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FBM’s Person of the Year 2014

 

By Dan Wiersema / Founder, FBM

2014 was massive year for soccer in America. Millions of newbies "believed" in a men's national team in Brazil, Men "blazed" a new trail to NBC Sports, and a "LegenD" ended his career in a winning fashion. Along the way Major League Soccer continued to grow to new heights (through attendance, ratings, and expansion bumps), the women's national team learned its path to more (hopefully) World Cup glory, and, well, Dom Dwyer and Sydney Leroux happened

So who do you get to represent all that is good in the American soccer world in 2014? What person or group represents a year where soccer surged ahead, again, to continue its meteoric rise worming its way into the American sporting landscape?

The American soccer fan. 

And who better to carry the banner for them?

Teddy in Manaus. Photo Credit: FBM

Teddy Goalsevelt.

Goalsevelt, aka Mike D'Amico of Chicago, rose to fame when his screaming Presidential mug appeared on ESPN's broadcast during the US-Portugal match. By the time the advertising agency man returned to his hotel room in Natal (and wifi) he had become the "face of American soccer". Between Manaus and Recife interviews piled up as did an invite from U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati to rally the crowd (alongside Will Ferrell) the night before the USMNT's final group match against Germany. 

Teddy and me in Recife

But what makes Teddy the Free Beer Movement's "Person of the Year" for 2014 is more than just a face; he represents the evolution of the American soccer fan. I interviewed Mr. Goalsevelt at the height of his 15 minutes of fame and what struck me was how friendly, articulate, and humble D'Amico was. He came to Brazil as just another of the 500-plus American Outlaws traveling en masse to support the national team. He wasn't the first to don a costume or even the first to represent one of our nation's Presidents; he wasn't looking for a patriotic frat party or place to be a jingoistic nationalist. 

D'Amico represents the American soccer fan at the peak of the team's and the sport's popularity this summer and that the love affair with soccer in this country isn't just a every-four-years thing. As Major League Soccer moves into its second decade and our national teams complete regularly on the global stage our fans too have evolved and garnered national and international respect. The outpouring of support for the national team this summer was larger than ever before, but not spontaneous as outsiders would like to imagine.

The foundation was being laid in the four years between our dismissal from South Africa by Ghana and Clint Dempsey's revenge inside Arena Das Dunas.

In stadiums and bars from coast to coast the American soccer fan grew in the last four years. The packed watch parties in parks and pubs were the results of supporters from all walks of life building American soccer for this summer's mainstream moment. 

A belief in this sport that everything has led to here where American soccer no longer has to answer the question "when will soccer make it in the U.S.?" to a confident statement, "soccer has made it".

Photo Credit: USA Today

The American soccer fan is no longer something for others to scoff at. They talk tactics. I'd put up our fans soccer smarts alongside any others' around the world. Their tifo game is on point. Places like Portland, Seattle, New England, Kansas City, and New York are looking more and more like Dortmund, Milan, Barcelona, and beyond. Most importantly is that the American soccer fan is more open, more gracious that their worldly counterparts. Rivals share a beer together rather than a beef. They honor each others fallen members. The only knife fights are the hilariously digital ones on Reddit/MLS' "TRASH TALK THREAD" before the weekend.

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From newbie to fan to fanatic D'Amico's journey isn't unique. Or at least it isn't that unique anymore. More and more often Teddy Goalsevelt's journey is becoming the standard for many. While Teddy stood out this summer he was surrounded by the like-minded passion of hundreds of other American Outlaws and thousands of fellow U.S. fans in Brazil and millions more back home. 

In June Goalsevelt told me, "The fact that this many people are sharing and tweeting and posting my stupid face just means all of those people were watching U.S. soccer.

Which is incredible. How big this has gotten… it couldn’t have happened if there wasn’t a critical mass of eyeballs on the match. So the fact that so many people were watching the ability to turn my dumb face with this hat, glasses, and mustache into a viral hit is fantastic.

Not for me, but for the game."

Even as the memories and the pain of Brazil 2014 fades the excitement for soccer in American has not. This year's MLS Cup saw a 91% jump on ESPN from last year, 83% increase on WatchESPN, and nearly doubles on Spanish-broadcast channels. It was the third highest MLS Cup TV ratings since the beginning of the league

And it doesn't have to stop there. What Goalsevelt and all of the fans that burst onto the scene this summer need to do is keep up the momentum. 

We're lucky that 2015 has plenty of opportunities to continue the soccer explosion on the American sporting scene from 2014. The 20th season of MLS, the Women's World Cup in Canada, and the men's Gold Cup (with a spot in the 2017 Confederations Cup up for grabs) are all on the docket. 

In 2014 there was "Teddy Goalsevelt", but in 2015 we can all be our own version of the 26th Presidential super fan: involved, passionate, and spreading good cheer. Maybe even with a beer.

American soccer needs you.

Tags: FBM In Action, USMNT, Who We're Buying A Beer For, World Cup

Fourth Annual FREE BEER Night in Minneapolis

Stegman's Old Boys FC is at it again! On Saturday, September 6th, the Handsomest Soccer Club in the world will be hosting their biggest event of the year, the fourth annual "Free Beer Night".

Part of the club's mission of becoming a "proper" club means becoming a part of the community and over the past three years the best way we've found to accomplish this is by playing a match in front of people (always better when there are fans) and raise awareness for soccer-related charities. Over the past three years they've raised in excess of $1500 for charity and they expect a sizable haul again this year with all fundraising efforts going towards The Sanneh Foundation; a charitable foundation started by former USMNT and World Cup 2002 legend, Tony Sanneh. For this year's free beer exhibition match the SOBs will face off against a Minnesota Select XI featuring none other than Sanneh himself.

