? This deal has all the style with none of the substance.

This isn't the direction we want for North American soccer. Given that MLS and the accompanying lower-division soccer pyramid is young we've got a unique opportunity. Given the intense amount of passion associated with soccer and for one's club we've got a unique opportunity. Given the relative small size of soccer and it's "nitch" corner of the sport-scape we've got a unique opportunity.

A unique opportunity to shape North American soccer in the proper way.  The local way.

North American soccer is in the unique position of being built while our culture, as a whole, is at a crossroads, where one path leads towards the "big box" approach: bigger, louder, inflexible, more santized OR the "local" approach: community-based, responsive, innovative, risk-taking, more subtle... kind of like how most would describe soccer as well.

Instead of locking itself in with Budweiser because they throw a good party with bad beer TFC should be looking to partner with craft breweries (and other local businesses) like Steam Whistle, Bellwoods Brewery, Junction Craft Brewing, Kesington Brewing Company, Great Lakes Brewing Company, Amsterdam Brewing Company, or Mill Street Brew Pub (thanks to several people on Twitter for the Toronto craft beer recommendations). The point is that there are over a dozen of craft brewers in the Toronto area that Reds fans most likely have an authentic connection to (and make a decent brew) and could partner in some capacity with their local team.

Yeah, none of these breweries could park a mobile "big rig" bar in the BMO Field parking lot or produce branded TFC aluminum bottles, but they certainly would communicate the idea that local and quality is a paramount focus for the here, now, and future of Toronto's soccer scene. That's something, especially in dire times for TFC's fan base, that they'd like to hear.

Ultimately that's what North American soccer should be about. A fan bleeds his or her local colors and they damn well should be able to drink a local beer in their stadium.

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

The Best of Both Worlds - Seattle Breweries Release a Pair of Supporters Beers

Editor's Note: We'll have more on these newly released supporter's beers in the future (and hopefully some samples), but here's some information to whet your whistle.

Press Release:

Gorilla Football Collective (GFC), an official supporters group of the Seattle Sounders FC, has partnered with Big Al Brewing and Dick’s Brewing Company to bring two distinct, craft beers to the 2013 soccer season. GFC, a 501c3 with a charitable emphasis, enjoys giving back to the community through its “CIVic Ticket” program, community service projects and fundraising events. Proceeds from both beers will benefit Gorilla FC Charities.

Big Al Brewing created for Gorilla FC Civ’s White IPA which is made using American Two Row, Malted Wheat, Unmalted Wheat, Oats,  and given bitterness and aroma with Nugget and Cascade hops. This beer was designed with balance, flavor, and drinkability in mind. A refreshing wheat beer, with a unique Belgian character, balanced by an assertive bitterness and bright hop aroma and flavor and comes in at 6.0% ABV.  Alejandro Brown President/Head Brewer of Big Al Brewing had this to say about the project "We are proud to partner with Gorilla FC who share our passion for Seattle Sounders FC and our commitment to community. We look forward to raising many pints of Civ's White IPA and funds for local charities while supporting our beloved Sounders with this remarkable organization!"

Dick’s Brewing Company is also working with GFC and they have produced the Dick’s Au GFC. The Dick’s Au GFC is a Golden Ale brewed with American Two Row, Malted Wheat, and Magnum hops. The Au GFC is dry hopped with 3 distinct varieties; Saaz, Mt. Hood and Tettnanger. The first sip brings refreshing crispness with a slightly sweet malty aftertaste. The dry hop adds a nice floral and herbal backbone to the beer making it a great session beer with a 5.5% ABV. Julie Young, Owner and Dave Pendleton, Head Brewer of Dick’s Brewing Company said, “We are very excited working with GFC as we are huge football fans! We love supporting GFC’s charity activities and are happy we can do that through our beer.” Dick’s Au GFC is a play on the periodic table symbol Au for Gold and when being ordered go ahead and ask your bartender for an,  A-U GFC!

Big Al’s Civ’s White IPA and Dick’s Au GFC will have a special release at four GFC partner bar locations on March 2nd, 2013 for Sounders first kick: Fado Irish Pub in Pioneer Square, Auto Battery Bar and The Summit Public House on Capitol Hill, and Naked City Brewery & Taphouse in Greenwood. Starting March 3rd you will be able to find these two beers around the Puget Sound area. Soccer is a cause for drinking, now you can drink for a cause with Big Al and Dick’s and GFC! The beers are available now at the two breweries.

