Saturday, July 10, 2010

Going Suds Up: The Best Soccer, The Best Beers

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

After tomorrow, it will all be over. The thrills, the chills up the spine, the vuvuzelas buzzing, the waving flag anthem, John Harkes’ banal commentary, Pulpo Paul, having to watch Nike’s “Write the Future” ad over and over…

Some of the elements of the World Cup will be missed more than others. But what won’t be missed is being able to watch football, and talk about football, nearly every day. It will be four long years before soccer fans have a full month to obsess once again. So don’t take Sunday’s match lightly, boys and girls. Revel in it. Grab your friends and head to a bar, or even better, bring them over, ask them the following questions, and, based on their responses, hand them these beers, specifically chosen to perfectly complement the Holland versus Spain World Cup 2010 Final:

Do you love wearing bright orange? Are you struggling to come to terms with early onset male pattern baldness? Do you just enjoy the idea of having legal access to marijuana? If so, you’ll be supporting Holland on Sunday. The Oranje haven’t made it to the final in over thirty years, so supporters have plenty of reason to celebrate.

Raise a glass (preferably a lager glass) of Anderson Valley "Summer Soltice" Cerveza Crema to commemorate the occasion. This is a honey-orange beer that won’t clash with your kit, with a fluffy head that takes quite a while to fall, rather like Arjen Robben. Cerveza Crema is AV’s summer brew and it fittingly tastes like a grownup version of a creamsicle, with just enough spicy hop to keep it balanced. Whether you’re seeking comfort after yet another display of poor decision making from Robin van Persie, or rejoicing when Wesley Sneijder manages to score a header despite being only four feet tall, this is the perfect beer to have at hand.

Do you regularly swoon in the presence of men who look as though they model Maybelline mascara? Is red your best color? Are you in the habit of eating dinner after 11pm? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you’ll be pulling for Spain on Sunday. Although La Fura Roja are the reigning European Champions and are considered one of the top footballing nations in the world, this is the first time they’ve participated in a World Cup final.

This match has the potential to be a whole lotta sweet or a whole lotta sour for them, so bring out the Lindemans Framboise and pour it in your best champagne flutes. Lambics are known for being great starter beers for people who believe they don’t like beer—and, as much as I hate to generalize about my gender, much of the time it’s the ladies who believe they don’t like beer. So while they’re drooling over the tasty cupcakes of the Spanish squad, pass them a glass of this deep red liquid, with a pink head and plenty of rising bubbles. The taste is of fresh raspberries, but it packs a tart punch as well. Both sweet and sour, it reflects the sensation felt while watching Spain pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass pass missthechanceongoal. But there’s a beauty to balance, both in beer and in football, and this balanced lambic is befitting of Spain’s equally balanced squad.

About Kirsten:

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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