Summit Brewing Company, the state's oldest and largest purveyor of fine craft brews began taking notice of the club and decided to donate the beer and videographer for last year's event. The success of this partnership turned into a sponsorship of the club leading to the Summit brand gracing the SOB Away kit and a great working relationship that sees SOBs work alongside the Summiteers in philanthropic events both inside and outside the brewery walls. The Free Beer Night event caps off a summer that saw Summit and the SOBs host Free Beer World Cup viewing parties at The Local in addition to a 3v3 cage match in the brewery's backyard.

Aside from the excitement of free soccer and free beer, this year's charity raffle and silent auction will see some truly delicious items up for grabs including: a signed USMNT jersey by honorary SOB Jay Demerit, a sweaty hug from club captain Jon Bisswurm, SOB care packages, Free Beer Movement swag, and other great prizes.

After all is said and done the club and its many fans will head on over to the MN United - Tampa Bay Rowdies match because it wouldn't be a 'Free Beer Movement in action' event without getting more fans out to watch our local professional side. A team who won the spring season and currently sit atop the fall standings as well.

In case you missed it last year's event was bigger and better than previous ones and this one promises to be even better.

Stegman's Old Boys FC, their three teams and 70+ members, are the architects of American soccer and they, too, are doing it one beer at a time.

Tags: FBM In Action

FBM in Action - Stegman’s Old Boys FC 3rd Annual Free Beer Night (August 17th)

It's an event as old as the Free Beer Movement itself. On Saturday, August 17th the Minneapolis amateur soccer club, Stegman's Old Boys FC will host their third annual "Free Beer Night".

The SOBs, as they're cleverly called, are not your run-of-the-mill suburban soccer club. The idea behind the formation of Stegman's was that the founders wanted not just play soccer, but to be a part of building American soccer. The founders Dan Hoedeman, Jon Bisswurm, and Nick Sindt were looking for something that was "more than a group of guys who just show up on game day."

Hoedeman explains, "We wanted to build soccer club that was an actual club. So we set about finding the right group of guys, the right mix of events and soccer, and building a group that people would want to be a part of for more than ninty minutes a week"

So the Stegman's Old Boys were born with a mission not unlike Barcelona's "Més que un club" (More than a club).

The name "Stegman's Old Boys" was a tribute to an coach from Dan and Jon's youth and a play on the Euro-style naming without going overboard. They would save the "going overboard" for other parts of the team.

"We have some bold ideas on how a club, even an amateur or recreational one, should be structured and operate, Hoedeman said. "Plus, we wanted to make this as much fun as possible and that meant taking a lot of what we do to a whole new level for a team like ours; writing self-aggrandizing match recaps, working on some awesome local sponsorships, and hosting events like our own pre-season tournament and Free Beer Night – a charity fund-raising event.

Since the club's founding in 2010 they've hosted a "Free Beer Night" to not only spread the word about their fledging team, but for a good cause.

The event is the SOBs' biggest of the year.

"We do it for two primary reasons. One, we like to play in front of a lot of people who are clearly enjoying themselves and this isn’t something you typically find at your run-of-the-mill amateur/rec soccer match. Hoedeman said. "Secondly, part of being a “proper” club means becoming part of your community and in our few years of existence the best way to do this was to raise money for charitable causes.

Last year the SOBs raised over $800 Socket and this will target their efforts toward "The Sanneh Foundation", a charity started by former United States men's national team member and Twin Cities resident Tony Sanneh. For "Free Beer Night" Stegman's will face the Minnesota Thunder Legends featuring none other than Sannah himself and other Minnesota-based former professionals.

Using the Free Beer Movement is the easist part of the "building soccer" equation for Sindt and his club.

"We see the Free Beer Movement as a comrade in arms - after all, we are offering free beer to get people out to watch the (amateur) soccer - plus it’s the best way to get friends, family, neighbors, and random work acquaintances out to support us, a team that most wouldn’t really care about until after they meet us and see what we like to do. Getting these people all to come out for a match with the promise of free beer then drives the amount of charitable good that can do as a club."

Summitt Brewing Company, the state's oldest and largest craft brewery, took notice of the SOBs and decided to donate the beer for the fans and participants of "Free Beer Night".

"We have a great sponsor in Summit Brewing who have been hugely supportive as we build this event, and it is because they get the soccer community and want to do something good in their backyard," Hoedeman said.

Summit Brewing even created a video to help spread the word about "Free Beer Night" with SOB co-founder Sindt:

 
Additionally, Stegman's has invited the local professional team's (Minnesota United FC) supporters group, the Dark Clouds, to join them. It's a little of "you support us and we'll support you".

Creating your own amateur soccer club is also about supporting local professional soccer, too. The "Free Beer Night" continues after the SOBs match when Minnesota United FC faces the Tampa Bay Rowdies in a North American Soccer League match.

Stegman's Old Boys, their three teams and 70-plus members, are the architects of American soccer and they, too, are doing it one beer at a time.

 

Tags: Beer, FBM In Action

The Best of Both Worlds - Meeting Nick Rimando and Rimando’s Wit

So far the "FBM World Tour" has taken us on stops to Denver, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Portland, and back to Salt Lake City. Beyond the great games (all USMNT wins!) we've also experienced the unique and delicious beer cultures of each of these cities.

A few months back we reported on the making of a tribute beer for U.S. national team and Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando by a local brewery, Unsacred Brewing. We reached out to them and spoke with one of their co-owners, David Cole, about the collaboation between their brewery and Rimando, a noted craft beer enthusiast. 

When we first passed through SLC we weren't able to get our hands on the brew, but a second take in the city by the salt lake would do the trick. First off, we'd like to thank Real Salt Lake's Vice President of Broadcasting & Communications Trey Fitz-Gerald. It was going to relatively easy to snag a bottle in a store or grab some on tap at Rio Tinto Stadium, but Trey not only saved us a bottle in his office he arranged a brief meet-and-greet with Rimando. We waited patiently for Nick to do post-game interviews after leading the Nats to a 4-1 win over Cuba in their Gold Cup match.

