Friday, July 2, 2010

Going Suds Up: The Best Games. The Best Beers.

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

We’ve had a two day break and now it’s back to the buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz of the World Cup. You’ve also had a two-week hiatus from having me tell you what to drink while watching these matches, and quite frankly I’m not sure how most of you are surviving. I’m guessing by drinking whatever the barman happens to be closest to when you order. Or perhaps with a bloody mary.

Mad River “Serious Madness” Black Ale (Blue LakeYou may have fallen off the horse but you gotta climb right back on. Saturday’s match may start at 9am CT but that’s no excuse to not grab a beer to aid you in watching Argentina v Germany on ABC or Univision. And I’ve found you the perfect bottle: , CA). When Argentinian coach Diego Maradona announced his 23-man squad for the World Cup, most people thought him insane. Cocaine jokes flowed freely.

And while I still think him seriously mad for leaving Esteban Cambiasso at home, his madness has brought Argentina this far, and for that I raise this glass to Diego (preferably a trappist glass). This black ale is actually more of a red-black with a nice tan head. Sniff it (insert chosen coke joke here) and you’ll find a faint aroma of caramel followed by citrus hop. The taste is reversed, with the bitter grapefruit hop being the first to hit your taste buds, with the caramel following, leaving behind a pleasant coffee finish. With an 8.6% ABV, you can use this one to either enhance your celebration or give you some sweet consolation.

Need to get even more of a buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz on after that strong beer? Pick up your vuvuzela for Paraguay v Spain, on ABC at 1:30PM CT. With your other hand, pour yourself a Mateveza “Yerba Mate” IPA (San Francisco, CA) While a tea-infused beer might not seem like your cup of, well, tea, before you rule it out, remember that Paraguay have been sipping yerba mate throughout the tournament.

As Dirty Tackle points out, it could very well have contributed to their run to the quarter-finals. You’ve really got no reason not to try this bewitching brew, with its balanced sweet malts and spicy hops enhanced by the addition of the herbal tea. Should the magical terere prove to be insufficient competition against wizardly Spanish passing, the Paraguayans can drown their tears in this familiar beverage, which at 7% ABV could have them buzzing like our favorite instrument after a few bottles.

About the Author:

Ever since Brazil caught my eye during the 1994 World Cup I’ve considered myself a soccer fan, but it wasn’t until the summer 2008 that I decided to find a club. I focused on the Premier League and eventually chose Aston Villa. Initially drawn in by the pretty clarets and blues, I found I liked their organization, their owner and their manager. I fell hard and now it’s too late—I can’t give them up. As for MLS, that was easy, as I live in Seattle. I also support Exeter FC, SSC Napoli, FC Koln, Estudiantes Tecos and Tooting & Mitcham FC, all for a variety of reasons including cider, tattoos, scarves, owls, and a soccer player texting while on the pitch. I’m the Managing Editor of SB Nation’s Aston Villa site, 7500 to Holte. I also will be contributing to Two Footed Tackle after the World Cup.

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"Anyone who tells me soccer is boring, I'm going to punch them in the face."
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