How can we make the United States fall in love with soccer? Buy your friends a beer and watch as a lifelong love affair with the beautiful game begins. Learn more.

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

Check out all the great FBM gear in our "Swag Store".

blog comments powered by Disqus