Rimando chatted with us for a bit. We got to explain the Free Beer Movement idea and he talked about his love of craft beer (he's fond of Epic Brewing Company here in SLC) and graciously autographed our bottle. We were able to "scarf" him as well. There are, obviously, several team and supporter-specific beers, but Rimando has the honor of being the first, and still only, player with his own commercial beer... something we told him he should brag to his teammates about more.

Thanks against to Trey at RSL and, of course, Nick for taking the time for FBM. A real cool moment in our organization's history.

 

Tags: Beer, FBM In Action, Major League Soccer, The Best of Both Worlds, USMNT

National Beer Outreach Day - The Night in Pictures

Friday's night wina against Jamaica wasn't just a massive step toward the United States men's national team's qualification for the World Cup. It was also a massive step forward for us at the Free Beer Movement.

In partnership with the U.S. soccer supporters group, the American Outlaws, we hosted the "National Beer Outreach Day". In more than 55 AO chapter bars, all across America, the FBM philosophy was in full-effect. Huge paid tabs, two-for-one deals, steep drink discounts, and, of course, straight-up free beer was flowing like....errrr.... wine... for these supporters of the USMNT.

The goal, as always, is to use the power of a free beer to lure newbies to the sport, and in this case, help build support for not only the Nats, but the American Outlaws organization. Already the national team's largest supporters group NBOD was also a membership drive for AO as current members brought unaffliated fans or newbies to get them to join in the excitment of the journey to Brazil in 2014.

The American Outlaws and FBM promoted the event via social media and asked members and guest to Tweet using the hashtag #PourItForward

 

 

Here are some of the best pictures and Tweets of the night: (check out the entire #PourItForward timelines as well)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: American Outlaws, Beer, Event, FBM In Action, Free Beer Match Days, USMNT

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

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

That means using the power of suds for social change.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Beer, Event, FBM In Action

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's that simple!

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

 

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

National Free Beer Movement Weekend 2013

Soccer newbies demand you buy them a beer.

This Sunday is "National Beer Day," the unofficial holiday in which Americans celebrate the return of delicious beer and spirits to the nation's bars and stores with the end of Prohibition in 1933.

Millions of Americans lined up at their local bars, pubs, and taverns ("New Beer's Eve") awaiting this moment when at twelve midnight they could drink again without fear of their suds confiscated or their speak-easys shut down. Happy days were here again. (In fact, 4,207 liquor licenses were issued in Milwaukee alone on April 7th!)

To celebrate the resurrection of beer drinking in the United States we are encouraging each American soccer fan to exercise that Constitutional right to drink beer and do it this weekend at a soccer game with a soccer newbie.

Celebrate "National Beer Day" by making this weekend "National Free Beer Movement Weekend".

Without the repeal of the 18th Amendment we wouldn't have delicious, delicious beer. And without said beer we wouldn't have the greatest motivator in the world to build American soccer.

This weekend when you're attending a Major League Soccer game or a North American Soccer League game or a USL PRO game or any live game... bring a friend. When you're watching English Premier League match Saturday and Sunday mornings.... bring a co-worker. When you're pulling up a seat to any soccer game that's live on on TV anywhere in this great nation or from anywhere in the world.... save a seat for a family member.

All of these people, in all of these situations, are potential soccer fans and they just need the proper setting, the proper education, and the proper brew, all provided by you, for them to be exposed to the wonderful world of soccer.

This is the perfect weekend to participate. All across Europe there are matches that will make-or-break title contenders and games that will decide the survival of other clubs. And, of course, in our domestic league, the love of our life, the MLS season (and the NASL is kicking off) is in full swing. First Kick has come and gone, but the newness of the season is still alive. Every team is still alive and optimism still reigns supreme.

There are tailgates galore to grab a brew, bars abound ready to fill your pint, and fridges fully stocked to host a gang so why not bring a few new fresh faces along and expose them to the beautiful game?

We want your to share your beers and buds with us. Share the beers you're drinking across the country and the friends that you're introducing soccer to with us.

Tweet or Facebook us with your photos of FBM in action this weekend, National Free Beer Movement Weekend 2013.


Cheers!

Historical Note: For many beer nerds, December 5th is the ultimate Prohibition-ending holiday called "Repeal Day" in honor of the final necessary 2/3rds of states (Utah, of all places) ratifying the 21st Amendment. For the Free Beer Movement we're going with this day to honor when President Franklin D. Rooesvelt signed Cullin-Harrison Act became law, official ending the failed Prohibition experiment and allowing beer and other alcohol to flow freely again. Also, since this date falls during the MLS season it makes even more sense.

Tags: Beer, FBM In Action, Major League Soccer, North American Soccer League, Public Service Announcement

The Six-Pack: Timber’s Army Home Brew Contest Winner Abram Goldman-Armstrong

It's probably no surprise that many American soccer fans are not only lovers of beer, but lovers of homebrewed beer. It should also come as no surprise that many Major League Soccer supporters groups host their own home brew competitions each year. The one that the Portland Timber's supporters, the Timber's Army has put on, officially or unofficially, since 2009 in certainly one of the more high-profile ones. In years past local craft brewers have made small batches of each winner's beer in several categories.

Beginning last year the Timber's beer sponsor Widmer Brother's Brewing Company, stepped forward to help judge and then brew the winner of one of the categories. For any home brewer going from nano-batches to a major breweries industrial brewing system would be quite the experience.

Just last month Widmer Brother's released "Green & Gold" Kolsch the creation of Timber's Army long-time member Abram Goldman-Armstrong. We had a chance to speak with Abe by phone to ask him about his history with TA, Portland as a beer and soccer town, and, of course, his winning brew.

Goldman-Armstrong in front of his own visage. Photo Credit: OregonLive.com

Free Beer Movement: What’s your history with soccer in Portland and the Timbers Army?

Abe: I started out going to my first Timbers match in 1988 with my parents. It was a Timbers reunion match. When the Timber came back in 2001 I got season tickets in section 107 and, yeah, I’ve been a part of it ever since. I’ve been actively involved in the organization since.

