The True MLS MVP (Most Valuable Pale)

Note from TSG: Late last week, Mark and I got into a little tiff on beers…and thus our Beer & Soccer Review Series was born.

TSG is kicking off the series with a kick*ss piece from Die Hipster Brewing Co.

Die Hipster is a San Francisco miniature-brew founded by my Black Sox soccer teammate Chris Hanson and Scott Riley. I’ve had their beer and all I can say is, “Tasty!” and “Arrange transportation beforehand.”

Who is the real MLS MVP?

So without further adu, Die Hipster Brewing and their take on MLS MVP.

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In deference to the upcoming MLS Cup,  Die Hipster Brewing is proud to introduce and announce the results of the 1st Annual MLS MVP (Most Valuable Pale).  We at Die Hipster have been brewing for years and have attempted many styles – from  the dull catenaccio of a partial mash ale to the Totaalvoetbal of an imperial bourbon porter.  In the process, we’ve all but completely overlooked pale ales, much like most of the globe has overlooked MLS.  To remedy this, we spent the summer producing three MLS-themed pale ales in the lead-up to an eventual group judging event to determine an MVP.

Our candidates were chosen based on their sheer “MLSness” (not to mention their paleness).

Riles & Hanson: Dropping science

These three beers are named for three of the hardest working MLS semi-stars whose play has earned them a few appearances for the USMNT but scant European interest and only, it seems, from the Scandinavian part of the continent, which will work doubly in their favor when the Minnesota Thunder finally get their MLS franchise.  In the meantime, their current MLS squads are happy to have them.

In creating recipes, we kept within pale ale style guidelines, but went for three different grain mixtures.  We used the same yeast (similar to Sierra Nevada’s) for all three.  The goal was nothing too crazy or involved, just serviceable pale ales that will do the job without wanting to make real money (read: euros) or get identified on the streets of America.

The Eddie Gaven

The first selection, we went with Eddie Gaven. To get ourselves in Eddie’s mindset, we channeled our inner Eddie Gaven and in a specific nod to Gaven’s highly respected and publicized devote and pious nature, we asked ourselves not “WWJD?”, but, with the holidays approaching, “What Would Jesus….Brew?!”

As a result, Gaven’s beer was a fairly basic but a little heavier on the hop schedule – Gaven’s game, after all, is nothing if not bitter – along with some dry-hopping to finish it off.  The result was a pretty robust pale that could be mistaken for an IPA in some circles. Not bad for the player who was the youngest to score for the, uh, MetroStars and sports that stubbly beard. Is that perma-stubble-plus?

The Kyle Beckerman

The second selection went to Kyle Beckerman.  Beckerman’s beer had a healthy dose of malt, owning the appropriate moniker ‘Special B’.

Unfortunately, an eighth-inch log of his hair proved difficult to procure in Sandy, UT.  This one was also dry-hopped and the ‘Special B’ livened up the overall flavor profile – almost like marking said shorter dude who hasn’t washed his hair in 15 years.

The Dax McCarty

The last selection was Mr. Dax McCarty.  In our best deadpan, Dax’s beer had to stand out from the pack.  To accomplish this, we replaced specialty grains with malted grains and flaked wheat.  The result was a much lighter and drinkable pale that we hope will make an appearance in the 72nd minute in a Friendly possibly against Slovakia.  And….wait, yes that just happened.  Pretty sure Slovakia’s Martin Skrtel is the only Slovakian player who has ever faced a red head on the field (Scholes) before Dax danced his way on.  Sadly the Dax pale was neither made with nor tasted like Ginger.

The Victor

So who won?  The same player that could also be the MLS Cup MVP:  Kyle Beckerman by the length of one of his dreads (read: in a malodorous landslide).  There were only a small percentage of votes cast for Eddie and Dax.  While we also voted for Beckerman, Dax has grown on us quite a bit and is a session pale we were really looking for.

Since our brewery is not a democracy, next summer, Dax will be made again. Perhaps just in time for his cameo in South Africa?

We’ll need nominations for two new challengers to get called up to participate in the 2nd annual MLS Most Valuable Pale. Please nominate below in the poll or the comments.

For more information on Die Hipster Brewing and the MLS Most Valuable Pale recipes.

