And it’s finally back!
The Beer & Soccer Series. Bang!
Today, we offer just a morsel, a tidbit, a spec of the beer and footie pairings for your 2011 Gold Cup enjoyment. A primer, if you will.
And basically if you have a question–it’s the 2nd half and Panama is up 1-0 on the beloved States and about to take a corner kick. I need the perfect beer that’s going to knock that ball out of the box–it gets answered right here. Just drop it in the comments.
Now, Our Experts
He’s the reigning winner of the Texas–that’s a BIG state–Social Media Award and he does it all with beer…and a computer.
Say hello to Dan from the Free Beer Movement He’s like the Xavi of soccer and beer. He’ll glady pass many around for free each game and watch his buddies celebrate.
Eric Giardini knows everything there is to know about Roma, Totti and Serie A. He hails from DC but he might as well be checking in from ‘da Boot. Giardini accurately predicted the Landon Donovan to Roma “news” when Thomas DiBenedetto became owner would be nothing but a rumor….4 months ago!
He’s just as omniscient about picking his–and your–fermentations as well.
Scott 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, Scott.
This next participant was the classy digital media voice of Sporting Kansas City and is now doing damage as the “current strategist” for the new Sporting Club membership product.
He’s so connected in , so up on, tech that he knew about Foursquare when it was Threesquare. He goes by the name Kyle Rogers and he knows almost just as much about libation. However, he’ll gladly tell you the following is (was) his claim to fame.
“Grew up playing sports against current SKC center back Matt Besler. He nutmegged me once pretty bad during a high school game, but it was totally an accident.”
Our next expert is John Nyen. A Liverpool fan, a Timbers fan, and from what we’ve heard, personally responsible for keeping Denver’s British Bulldog Footie Pub in business. His contributions are always valued around TSG as well.
World Football Daily is the only daily English language show exclusively, yet this next contributor goes by the name Rafa, but he’s a fan of historic Scottish team, Glasgow Rangers. Go figure. Nevertheless, Rafa Gonzalez, producer, World Football Daily.
…oh and our final panelist?
Well he doesn’t need any introduction.
Alexi Lalas rounds out our experts. He’s played and now commentated all around the world, from Italy to South Africa. Lalas’s trademark tangerine ‘fro was at least partially responsible for emblazoning soccer on the American conscience back in the 90’s.
He’s still doing it today.
Oh and he experiments more with beer than David Beckham does with MLS. Wait, I can’t make that joke. Carry on.
Oh and he experiments more with beer than David Beckham does with MLS. Wait, I can’t make that joke. Carry on.
FROM SUNDAY EVENING: Bob Bradley selects the Gold Cup roster. Who’s your surprise pick and how are you toasting them?
John, Timbers: The surprise pick for me? Zach Lloyd – I WOULD toast him with some Lone Star, but that would be really awful. So I will, instead, open up a bottle of Eugene City Brewery (by way of Rogue Ale) Track Town 200 Meter Ale. Get to running, Zach.
Kyle Rogers, SportingKC: Justin Braun – Chardon Brewworks Working Man Pale Ale He never seems overly flashy, but always gets the job done. Plus, his skin is pretty pale for a Cali boy.
Eric, Roma: Zak Whitbread, with bad luck and injuries forcing him to withdrawal from the March camp early, will be pleased to know that I will be having congratulatory toast in his honor of Legend Brewing Company’s Brown Ale upon news of him being named to the Gold Cup squad.
Legend, out of my hometown of Richmond, VA, takes a traditional English style Brown Ale and gives it an American twist – that twist means making it better. Why Legend? Mostly to celebrate Zak’s, and Norwich City’s “legendary” rise from Football League 1 to the Premier League in only two seasons.
Dan, FBM: Coach Sweatpants, in his first draft of the squad accidentally puts injured Stu Holden on the roster. Sunil Gulati (having final say in all roster selections) catches the error, panics, and writes the first midfielder that pops into his head, on the roster.
Freddy Adu has returned to the USMNT set up.
In honor of his return from the Turkish second division we toast “the future of American soccer” with a Fuller’s Extra Special Bitter because that’s probably all the diminutive winger is feeling nowadays. Only the best ESB for America’s “best”.
Scott, DHB: David Regis is my (and likely everyone else on the post raptured planet’s) surprise pick. 1998, Regis was starting three games in the World Cup for us and was my first year in SF. Our staple brews were Redhook, Poppy Jasper and Sierra Nevada. For a slightly less improbable selection, it would be interesting to see Ike Opara get a look.
Opening Gold Cup, Sporting KC’s Teal Bunbury (or now the closest Canadian-seeming guy on the roster… Eric Lichaj perhaps?) scores the game winner against Canada.
John, Timbers: Everyone rip up your Tuques and call your local member of Parliament, we have a controversy. I would usually say to celebrate let’s open a bottle of Elsinore, but I found a mouse in mine. So instead… to celebrate tens of Canadians crying into their delicious, delicious poutine, I would crack open a bottle of Great Divide Titan IPA
Eric, Roma: Although this beer usually reserved for Sundays during football season (when I’m forced to watch a terrible football team with Canadian beer. Ah, the joys of being raised by Western New Yorkers. Thanks Mom & Dad), I can’t pass up the opportunity to toast one Canadian import with another. For that reason, there is really only one choice – Labatt’s Blue.