With MLS moving in we kinda got a little more organized and put together the Independent Supporters Trust know as the 107st. I was on the interim board of that and then I was elected to the initial board and the re-elected to the most recent board.

Along with that I edit and publish “The Whipsaw”, the Timbers Army fan-zine, now in our fourth year of that.

I’m involved in all different aspects. It’s definitely a major focus in my life.

FBM: What does it mean to be to be a supporter of the Timbers and what does it means to support a local club? What is it like to have live, local soccer in Portland week-in-and-week-out?

Abe: It’s really fantastic. The atmosphere at a Timbers match can’t really be matched in North America. Having a local team is really key. Going to a pub watching World Cup is fantastic or even if you have a good crowd watching EPL or other foreign matches, but soccer support here in Cascadia has really brought it to the next level.

When you go to a match here in Cascadia, whether you’re in Portland, Seattle, or Vancouver you’re going to find it’s more that a spectator sport. You’re there, you’re participating. We’ve always tried really hard in the Timbers Army to be engaging and engage the team. We’re willing the team to win and that’s really a key part of a local team.

You can be passionate about soccer, but you miss out on that day-to-day, when you go to a match, that shared energy. You just have to lose yourself to the crowd. You’re all there and it’s really pretty amazing.

FBM: How long have you been home brewing? What is it about having local craft beer with your local team?

Abe: I’ve been home brewing since I was 17 years old so about 17 years in total now. It’s really a big part of my life. I also write about beer. I’m really engaged in the brewing community here.

Beer is really interwoven into the Timbers Army here. I probably say hi to fifteen different brewers at a Timbers game. We live and breathe beer here as much as we live and breathe soccer. We have more breweries than any other city in the world. It really is a part of our fabric in Oregon. I think that’s something that’s a natural fit. Beer and watching soccer go hand-in-hand.

The whole beer community is really passionate about Timbers. And the Timbers Army is passionate about beer. It works out pretty well.

On our bus trip to Seattle we had about 20 different breweries sponsoring each bus. So each bus has its own Oregon brewery on it. Small, independent, local breweries that are really passionate about the team and willing to donate kegs. It’s not just that we’ve got beer on the bus, but it’s “we got local beer on the bus and here’s the brewer sitting on the bus going to the game and yelling at the referee with us for the full ninety minutes”.

I think we’re really lucky here in Cascadia to have a really vibrant brewing culture. It makes it that much more of a community to have local craft beer. And we have local craft beer in the stadium, too. Something that’s really important to who we are and how we operate.

FBM:  Discuss the Timbers Army home brew contest and how long Widmer’s been a part of it.

Abe: 2013 will be our four year for the Timbers Army Home Brew Competition. It started as a fairly informal affair and actually home brewing competitions were outlawed for a year so because of some weird law. So in 2010 we didn’t have any judging and we said, “well we’re going to all show up and tailgate” and did that. We decided to just go ahead and that just had a people’s choice award.

In 2011 we had a more formal competition again. All the beers were judged blind by a range of judges, some of them nationally ranked. We partnered with a couple of local breweries that year. The Lompoc brewed the winner, and the runner-up was brewed by by McMenamins, and the third place winner was brewed by Hop Works. That year I placed third with a Northwest-style Red Ale.

Anyhow in 2012 we had the competition again at Lompoc and Widmer had approach us to brew the winner. We basically split the competition in half. There was the “Full 90” which Widmer was going to brew; something that you could drink for a full match, something that was under 6 percent alcohol and something that wasn’t going to blow your face off with hops. It was a good fit.

Lompac brewed the winner of the “Pride of Cascadia” category which included IPAs, Cascadian Dark Ales, Imperial IPAs, and Northwest Red Ales.

In the “Full 90” category there was some pretty stiff competition, but the judges (Widmer sent down four of their brewers to help out) settled on a kolsch that I had brewed. And that’s how that all came about here.

FBM: Why did you decide to go with a kolsch? Tell us a little about the ingredients you used. Describe the taste and the flavor and how it best represents your passion for the Timbers and your passion for craft beer.

Abe: Kolsch, as you probably know, is a style that originate in Cologne, Germany. It's a top fermented beer. It's an ale, but generally brewed with all pilsner malts. Very light. Very, very pale ale. So pale you wouldn't call it a pale. It's very golden-straw in color. It's basically like a lager except for the yeast strain that is used. It's a style that I really fell in love with when I went to Cologne during the 2006 World Cup. I went around to a few of the local brewpubs and it (the kolsch style) really made an impression on me. It's a style that I've been pretty much brewing every summer since then.

It's a style that is pretty different than the stuff I normally brew, but it's worked its way into my rotation of beers that I brew. In this case I used a different yeast strain that I have never used before, a "kolsch-two" from White Labs here in Mount Hood. I used an organic pilsner malt from British Columbia and I used Hallertaur hops that I grew in my own backyard.

It ended up being the palest and brightest beer I ever brewed. I was really happy with it.

I was really honored that it won.

FBM: Being at Widmer, was that kind of a Willy Wonka experience for you?

Abe: It was pretty interesting. I brew on a ten-gallon system at home and even Widmer's test batches were brewed using a ten barrel-system so 310 gallons, but they stepped it up to their 250-barrel brew house and that's 7,750 gallons for one batch.

It was pretty unreal. I've been brewing for seventeen years and that was brewing more beer in one batch that I had in my entire life.

It was a good experience. I think I learned a lot about the practicalities of brewing on that kind of system. You can't do exactly what you want when it comes to availability of ingredients.

When I had to scale up the batch to brew at Widmer we had to make a number of changes; we obviously couldn't use the hops I grew from home (they ended up using Alchemy, Mt. Hood, and Hallertaur hops), the yeast strain I used was only seasonally available, and we ended up using Widmer's base two-row malt. We brewed three test batches before the big batch at the brewery and none of those were quite right. It was great to see that when we brewed it on the big system is was much closer to the original beer that the previous attempts.