On March 15, 2013, from 4:30 to 9 p.m., a release party for both beers will be held at Golazo Headquarters 714 E Pike, Seattle WA 98122. Meet the brewers, enjoy Big Al’s Civ’s White IPA and Dick’s Au GFC while listening to a live DJ. Media and public are welcome!  Proceeds from the event will benefit Gorilla FC Charities.

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

Going Suds Up: The Best Beers, The Best Soccer

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

In the weeks since I’ve been back from my way-too-long hiatus, we’ve covered FA Cup action, the Bundesliga, and the Champions League. So now it’s time to travel to the place where my heart lies. That’s right, this week we’re visiting Italy, but not for the typical reasons you’d expect.

If you’re like the typical mass-media commentators, you still believe Italy is the home of catenaccio, that super defensive system that, for most people, means a sluggish and dull match. But that’s not the Italy of the current times. After 24 weeks, Serie A sides have scored 652 goals, while letting in…exactly the same number. The highest goal difference is -29. This is not a league that prides itself on bolting the door. If anything, for many teams, the defense might be described as “chaotic” or even “spastic.”

Photo Credit: Oregon State

Right now, the side that most exemplifies “chaotic” is AS Roma. The giallorossi have had an extremely strange season. They have the joint-most goals scored in the league, at 50, but they’re also second in most goals conceded. Such a record is a result of being coached by Zdenek Zeman for the first half of the season. The Czech is fantastic at creating attacking sides, but seems to forget that defense is essential when forging a team that can compete in Europe. As a result, he was shown the door two weeks ago, replaced by assistant coach Aurelio Andreazzoli. Roma, without a win in six Serie A games, have now dropped into ninth place.

(Editor's Note: Oh... and they've got USMNT bossman Michael Bradley roaming the midfield as well)

But while Roma are looking to reverse their fortunes, this probably won’t be the week their luck will change. On Saturday, Juventus, fresh off a 3-0 Champions League victory at Celtic, visit Rome. The Old Lady are still holding steady at the top of Serie A. Despite a shaky January, Juve have won their last two league matches, extending their lead to five points over Napoli. Oh, and they’ve only conceded 16 goals this entire season.

Despite Roma’s propensity for scoring goals, this is still going to be a challenge for the hosts. That’s why I’ve picked a beer that is, well, predictive of their state on Saturday: Dead Guy, by Rogue Ales. It’s a Maibock and probably the best of Rogue’s commonly available beers (what’s undisputable is that its label is the best of the bunch). Dead Guy pours a cloudy, peachy orange with a medium head and some lace. It smells primarily of brown sugar, with a bit of citrus. The taste is a biscuity-sweetness that finishes with just the right amount of bitter hop.

And if that’s just not enough for you, track down a bottle of Double Dead Guy. The standard brew weighs in at 6.6% ABV, but this one packs a 9.5% punch. It’s a bit redder in color, but the most significant change is the alcohol level. The taste and faint alcohol burn is definitely apparent in this one, but if that’s what you’re after, chase it down. That, or pick it up if you’re a Roma fan and need to drink away your pain.

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 - Butter Beer Bread

By Collin Mall / Senior "Kiss The Cook" Correspondent


This is a very quick and easy bread recipe. Its quite delicious, the goat cheese gives a different taste and a buttery crust is quite nice.
I picked COOP Ale Works "Native Amber" because well its one of my favorite local beers, and the tasting note with almost a carmel flavor to it.

Ingredients

1 stick of butter, melted

1 12 oz. bottle of beer (Amber)

3 cups of “sifted” flour

3 oz. of quality goat cheese, crumbled

3 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon of salt

1/4 cup sugar

Production

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2) In a bowl “sift” all the dry ingredients together, if you do not have a sifter, use a whisk. The more you sift the lighter the bread will be.

3) Add beer and crumbled goat cheese, well incorporate

4) Heavily coat a bread pan with cooking spray

5) Pour beer batter into loaf pan.

6) Pour melted butter on top of the bread and bake for 1 hour

7) Take time to enjoy a COOP Ale Works beer, read the latest soccer blogs on how your club is going to get “the next great Messi.”

8) After an hour, remove pan and let “stand” for 15 minutes before removing from pan.

9) Slice and enjoy this dense but tender bread with a nice roasted vegatable soup.