Rafa, WFD: Knowing that a Labatt Blue or Molson’s is probably cliche for this, WFD will harken back the Spanish telecast and goal call of when Bunbury scored the penalty against Chile in the recent friendly. “I like da Boon-ba-ree, I LIKE DA BOON-BA-REE!!”
Because of the Latin love he gets from our neighbors to the South, we will go ahead and completely disregard his Canadian connection by throwing back freezing-cold-fresh-from-the-ice-chest- can of Tecate with freshly squeeze lime from the Carniceria around the corner. Odelay Boonbaree. (Editor’s note “…or someone like Bunbury.)
DHB: The goal serves as its own gloating so let us make peace and give thanks to our neighbors through beer. We’ll call this the Terrence and Phillips and it is an Imperial Black and Tan made with Bell’s “Hopslam” topped with Dieu Du Ciel’s “Peche Mortel”. Michigan meet’s Montreal in this one and done concoction.
Dan, FBM: Part of me wishes for someone to completely burn all of our bridges to/from Canuckistan (snagging Bunbury was a start) by heading to the sidelines, grabbing a “Clearly Canadian”, and spitting it out a la Alecko Eskandarian with a can of Red Bull.
Just as such, we’d never let a Canadian brew touch our lips during this crucial Gold Cup Opener (although we were partial to Labatt’s Blue in college!?!?), we’ll be celebrating a U.S. goal over America Jr. with something from Bunbury’s American roots (just to twist the knife a bit)… Akron’s own Thirsty Dog Brewing Company’s “Twisted Kilt” Scottish Export Ale.
We’d imagine that those “Yah Der Heyers” up Nort will have their kilts twisted over losing again to their big brother. That’s what they wear up there, right?
Kyle, Sporting KC: Boulevard Nutcracker Ale – Boulevard is a local staple, and I’m sure Teal (Editor’s Note: or someone very psuedo Canadian like him) beating the Maple Leafs would feel like a swift kick to the gonads of CSA fans.
Alexi: Moosehead. It’s fully Canadian-owned. Feel like we should throw ’em a bone after picking off their talent.
* USA plays Panama in critical game two in sweltering June Tampa/Florida heat
Alexi: Balboa Beer. Named after conquistador Vasco Núñez de Balboa who was convicted of treason and sentenced to death by decapitation. Panama can run but they can’t hide.
Rafa, WFD: You know, more than likely, I’d try to keep it light, flavorful, and filling with a Budweiser Chelada in hopes of keeping somewhat hydrated and fueled with all the essential daily vitamins and all that jazz.
Eric, Roma: Few things are more enjoyable than a hefeweizen on a hot summer’s night, agreed? Add to this the slight hint of apricots and Pyramid Brewery’s Apricot Ale fits the bill perfectly. The light, smooth finish of this beer won’t fill you up and, unlike other fruit-infused beers, you won’t grow tired of the taste. The apricot isn’t so strong as to overpower your taste buds, but the taste is definitely there.
Dan, FBM: We’re always one to drink local so we’d recommend making a detour to the Cigar City Brewing Company in Tampa to pick up a few of their brews before heading to the tailgate. We’d recommend their Jai Alai IPA (rated “A” on Beer Advocate) or, if it is available, get a growler of their “Guava Grove” Belgian-style saison which is supposed to be produced just in time for the National Team’s appearance in Tampa and perfect for a searing hot day.
Kyle, Sporting KC: Tripel Vision: Players’ vision could be impaired by final whistle, and hopefully Panama will be seeing a 3 on the USA side of the scoreboard.
Scott, DHB: Can we petition the excellent local brewery Cigar City to produce a Berlinerweisse for this one? That heat calls for low alcohol, refreshing taste and light body. Berlinerweisse checks off all three with about 3% abv, tartness due to the addition of lactobacillus and the body of a wheat beer. In the realm of reality, Victory Brewing’s “Helios” is an excellent brew that we’ll be enjoying from our new digs in PA.
John, Timbers: I just want to get this out there right now; Sammy Hagar makes some awful Tequila. Therefore, I propose that we imbibe something light, drinkable, potentially awful, and best enjoyed on a beach… the answer? Hamm’s. Think about this for a second, you need to finish the following sentence…”I went to see USA v Panama. It was 98 degrees and 60% humidity, and I got really drunk on ice cold…” Yep.. Hamm’s.
LIVESTRONG (I always feel like I’m yelling that when I write it) Park hosts its first USMNT game, Group Stage Game 3 against the virgins (small “v” or may we be struck down) of Guadeloupe
Alexi: Budweiser. Over the years, no beer has been proven to be more effective on virgins than Bud.
Dan, FBM: Since I’ll be at this game… I’ll be drinking whatever the phenomenal American Outlaws: Kansas City chapter (who put together an unbelievable campaign to bring the Gold Cup to their city) is providing.