That was pretty exciting.

VIDEO - Abram talks about his winning beer:

Note: All other photos courtesy of Widmer Brother's Brewing press release.

Tags: Beer, FBM In Action, Local Soccer Local Beer, Major League Soccer, Six-Pack Interview Series

WINNERS - #CheersToSoccer Photography Contest

Our #CheersToSoccer contest with "Beertography" and "The Beautiful Gear" has run its course and we received some amazing entries of your beer and soccer photography skills. It was hard to pick our favorites with so many quality pics, but we were able to narrow it down to our "first division" and "second division" winners. Sorry everyone... no pro/rel here either. Those in the top flight will be honored with our adidas "Pints Up!" shirt and the second tier will get a FBM sticker pack.

Thanks for everyone who submitted. This certainly won't be the last photography contest we roll with so keep on with the #CheersToSoccer everytime you're got a match in front of you and a cold one in your hand.

First Division:

@ShaaMikeMike (Philadelphia, PA)

@farnell81 (England)

@shawndjkidd (Vancouver)

Second Division:

@justin_rc (Dallas, TX)

@evahall (Chicago, IL)

@ATXChristina (Austin, TX)

Tags: contest, FBM In Action, photography

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

FBM In Action - Fox Soccer’s “Goals On Sunday” Feature of the American Outlaws (We’re in there, too)

See how many Free Beer Movement scarves you can spot in this piece about the United States supporters group, the American Outlaws.

This was a segment during Fox Soccer's "Goals on Sunday" after the Liverpool-Manchester City match.

For those who have never seen FBM Founder Dan that's him wearing his other "hat", a Waldo one, for his other "job", helping run the Austin chapter of AO.

 

 

 

Tags: American Outlaws, FBM In Action, Free Beer Match Days, Video

2012 FBM Person of the Year

Here we are on the edge of 2013. The final stage of World Cup Qualifying on the horizon, a post-David Beckham Major League Soccer, and what is sure to be another explosive year for craft beer. So much to look forward to.

How about one, quick look back at 2012? U.S. Soccer chose their male and female athletes of the year, MLS has run down their top stories, A Football Report published their "Best Writing of 2012" (which we're proud to have been named to!), and every beer writer under the sun has released their "best beers" lists (although not us... maybe...).

Who, then, personifies the Free Beer Movement? Who has worked tirelessly in 2012 to further American soccer through the power of beer?

Frankie Hejduk, of course.

In April of 2012 the two-time MLS Cup winner and former U.S National Team member announced his retirement from professional soccer. A career full of beer and American soccer related greatness to last for ages: from taking a slap to the head from a Mexican assistant coach, slamming beers with Columbus supporters before a match, tallying goals and making timely tackles for both club and country. 

No sooner had Frankie left the game did he enter the belly of the beast again. His retirement announcement was just a precursor to joining his old club, the Columbus Crew as their "brand ambassador", helping to build American soccer from the front office instead on the field. True to form, Hejduk toasted his new job and drank a Guinness from the podium.

Frankie helped build American soccer in Columbus, but his calling was always higher. We made the case immediately following his appointment that his true destiny lie with us at FBM

Hejduk was a guest on a Philadelphia radio soccer show where, asked (cornered?) by host Richard McGovern, Frankie declared his allegiance to FBM.

Our courtship continued and we sent Hejduk a little FBM care package (sans actual beer, unfortunately). Hejduk was gracious of the efforts.

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For 2013, hopefully, Crew Stadium hosts one of the Hexagonal matches and FBM can travel and allign our forces personally (rather than digitally) to use the power of the brew to build American soccer further. Truly his efforts are worthy of a lifetime achievement award, but, for now, he'll have to settle for this modest accomplishment.

Raise a pint for our 2012 "FBM Person of the Year" Frankie Hejduk!

Cheers!

Tags: FBM In Action, Frankie Hejduk

Wrong Side of the Pond’s American Soccer Pub Atlas

 

We've partnered with the American soccer blog, Wrong Side of the Pond, to help promote and contribute to their "American Soccer Pub Atlas" project. Certainly there are several listings out there (some pay-for-play and others, incomplete), but WSOTP's project is grassroots, crowd-sourced, and more specific than any other out there today.

Want soccer fans across the United States to be able to find soccer-safe-zones? Places where newbies can be introduced into the American soccer wild? Find a pub on the map for yourself and your newbies. Your local watering hole not on there? Contribute to the map as well.

All of this can be found on Free Beer Movement's "Resources" page. Not only do we have the Pub Atlas, but loads of other beer and soccer links for every FBMer from newbie to expert.

Last, but not least, check out Wrong Side of the Pond.

Tags: FBM In Action, News, Public Service Announcement

FBM x MLS Cup 2012

The Free Beer Movement is once again taking flight to the City of Angeles (well, Carson) for MLS Cup.

From trainings to tailgates and, of course, the match we'll be bringing our own unique perspective through the beer and soccer lense.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for all the updates and don't hesitate to hit us up if you're around.

We'll also be hitting up the Bumpy Pitch x The Original Winger party on Friday night in downtown La La Land.

We'll have the FBM scarf on sale with us and a VERY special merchandise release to be previewed at MLS Cup. Stay tuned.....

Tags: FBM In Action, Major League Soccer

VIDEO - Conan O’Brien Just Wants Free Beer

"Conan wants to skip the technical blah-blah-blah and get right to the free beer."

Conan O'Brien stopped by the Guiness Brewery in Dublin, Ireland, but he really doesn't care about all the history and the brewing process.

He just wants the free beer.

If you're ever wondering what FBM is like on a tour then look no further than this video.

 

Tags: Beer, FBM In Action, Video

MLS Madness - Get Your MLS Playoff Office Pool Started

The Major League Soccer playoffs begin tonight. The race for the MLS Cup starts tonight with the Houston Dynamo facing the Chicago Fire at 8pm CT on ESPN. The two Eastern Conference foes will play to earn the right to battle Sporting KC in the semi-finals as apart of the new American playoff system unveiled last year.