About Collin

Name the ol parents gave me is Colin Mall born in Edmond, Oklahoma. Played for ESC (Edmond Soccer Club) until I was 12-13 years old, but stopped playing after realizing I wasn't good enough to go anywhere, Twenty years later I started playing again. I've been cooking for six years now, professionally for five. Many interests, love football of course. I try to follow the USMNT and USWNT closely, my club teams are Chelsea FC,Southampton (family from there) Bayern Munich, Hamburg (other side of the family from there), PSG, and Dallas FC.Im also the President of the American Outlaws: Oklahoma City chapter.

Follow "Soccer Chef" on Twitter.

Tags: Beer, FBM Cookbook

The Six-Pack: Unsacred Brewing Co and Nick Rimando’s Wit

How do you know that craft beer and American soccer are kindred spirits? When breweries start naming them after players. Meet Unsacred Brewing, a new craft brewery in Salt Lake City, Utah. Just last month the opened their doors with a quartet of brews including a wit beer named after Real Salt Lake's goalkeeper Nick Rimando.

FBM spoke with David Cole one of Unsacred's co-owners about their new brewery's mission, their beers, and, of course, Rimando's Wit.

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FBM: Tell us about Unsacred Brewing. Where did the name come from? What's your experience in craft beer brewing? There definitely seems to be a "statement" being made about church and state and Utah beer laws, can you explain what you're trying to do? How does Unsacred fit into the Utah craft beer scene?

You bet it is a statement!  We are trying to be as offensive as possible, in a playful way, until Utah legalizes real, full strength beer on draft.  We hate that Utah law prevents the sale of beers true to style on draft just because they exceed 4.0% ABV.  We are lifetime full strength beer drinkers who “grew up” outside of the constraints of Utah’s laws, and as the owners and brewers of Unsacred we wish to remain somewhat anonymous considering what a shameful act we believe this to be.  However, we acknowledge that our foray into 3.2% beer goes against everything that we initially set out to accomplish in the brewing industry.  Utah regulations prevent the selling of full strength beers in grocery stores or on tap, and have forced us to set aside our principals and succumb to Utah’s antiquated laws as a necessary evil.  The day the law changes will be the day this Unsacred act stops. 

FBM: What beers and styles are you brewing? Tells us a little about each.

Priesthood Pale Ale is a traditional pale ale with a nice spicy hop profile.  The Vision Lager is a light, sessionable, American-style lager with a clean, crisp, pilsner malt finish, and Unfaithful IPA is a hoppy India pale ale. 

Unsacred Brewing's starting line up. From left to right: Vision Lager, Rimando's Wit, Priesthood Pale, and Unfaithful IPA

FBM: Why name a beer after Nick Rimando? Why the wit style? Are you worried that you didn't do the RSL keeper justice since the beer can only be 3.2% ABV?

We have always been fans of Nick Rimando and he is a fan of Wit-style brews, we know that because he loves a beer from Epic Brewing, their Exponential Wit Beer.  Most locations in Utah require 4.0%  ABV so we hope to have it in the stadium he plays in someday soon so all his fans can drink it and watch him making those saves. 

"You OK?"    "No... get me a Rimando's Wit."

FBM: You're obviously soccer fans by choosing to name a beer after Rimando. What is it about soccer and craft beer that makes them seem like such a good pairing?

Soccer fans are some of the most fanatic in the world, and the same could be said about craft beer fans as well!  Who wouldn’t love watching their favorite soccer team with a delicious craft brew in their hand?!

FBM: Any plans to name other, future beers after RSL players or coaches? Or any other soccer-themed beers? Maybe a Jason Kreis Kolsch?

If Jason is down for it we would do it.  We would need his permission, as we have with Nick, but wouldn’t that be cool?  Or how about Beckerman Bock?

FBM: Have you tried to make contact with RSL or Rimando at all? If so, what was their/his response? RSL's Twitter account expressed interest in getting Rimando's Wit on tap at Rio Tinto. Would that be in the works?

We contacted Nick Rimando prior to the naming of the brew and he was on board and excited about having the Wit named after him.  We are hoping to have the Wit on tap at Rio Tinto for the upcoming season!

Tags: Beer, brewery, Six-Pack Interview Series, The Best of Both Worlds, Through The Drinking Glass

Going Suds Up - The Best Soccer, The Best Beers

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

Finally.