From TSG: A sincere thanks to Chris and Scott for the good read. If anyone has any questions, about such things as oh “beer” and/or “procurement,” please email shinguardian@gmail.com and we’ll bundle up the emails, float the pigeon and get you a response.

Next up in our BSR Series, what you should be drinking for whatever USMNT mood you are in….

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14 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by matthewsf on 2009/11/19 at 5:50 PM

    Awesome guys.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Slim Jones on 2009/11/19 at 6:10 PM

    How do we get our hands on some of this choice beverage? A Hanson sighting might quench the appetite of a lovely lady or two, but we need burr over here!

    Reply

  3. Posted by matthewsf on 2009/11/19 at 6:24 PM

    Do to such things as oh the American revolution, the 13 colonies and most importantly interstate commerce uh stuff. I would kindly direct you to use the comment section to discuss the beers or 2010

    Questions on filling your glass should be directed to the email above for review.

    And…cheers.

    Reply

  4. Wow. This might be the greatest post in TSG history. Not that the rest aren’t awesomely good, but….. beer! soccer! Kyle Beckerman! Well, maybe not the last one.

    First off, using the Sierra Nevada hops in spot on. Their PA is hands down one of the best in the US. Even though they’re a major-micro brewer its good stuff.

    I can’t stand PA that are weak sauce… they’ve gotta have some hop (literally) like an IPA, but more mild. Places like Magic Hat piss in their beer I swear… although peach piss.

    Love the MLS themed stuff… Die Hipster and I gotta get in touch.

    Lastly, the next Die Hipster beer ABSOLUTELY has to be Frankie Hejduk. I know, I know he shit all over the field on Wednesday (btw… thanks Mark for the .5 point boost in your rating for the FBM), but this guy bleeds red, white, blue and beer.

    Case closed.

    Reply

  5. I think Dax was hard done by in this little comptetition. He’s obviously an EXTRA Pale Ale.

    Reply

  6. We definitely have love for Frankie and will consider him for sure. Feel like we’d have to knock that PA out of the park to do right by him. Maybe a Hall of Fame edition with people like Ben Olson?

    I’ve also had a soft spot for Lance Watson (KC) ever since I heard a Columbus fan yell, ‘Hey Frodo, where’s the Shire?’. Completely audible on FSC. Outstanding.

    Dax was the lightest of the three by far and that was sort of a coincidence. We had the recipe we wanted before the player was chosen. However, as the Don Garbers of our league, we exercised our right to crush democracy.

    Reply

  7. […] those that missed our first installment, it’s going to be tough to beat. Kyle Beckerman’s very-own Pale Ale….we’ll try our best. (By the way, when we gave the beer to Kyle he walked away and said […]

    Reply

  8. […] TSG is teeing up it’s Beer & Soccer Series and the taste test between the Eddie Gaven, Kyle Beckerman and Dax McCarty Pale Ales. […]

    Reply

  9. […] Die Hipster Brewing, the guys who brought you Eddie Gaven Pale Ale and will soon bring you a commemorative Jimmy Conrad brew, welcome Scott Riley. By the way, Dax II […]

    Reply

  10. […] Riley is a head brewmaster at Die Hipster Brewing, the purveyor of such fine, smooth libations as Dax McCarthy Pale Ale and Kyle Beckerman Pale Ale. He’s also been paid to write about beer….by GQ nonetheless. You handsome devil, you, […]

    Reply

  11. […] got to follow-up with this. Some good friends at TSG, the Die Hipster Brewing Company, made a Dax McCarty Pale Ale that we delivered to you. They loved it so much they made “Dax II” earlier this […]

    Reply

  12. […] Riley is the head brewmaster at Die Hipster Brewing, the purveyor of such fine, smooth libations as Dax McCarthy Pale Ale and Kyle Beckerman Pale Ale. He’s also been paid to write about beer…by GQ nonetheless. You handsome devil, you, […]

    Reply

  13. […] Riley is the head brewmaster at Die Hipster Brewing, the purveyor of such fine, smooth libations as Dax McCarthy Pale Ale and Kyle Beckerman Pale Ale. He’s also been paid to write about beer…by GQ nonetheless. You handsome devil, you, […]

    Reply

  14. […] The pizza becomes a test case for other products. Like Dax McCarty Pale Ale. […]

    Reply

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