With playoff fever reaching fever pitch why not get a little office pool going to heighten the stakes? Your workplace is full of potential soccer newbies and there's nothing like a little water-cooler-match-day banter to peak up interest. 

Just think of it like March Madness where even the non-basketball fans get swept up in the spirit of competition (even if there's not a lot of mascots to choose from) with a healty wager.

Practice what you preach all-season by continuing to use the FBM Philosophy. At the FBM's place of work we're offering a six-pack to the bracket winner.

MLS has made a easy-to-print bracket for you and your co-workers to get in the game.

And join us on Twitter by using the hashtag #MLSMadness to let us know you've started a MLS Madness bracket challenge with you and your friends.

Tags: FBM In Action, News

FBM In Action - My Dad’s First Match (Zach from Seattle)

 

The Free Beer Movement is an idea. The idea that of all the things that will help propel American soccer forward and into the mainstream consciousness of this nation; free beer is the answer.

There can be dollar hot dog night, ladies night, youth club afternoons, but maybe, just maybe it's simpler than that. Maybe it's just a bit sillier than that.

Maybe all it will take is for one person to extend the offer of a free beer or two or three to a friend, family member, or co-worker to take in a soccer match from the comforts of one's home, the familiar surroundings of your favorite bar, or the excitement of seeing it for real at the stadium.

"Build American soccer, one beer it a time." That's our motto. Simple. Silly. Smart? Sure.

But the idea of the Free Beer Movement is only a strong as the people that believe it that idea. We've seen in the last year thousands of people visiting the website, hundreds of "fans" on Facebook, and hundred of other "followers" on Twitter. We've been covered by both local and national media alike. That's all well and good, but it's the people that make the Movement.

An idea is only a strong as the evidence that one has to support it.

The Free Beer Movement is a grassroots movement. The Free Beer Movement is you. We're only as strong as the people that subscribe to the idea that beer is the best way to lure Americans to the sport of soccer.

That's why we're asking you, the backbone of the Free Beer Movement, the people that are doing the work to "build American soccer, one beer at a time" to share your stories (and pictures) of the Movement in action.

You don't have to be a modern-day Hemingway with your words or have the photographer's eye of Ansel Adams to support the idea of the Free Beer Movement.

But without your stories and your photos as the supporting evidence that the Free Beer Movement is "what it will take" to push American soccer to the next level we're just a guy with a website and an a hope.

You've been to U.S. National Team qualifiers, lived and died by the Nats during the World Cup, you've crowded bars and parking lots across the nation to support your local Major League Soccer or other local teams, you've put a few extra beers in the fridge and invited friends over to catch a game. This is where the Free Beer Movement lives.The idea of the Free Beer Movement is in many of us whether you know it or are actively trying or not.

The stories, the places, the people are all incredible elements of the Free Beer Movement in action and we'd love to hear from you. And for your words or pictures we'd like to offer each and every person who submits something one of our Free Beer Movement stickers (just like the crest on the site). It's not much, but it's our way of saying "thank you" to the people that are making the Free Beer Movement apart of this great American soccer world.

If the Free Beer Movement is going to continue the phenomenal growth we seen in it's first year we need those faithful to the idea of it to help.

Please send an e-mail to freebeermovement@gmail(dot)com with your stories (no matter how long or short) and/or pictures of the Free Beer Movement in action.

We thank you all for your efforts no matter if you've brought one or one hundred people closer to soccer in America.

Contributed By Zach Slaton

My mom deserves a lot of credit for fostering my love of playing sports.  She ferried me around to every practice, camp, game, and tournament and cheered me on as I learned how to play baseball and basketball as a kid.  She’s a saint for doing it, especially considering my father was out commanding a submarine for six months of every year until I was eighteen.  She was a single mom in every sense of the word except income.

When it comes to watching live sports, my father deserves all of the credit.  My earliest memories of watching sports with my father were as a four or five year old when every Sunday evening in Westerly, Rhode Island was filled with football on the television and pizza for dinner.  That meal was almost exclusively reserved for Sunday nights, and the wonderful taste of pepperoni or combination pies will forever be tied to watching the NFL.

Around that same time in my life my father took me to my first live sporting event.  It was a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park, and for a little kid like me it was made all the more memorable because we took the train to and from Boston.  As fate would have it we would get to the city early, so my father took me to a science museum to kill time. That day, sometime in the year 1985, I was introduced to the novelty of a mouse and a color computer screen.  Thus, one might say my love for live sports and computers was born on that fateful day in Boston.  I have my father to thank for it.

Dad continued to stoke my love for live sports as we moved south due to his job, driving from Charleston, SC to Atlanta, GA to see an awful Atlanta Falcons team get beaten badly.  It didn’t matter; I loved every minute of it, as it was my first live NFL game. By the early 1990’s we’d move to Orlando, Florida and I got my first true hometown team via the Orlando Magic.  Dad would wait in line for hours when discounted tickets would go on sale at the navy base, but he’d always consult me ahead of time as to the priority of which opposing teams we’d like to see.  He and I would attend several Magic games a year, one Tampa Bay Buccaneers game, go to the 1992 Citrus Bowl to see his alma mater win, and even go to an Arena Football League game.  We’d leave Orlando in 1994 as my dad would be stationed in Bremerton, WA (across Puget Sound from Seattle), a place my parents have now lived for 18 years.  He’s been a Seahawks season ticket holder since 1999 and a Mariner’s quarter season ticket holder through last year, occasionally taking me with him or tossing me both of his tickets to any game he couldn’t attend.  My father has been integral to my love for live sports.