Do you know what week it is? That’s right, it’s time for the Champions League to return. No matter which league your favorite soccer team is in, you can’t call yourself a fan of the sport unless you get excited about the world’s greatest tournament. If you’re a fan of soccer, you can get excited about almost any match, even if it’s just watching hungover students kick around a ball on a Saturday morning. But the Champions League is something special – the best sides in the world, doing battle to determine who will lift the trophy at Wembley in May.

In case you missed the group stages, here’s a quick catch up: Chelsea, Manchester City and Ajax are out. Celtic, Málaga, Shakhtar Donetsk and Galatasaray are in. In other words, the knock out round could be very, very interesting. The match ups this week are Celtic vs Juventus and Valencia vs Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, and Shakhtar vs Dortmund and Real Madrid vs Manchester United on Wednesday. That’s right, we’ve got Zlatan Ibrahimovic on one day, Cristiano Ronaldo the next. This calls for some fantastic beer.

And what is, almost indisputably, the best beer in the world? Westvleteren 12. Westvleteren, one of the eight trappist beers in the world, is typically unavailable outside the monastery – unless you’re willing to pay hand over fist for an illegal delivery. But the Saint Sixtus abbey needs a new roof, and beer drinkers around the world are benefiting. Beer connoisseurs are able to purchase six packs of the world’s most coveted beer, and in exchange, the Abbey gets a new brick for the roof.

It’s probably too late to get yourself a six-pack – out here in Oregon, we had to put our name on a list for the ability to go back a week later and buy the beer – but if you’re lucky, one of your friends has a bottle they’ll be willing to share. If you don’t have your own, beg, borrow, or even steal to grab ahold of one. I don’t say this lightly. I went into my first Westvleteren fully expecting to be disappointed. Instead, I was pleased to discover this beer actually exceeded my expectations. 


In a world of experimental beers, it’s sometimes difficult to describe a brew that is, in fact, a true model for its style. Westvleteren has been brewed since 1838. As such, it makes sense that Belgian-style beers would model themselves off a brand with nearly two hundred years of experience. But what’s unexpected is just how essentially…Belgian this beer is.

A quadrupel, which is what W12 is, is a bottle-conditioned beer that weighs in at 10% or greater. The Westvleteren 12 is, as the name suggests, closer to 12% ABV. But it’s not the kind of high-alcohol beer that leaves a burning sensation in your throat. Instead, it’s a pleasant warmer, more about the balance between malts and fruits than about knocking your socks off. The aroma is a pleasant mix of caramel and creamy orange, while the taste just improves on the smell, adding plenty of dark fruits and that hint of alcohol to the mix.

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, and listed many of them onRatebeer. 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 Managing Editor of SB Nation's Aston Villa site, 7500 to Holte, the Italy Editor for SB Nation Soccer, and cover the Seattle Sounders on SBN Seattle (don't judge--I'm from Seattle!) Finally, I write for Two Footed Tackle when I find words worthy enough for the site. Want more? Follow me on Twitter!

Tags: Beer, Going Suds Up

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

Going Suds Up - The Best Beers, The Best Soccer

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

Look. I tried to think of something great to have you guys watching this weekend. Something exciting, something different, something to make you look oh-so-hip in front of your soccer friends. You know, those dudes and dudettes that are always throwing out strange names of garbled consonants, while you nod and try to move the conversation toward the battle between the Manchesters? Alas, my friends, it is not to be – I scoured the “big” European Leagues looking for a decent derby, or even a meeting of top teams, and it just isn’t happening. On a side note, I really have to start diving deep into other leagues.

So this week, what you’re stuck with is FA Cup action. And, lucky for you, that’s what’s going to be widely available in the U.S., at least on Fox Soccer. The League Cup will showcase League 2 side Bradford City against still-new-in-the-Premier-League side Swansea, so now the question is, will we be so lucky with England’s bigger domestic cup? Probably not, as most clubs tend to field stronger sides in this tournament.

Still, there’s potential for a few upsets this weekend. We can take it as a given that Championship side Millwall will beat Aston Villa. But what Oldham Athletic, from League One, hosting Liverpool on Sunday? There’s no guarantee that Wigan’s visit to Macclesfield Town, a Conference side, will result in a win. And considering the result in Norwich City’s last Premier League match, it’s quite possible that non-League Luton Town could prevail.