My father leads an unglamorous yet generous life. He volunteers at Rotary or Hospice when he’s not at work.  When not volunteering he’s working on his 40 year deferred gratification (his words) – the boat he and my mom finally purchased a few years ago.  He got his first new car when he was fifty-four years old, and he can’t understand why anyone would pay a premium to wear a piece of clothing with a logo on it. As he says, “You just paid someone for the privilege of advertising their product.”  The concept of buying a replica jersey is anathema to him, especially when it has commercial sponsors on it.  My father has always been in tune with “traditional American sports”, having played American football in high school and softball throughout a good bit of his adult life.  To say he’s a little suspicious of soccer’s rise in the American sports landscape is an understatement, and with his busy schedule he has little time to watch the multitude of domestic and overseas games now available to American fans.  He’s always resisted fads, and to him the sport’s rising popularity may just be another one that will eventually die out.

Nevertheless, the Sounders FC being in their fourth year in MLS and increasing capacity at their stadium to more than 38,000 attendees per match started to turn his skepticism.  As silly as it sounds I am also pretty sure the small success of my work appearing on Forbes.com confirmed some of the sport’s legitimacy to him.  At the beginning of the season I made a deal.  Give us – it really is “us” when it comes to a Sounders match – a chance.  “I will buy the ticket, and I’ll even buy the beer.  One match. If you don’t like it, you never have to go again. But give us one chance.” The Free Beer Movement mantra sealed the deal like it has for so many other sales jobs to American soccer skeptics.  I bought the tickets, dad blocked out his calendar on September 8th, and we then had six months to wait until embarking on the grand experiment of testing dad’s tolerance for soccer.

I came over to my parents’ house with my two daughters the night before the match and then commuted over to Seattle with my father the next day.  I eased him into the match day experience by appealing to his Seahawk game day traditions.  This meant grabbing lunch and a few beers at a downtown bar prior to the match, albeit with a bit of a soccer twist.  We left the house at 8:45, dropped off the girls with a friend, and piled onto a 9:45 AM ferry with other Sounders fans.  The number of rave green clad fans, colors the Sounders share with the Seattle Seahawks, made my dad feel a little bit more at home as this was a scene he was used to seeing prior to every Seahawks game.  Soon the ferry docked in Seattle, and we were off for the short hike to Fado, a local Irish pub that caters to Seattle’s soccer-inclined drinkers.  Warm enough to sit outside, my father and I followed yet another Free Beer Movement maxim (“Local Soccer, Local Beer”) and ordered a few Mac & Jack’s African Ambers.  A shot of Jameson, another African Amber, and a lunch later we were off with another 38,932 fans to Century Link Field.


Cheers to You!

As we got to the stadium we realized that we had been very lucky to get seats in a section that would remain seated during most of the game.  This helped my father enjoy the game day experience given he’s had a hip and knee replaced, and I suspect his experience would have not been nearly as positive if we had been in a standing section. My father surveyed the stadium as we found our seats. Being used to the packed houses at Seahawks games, he made a joke about the tarps that cover the third deck.  He also mentioned how subdued the crowd was during introductions and in the normal run of play, as he was used to the noisy din of football games that had made Century Link Field the home of the most opposition false start penalties in the NFL.  His adjustment to a very different crowd was taking place.

My father paid far more attention to the action on the pitch once the match got going.  Having last played soccer himself as an intramural sport while at UCLA in the mid-1960’s (think pre-Total Football), he was used to a kick-and-rush style of play. The tiki-taka, pass-and-buildup-through-midfield approach now commonly found throughout the modern game was very foreign to him.  Such an approach initially looked like a bunch of wasted movement to him that didn’t result in many attacks on the opposition goal, and the Sounders’ ineffectiveness for the first quarter of the game didn’t help convince my father of the strategy’s wisdom.  The Sounders were down 1-0 by the eighth minute, with my father turning to me and saying, “You can’t score a goal if you don’t put the ball in the opposition’s end of the field!”

Dad would get his wish when the Sounders finally broke through in the twenty-ninth minute.  Attacking our end of the field, they pushed forward and earned a free kick from a foul on Steve Zakuani.  Christian Tiffert lined up a perfect free kick that Eddie Johnson was able to head home.  Century Link Field exploded, my dad and I high-fived, but it felt like it was a lucky goal (later replays would show Johnson’s header was perfectly placed on the turf to bounce under the goal keeper’s arm).  The Sounders attack would build throughout the rest of the first half, with my father picking up on the fact that the Sounders were sending much of their attack down the right hand side of the field via Tiffert and Johnson.  He was picking up on the tactical aspect of the game very quickly and seemed to be enjoying himself.

Soon enough halftime was upon us.  Soccer is first about the play on the pitch, but a close second is its traditions.  The tradition of 100+-year-old clubs, traditions in club colors, traditions in the rivalries, and even tradition in match day rituals.  All of these traditions serve to build stronger bonds amongst the supporters and help make soccer unique in a sea of sports choices.  A simple tradition I maintain with a number of my match day friends is what we call “Tecate Halftime”.  One of those friends started this tradition during the club’s inaugural MLS season in 2009 when a vendor named “Taco Ma’s” sold Tecate.  After that first season they inexplicably replaced the beer with a rotating choice of American beers, yet continued to sell Mexican food.  Out of spite we still call it  “Tecate Halftime”.  With my dad in tow we hiked down the side of the stadium to meet up with my friends, get my father another free beer, and discuss the first half’s action.  First Sounders FC match, and he was immediately introduced to one of our longstanding traditions.

A quick fifteen-minute break for beer and friends saw us return to our seats just after the kickoff of the second half.  The crowd could feel a second goal was inevitable as the Sounders continued to poke and probe their way through the opposition defense.  If Nick Hornby was right in Fever Pitch that one of the best ways to generate a truly memorable soccer experience is to have one’s favorite team win after being behind earlier in the match, then it is doubly true when the winner comes just before the end of the match.  Such a result was in store for us when Eddie Johnson won the game for the Sounders off a header in the 89th minute from an absolutely beautiful Fredy Montero cross.  The stadium erupted, I did a happy dance, and when I spun around my father was on his feet to high five me again.  Looking me in the eye as he nodded, my father’s unspoken words were, “Now that was well deserved!”  His mild enjoyment throughout the match had finally boiled over, with excitement breaking through his normally reserved demeanor.  The Sounders would hold on for the 2-1 win, making my father’s first Sounders FC experience just like mine nearly three years earlier.