On to the most important question: what to drink when you’re cheering on the underdog? If you’ve got an alliance to a Premier League side and you want, say, Chelsea to beat League One Brentford, then go ahead and drink that Budweiser. But for those of us backing a classic Cup-set, we need to get back to the roots of soccer. We need to feel the dirt on our bare feet and put in a crunching challenge on a hapless forward. It’s time to listen to the terraces – full of standing, crushed together, sweaty bodies – join together and sing our name. We need to drink…Budvar.

Budvar, or to call it by its proper name, Budweiser Budvar (Czechvar), is the ideal Pilsner. The essence of Pilsner. If Plato wrote about beer, American Budweiser would be his shadow on the cave wall, and Budvar would be what the prisoners drink when set free. Of course, the best way for you to drink this brew is to hop a flight to the Czech Republic and spend a delightful week moving from bar to bar, but as far as I can tell, Budvar is available, in bottles at least, in the United States.

Still, there’s only so much raving that can be done about a standard Pilsner. It’s what a Pils should be: crisp, a bit yeasty, and with a hoppy finish. Those used to drinking the States’ version of Budweiser will be surprised at just how much taste can be found in the original. The smell is a bit malty, but the taste is rather spicy, even a bit grassy. The bitter finish doesn’t overwhelm like some IPAs, but definitely reminds you that there are hops contained in that bottle.

Get back to your roots this week. Find ties with a lower league side (make them up if you must) and then cheer them on while sipping Budvar. You’ll no longer need to be embarrassed in front of your hipster friends.

(Editor's Note: Ironically, the American Bud is the official beer of the FA Cup and even attempted a marketing stunt where former professionals joined a lower-league team, Wembley FC, but were promptly dumped out of the the tournament in a preliminary qualifying game)

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, and listed many of them onRatebeer. 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 Managing Editor of SB Nation's Aston Villa site, 7500 to Holte, the Italy Editor for SB Nation Soccer, and cover the Seattle Sounders on SBN Seattle (don't judge--I'm from Seattle!) Finally, I write for Two Footed Tackle when I find words worthy enough for the site. Want more? Follow me on Twitter!

Tags: Beer, Going Suds Up

The Open Bar - Pliny: A Documentary

Of course you've always wanted to know more about the "best beer in the world". Meet Russian River Brewing Company's "Pliny the Younger".

Served just once a year at the Russian River Brew Pub in Santa Rosa, CA; it is the highly sought after triple IPA version of RR's double IPA "Pliny the Elder".

Viewer beware....watching this only made us want this Pliny more than ever.

Tags: Beer, The Open Bar, Video

Going Suds Up - The Best Beers, The Best Soccer

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

Hey everyone! I’m back to bring you the best beers to pair with the best soccer matches of the weekend. Alas, I have picked a horrible weekend to return, as there are no truly great matchups coming up in the next few days. Sure, you can say Chelsea – Arsenal is a marquee event, but that would be giving waaaaaaay too much credit to Arsenal this season – they’re currently six points out of the Champions League qualification spots. Marseille – Montpellier had the potential to be great, but Montpellier’s time in the CL cost them, leaving them nine points behind Marseille and a chance in next year’s tournament. And speaking of the Frenchies, you might think Bordeaux – Paris Saint-Germain is the one to watch, considering Bordeaux are in fourth, but they’re only that high by virtue of having drawn eleven of their 20 matches, so don’t get excited about that game.

No, the game you want to be watching is Bayer Leverkusen – Frankfurt. First of all, the Bundesliga is fantastic, particularly when you don’t have a rooting interest. Second, while it’s been predictably easy for Bayern Munich this season, the other three Champions League positions are still up for grabs, despite the pundits forecasting that Dortmund would snatch the title, or at least second, with no trouble. Instead it’s Leverkusen in second and Frankfurt that are tied with Dortmund in third. What makes this even more interesting is that Frankfurt came up from 2. Bundesliga last season, where they came in second. How can you not cheer on this team, particularly when one of its nicknames is “moody diva”?

If you’re cheering on Frankfurt – and again, how can you not? – you best be drinking a doppelbock. The bock style originated in Einbeck, further north of Frankfurt, but the city certainly embraces this German beer. Bocks are best known for being sweet, due to the high concentration of malts in the brew, and doppelbocks have the added incentive of higher alcohol content. Possibly the best known doppelbock, Ayinger Celebrator, has a 6.7% ABV. This one is widely available in the states, and has the added charm – literally – of having a little goat attached to the neck of the bottle. Unlike many doppelbocks, it’s not overwhelmingly sweet. Instead, the maltiness of the beer is balanced by its finish, which has a rather dry, smoky taste.

Perhaps you’re trying to drink more locally? I gotcha. If so, plenty of breweries have a doppelbock on offer, and it may even be on sale, or available by the single for a discount, as it’s more an early winter beer than a late winter one – although I’ve been in plenty of bars recently that are still touting their bocks. Bells Brewery, from Michigan, makes the "Consecrator", common in the region and weighing in at a hefty 8% ABV. Great Divide, which is based in Colorado but fairly widely distributed, makes "Wolfgang". This one’s also at 8% and is fairly caramelly, but the brewers have managed to balance it out, allowing just enough of the bitter hop taste to come through at the end. If you want something different from your doppelbock, seek out Oregon’s Full Sail 25th Anniversary Pale Doppelbock. It’s heavy, at 9% ABV, but it offers more hops and some interesting tropical fruit notes.

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, and listed many of them onRatebeer. 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 Managing Editor of SB Nation's Aston Villa site, 7500 to Holte, the Italy Editor for SB Nation Soccer, and cover the Seattle Sounders on SBN Seattle (don't judge--I'm from Seattle!) Finally, I write for Two Footed Tackle when I find words worthy enough for the site. Want more? Follow me on Twitter!

Tags: Beer, Going Suds Up

Making the Case - A Few Beer and Soccer Resolutions for 2013

2013. Both shed blood. Although one gives and the other takes.

The new year just kicked off and the 2013 Major League Soccer seaon schedule release is near at hand. American soccer is right around the corner! There's no time like the present to make a few "New Beers Resolutions" for both the upcoming domestic season and the year as a whole.

Here are five that we think you should have no problem committing to:

I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours...

1) Support Local, Live Soccer

Whether you have a MLS, NASL, USL, or NWSL (or any other team across our sorted pyramid) you owe it to yourself to become a season ticket holder (or at the very least a regular attender) of your local team. Ticket sales provide the economic base for our American soccer teams and sometime getting up and going to the games is half the battle.

There really is nothing like experiencing an American soccer match live and in person. Every extra seat filled, every extra clap and shout of support helps add to the atmosphere that helps sell our domestic game.

Of course if you're there regularly then you can....

You'd be surprised who will go to a game for a free beer.

2) Bring a newbie to a game this year.

You had to know that this one was on the top of our list! You're already going to the games and already heading out to the bars to watch your favorite teams from coast to coast and a few across the pong. So why not bring a few newbies?

We've got millions of soccer fans in this country and if we call resolve to just bring one, two, or a handful of friends, family members, and/or co-workers to a game sometime this upcoming season (with the offer of free beer, of course) then we've really got something going here with the FBM in the United States.

Its certainly not a difficult concept to grasp. 1) Attend Game. Done. 2) Buy Beer. Done. 3) Educate. Done. 4) Support Soccer. Done.

If you just insert "with a newbie" at #1, ""for a newbie" at #2, and "together" for #3 you've mastered the idea of the FBM. Throw a bit of soccer education and field a few questions from the newbie and you've got your doctorate in the FBM philosophy.

Do it. Make a "New Beers Resolution" to make this the year that you'll trying a bring at least one... ONE.... newbie to the stadium or bar this season.

(Note... Also see #5 for a bit of follow up)

There a huge beer world out there for the tasting.

3) Get out of your beer comfort-zone.

We've all got our favorite beer. We're partial to certain brands, certain styles. But this can often mean that we're stuck in a rut with our beer drinking. Too often we fall back to the beer we know the best.

Make 2013 the year that you push your beer boundaries. If you're a mass-market beer drinker begin to explore some of the wonderful tastes of the craft brewery world. You might find that one of your fellow soccer fans (or maybe one of your newbies) might be able to point you in the direction of something quite tasty that you would've never tried before. Don't have someone to lean on? Head to one of our nearest beer stores or bars with a quality selection are there are many on hand to help you select a beer that will suit you.

Even those who already consider themselves a "craft beer enthusiast" should break the mold. Coming from from a self-declared "hop-head" it was hard to go in search of beers that didn't pack the same bang as an IPA, but over the years it's been hard to turn down a beer of any style in search of new flavors. Plus, it became increasingly difficult to find an IPA that hadn't been tried in our distribution area.

Through the end of 2012 the taste buds of FBM has experienced nearly 2000 different beers from breweries across the U.S., from massive to micro, and styles that run the whole gambit.