The rest of the day was uneventful.  There was the hike back to the ferry, one more beer at the dock for good measure, and an hour-long ferry ride home.  My father stood on the bow of the boat for that entire ride back to Bremerton, looking out over Puget Sound with a sense of contentment on his face.

I spent the rest of the weekend with my parents, with both of them being busy with other things much of Sunday.  After dinner on Sunday night I packed up my car, and got my daughters ready to head back to their mom’s for another week of school while I faced an hour-and-a-half drive back to Seattle.  My dad held me up for a minute and said,

“Hey, Zach, I had fun yesterday.  I could see us doing that again next season.”

He had gently expressed his thanks earlier in the weekend, but that was gratitude for paying for the ticket and beer.  This was more about the experience, and after taking me to so many sporting events earlier in life I felt I had begun to return the favor.

My father has always been supportive of my endeavors, including my more-than-two-year effort to write about this sport I’ve come to love so much.  That Saturday afternoon he was exposed to my writings’ inspirations.  We’ll go to another match again next year and share in the joy that is live soccer.  He will probably insist on paying for his own ticket, but I will continue to insist on picking up the beer.  It’s my way of saying thanks for inspiring a sporting life well lived.

About Zach

Zach Slaton is a freelance soccer writer that focuses on the statistical and analytics side of the game.  He currently writes for Forbes.com. His work has appeared in Howler Magazine, at the Tomkins Times, and he is a regular contributor at the Transfer Price Index.  He’s run his own blog, A Beautiful Numbers Game, for more than two years.  You can follow him on Twitter at @the_number_game.

Tags: Beer, FBM In Action, Major League Soccer

In This Team, Their History Is Beer-Fueled

The Bohemians are a first-year United Soccer League Professional Developmental League team from Baltimore. Their partnership with their local brewery, National Bohemian, and iconic, Maryland-centric jerseys made a big splash across the American soccer Inter-Web-Blogo-sphere. Free Beer Movement got in touch with them and a few months later our first club-sponsored "Free Beer Movement Night" was born. On June 16th, alongside "Throwback Night" (where the Bohemains will honor their American soccer history by wearing NASL-era Baltimore Bays jerseys), the Bohemians will play in front of fans fueled by $2 beers (OK, so not "free", but close!

Beer has a lot of deep, local roots and the Bohemians are trying to tap (yep... pun intended) into that and build American soccer in Baltimore. You can follow the journey of the Baltimore Bohemians with their series on "The Classical".

By Joe TirabassiDirector of Marketing & Media Relations, Baltimore Bohemians

To have something that you can call your own, something that is so indelibly ingrained in that fabric of your being that no one else can claim it - that's something special. In Baltimore, amongst elongated O's, a predilection for blue crabs and the work of David Simon ("The Wire"), we have an alcoholic beverage known simply as "Natty Boh."

It was a major coup for us to get National Bohemian on board with the team. Nothing says "Baltimore" like Boh - it's omnipresent here. There's a giant, neon Mr. Boh that sits atop the old brewery, welcoming you to the east side. It's the only beer that should be served with our state's chosen crustacean.

There's the dog collars, tattoos, t-shirts and hats that Baltimoreans proudly display Mr. Boh. Whatever it is about the one-eyed man staring back at us that has this effect on Baltimoreans, outsiders won't really ever "get" it. It's a pretty unassuming beer that is drastically underpriced, so what's there to get so excited about? Well, frankly, it's ours.

It's the beer your father and his father drank. Ice cold, it's a revelation. And it's only sold here - you're never going to see someone in LA gripping a Boh at the beach.

I guess in a way, that's why we started this team - we want something we can call our own. We're not D.C. We're not Philly. We're not Barcelona and we're not Manchester.

We're Baltimore, and we're proud of it. A Bohemian is someone who operates outside of convention - someone who doesn't follow the norm. Someone who attempts to break the mold. We are Bohemians, and we're proud of that too.

If you're anywhere near "Charm City" on June 16th make your way up to Bel Air for FBM's "Thowback Night". Get your tickets from the Bohemiams' website.

Tags: Beer, FBM In Action, The Best of Both Worlds

Bohemians Celebrate 45 Years of the Baltimore Bays on Throwback Night (Brought to you by FBM)

 

The Baltimore Bohemians will honor the 45th anniversary of the Baltimore Bays with “Throwback Night” on Saturday June 16 during their match against the Westchester Flames.

The Bohemians, one of the newest editions to the USL Premier Development League, will wear retro gold and red kits modeled after the Bays’ original uniforms. The club is offering $2 National Bohemian drafts for this special match. The Bays were owned by Jerold Hoffberger, president of the National Brewing Company – the same company that originally manufactured Baltimore’s beloved beer.

The match is being presented in conjunction with the Free Beer Movement, an organization that attempts to convert non-soccer fans to love the beautiful game, one beer at a time.

Baltimore native and former Bays defender Joe Speca will kick out the first ball. Speca was one of only three American-born players in the NPSL at its inception in 1967 and played two seasons with his hometown club in both the NPSL and NASL. In addition to starring for the Bays, Speca also spent time at Baltimore St. Gerard’s and Baltimore Pompei, with whom he reached the final of the U.S. Open Cup in 1957. Speca was also a member of the U.S. National Team, joining the team during the 1959 Pan-American Games and World Cup qualification matches in 1960, in addition to other friendly matches.

Tickets for the 7:00pm match are available at baltimorebohemians.com or by calling 443.980.BOHS.

Tags: Beer, FBM In Action, Free Beer Match Days, The Best of Both Worlds

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