4) Get movin'

Sure you're watching the games, but are your experiencing them to the fullest? Playing soccer helps you see a game in ways that will astound you.

Maybe you used to play "back in the day", but you're a little rusty and think the game has passed you by.

Maybe you fell in love with the game, but never set foot on the field and don't know where to start.

Maybe you've had WAY to many free beers and look round like the ball rather than "fit" like the player.

Don't let this fears hold you back. Chances there are leagues in your area to match any experience level. The exercise will let you take down a few more beers without regret and it will probably do the ol' ticker some good too.

If you're already on the field then try and sneak another game into your weekly schedule. You'd be surprised how addicting, and satisfying, a second or third game of soccer-ball can be.

Ultimately playing the game gives you an intimate (although sometimes frustrating) experience of soccer that you'd never get solely from the stands or the stool.

5) Give American soccer a chance.

With the risk of calling out some loyal readers (and anyone that might stop on by... thank for reading mom!) there are several adherent to the FBM philosophy that use their powers of good for the global game, but wouldn't touch the American version with a ten-foot pole.

So if you find yourself waking up at 6am to watch a game half-a-world away (and there's nothing wrong with that... we do it EVERY weekend) then certainly it wouldn't seem like too much of a stretch to take in a MLS (or other local, live soccer) game this season.

This past MLS season was our best yet and the talent pool, competition, and dramas is blowing up. Sure, there's loads of duds throughout the season, but every league in the world has their "stinkers". That doesn't mean you've got to write off the whole league.

So if you're an American soccer fan, take one of those Euro-loving fan (we don't use "Euro-snob... that's just mean) out to the park and show them what MLS has become, FBM-style.

If you're a global game guy or gal... take another look at the domestic game (with reasonable expectations).. you'll be surprised that local, live soccer is a nice treat.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So there you have it. A list of five, simple things you can do to make yourself a better soccer fan in the U.S. AND make help us build it one beer at a time.

** Which of these do you think you can hold yourself to this 2012?

** Any other "New Beers Resolutions" we should've included on the list?

Let us know in the comments section.

Tags: Beer, Making The Case

Through The Drinking Glass - Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Photo Credit: BeerPulse.com

There are over 2,700 craft breweries and craft brew pubs in the United States according to the latest numbers from the Brewers Association. Each year that number grows by leaps and bounds as new brewers and breweries share their wealth of knowledge and delicious innovations with the public. We're starting this new series, "Through the Drinking Glass", to profile brewers and breweries across the country.

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Meet Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. of Chico, California. Although if you're into craft beer you've probably met them many times. SA is one of the oldest and most successful craft breweries in the United States. For 32 years they've been putting out great "gateway" beers that have probably brought millions into the craft beer fold.

Their flagship beer, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, is hoppy, but not so intense to turn off any potential newbies. SA has also been an industry leader in sustainable brewing.

Check out their story and as they put it... their "pioneering spirit", which we can attest to, is still alive and well.

 

Tags: Beer, Through The Drinking Glass, Video

Happy Repeal Day

Newspaper headline from the day following repeal.

"What America needs now is a drink." - President Franklin Roosevelt

Words spoken 79 years ago and just as true today. On December 5th, 1933 the last state needed for a three-forths majority (Utah, ironically) voted to complete the Constitutional process to repeal the 18th Amendment that banned the manufacturing, selling, and transportation of liquor in the United States.

Today we can celebrate a victory for freedom. The return to America a tradition of brewing that would evolve into the wonderful craft beers we all enjoy today.

The return of beer meant the return of suds and sports. In 1933 that hardly meant beer and soccer, but in small pockets of America the sport established itself and survived the Depression-era implosion of the professional league. Among immigrant communities and on college campuses, and nobly in places like Saint Louis, the game grew. Today, like the return of beer we should also celebrate the return of soccer to America. Prohibition was called a "grand experiment" that failed, but American soccer is an experiment that is most certainly not to suffer the same fate.

Enjoy a beverage of choice to celebrate "Repeal Day"; whether it's one of America's big breweries that survived the dark days of Prohibition, a craft brew made possible by this historical day almost 80 years ago, or perhaps a spirit because it doesn't have to be manufactured in a bathtub or basement anymore.

Without repeal you'd also not have the Free Beer Movement.

And that's a world we're not willing to consider.

Tags: Beer, We've Got History

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