That being said I’ll be certain to also fill my cooler with loads of the great stuff that the KC-based and tasty Boulevard Brewing Co. puts out. If you get a chance… do not (and I won’t) pass up on their Smokestack Series.
Scott, DHB: Michelob Ultra. It’s so good and you can run drunk based on the marketing. Sorry Lance. Keeping that one local, Boulevard Brewing’s “ZON” is a Belgian Style Wit clocking in at 4.4% abv. If David Regis scores for either team, will probably switch to coffee.
Kyle, Sporting KC: Not Tonight Honey Porter – Describes the attitude of both USA and Kansas City fans going into the game. USA fans will feel it’s not the night Guadeloupe gets a big Gold Cup upset, while KC fans will be telling Stephane Auvray that they can’t root for him, tonight.
Rafa, WFD: A little Arrogant Bastard Ale, knowing that our eyes are on the prize… the prize being the Rose Bowl and the Gold Cup Final.
Eric, Roma: I’ll stick with the religious theme here and recommend 21st Amendment’s Monk’s Blood, which I stumbled upon recently. I’m usually not a huge fan of Belgian-style beers, but for some reason I find myself going back to this one. With a solid ABV at 8.3%, you can expect to kick back, relax, and enjoy a couple of these during the game since this one should be about as close to a walk in the park as we’ll get (which is good because I’m a nervous drinker while watching soccer). Beware: the game falls on a school night and these will sneak up on you.
John, Timbers: I tend to think that some people will be going with a Boulevard pick here, and I refuse to be different. I am picking Boulevard’s Long Strange Tripel as a nod to the insane 10 game road trip of Sporting KC. That said, I am going to give a nice nod to Lance here by drinking an Abita Purple Haze, a beer infused with Raspberry Puree. Why? Because it is “Juiced”.
* Pre-game Pasadena Rose Bowl Parking Lot: What are you drinking? What are you eating?
Scott, DHB: The Bruery isn’t terribly far from Pasadena, so we’d pick up a case of their “Hottenroth”. It’s a Berlinerweisse style beer as described earlier. Santa Barbara’s Telegraph “Reserve Wheat” is another ideal find. What are we eating? We’re eating Wild Boar and Chicken Habenero sausages smuggled south from Rosamunde’s.
John, Timbers: Drinking? Let’s kick it off with something Californian, Port Brewing Shark Attack Double Red. Eating? If I am grilling, I think I would potentially go with the double whammy of Dry Rubbed Ribs and Duck wings marinated in Chef Dean Martin’s Asian Barbeque sauce.
Dan, FBM: IF we could’ve gone to this Final we would’ve brought the tailgating essentials from out from the (and our) home state of tailgating, Wisconsin. Some Miller High Life and Johnsonville Brats. Gunning for a fifth GC title is the definition of the “high life”.
Remember folks, this is a final… a long day… we’re not beer snobs at the FBM. Never above drinking a quality, macro-brew. Plus, Jay DeMerit (and his beard) would approve.
Alexi: Guinness and….Guinness. Because USA vs. Mexico is serious stuff people.
Rafa, WFD, in the 3rd person: Kenny and Rafa take pre-match festivities very seriously and although beer is not Kenny’s bag, Rafa will always have at least three Newcastles before watching a match. Kenny will match him only because he would hate to see Rafa drink alone, but he will complain that he’s getting fat.
Kenny’s pre-game meal is either shrimp or fish tacos that he bought. Rafa being half-Mexican, mingles with his lot and comes up with some bomb Carne Asada burritos (notice plural cause this will affect his performance through out the evening).
Eric, Roma: I’m just going to answer this as though it said “pre-game in RFK parking lot for the Quarterfinals” because that’s what I’ll be doing. PBR and Bud Heavy tall boys. Next question [Drops mic].
Food is a bit trickier. I’ve found it’s a bit of a pain to lug a grill, wait for it to get hot, and figure out what to do with it while I’m in the game. Maybe that’s just me. So for me the key is to pack things that pack/travel well and aren’t temperature-critical. Cold fried chicken or wings are a staple along with some sort of side (chips and 7 layer dip, etc) and home-made cookies are a can’t miss. In the end, all that matters is having something that will give your stomach a nice base for the drinks (but nothing too filling because of the numerous tall boys you will be consuming).
Kyle, Sporting KC: Arrogant Bastard Ale – feeling good about the result and not afraid to show it. Chips and salsa.
The USA succumbs to Mexico in a hard-fought battle at the Rose Bowl in front of a predominantly Mexican crowd.
Eric, Roma: Our boys went hard for 90 minutes and they deserve beer that goes just as hard for just as long. Only one beer is up to the task: Dogfish Head’s 90 minute IPA. While the hops are there, it is a more in line with the East Coast IPAs and not the huge “hop bombs” that our friends out West like to make. The 9% ABV doesn’t hurt in trying to forget what always is a painful loss to Mexico.
Dan, FBM: I refuse to entertain the thought and answer this question.
Alexi: Tecate. I’d like to make it out of the parking lot.
John, Timbers: This, quite obviously, would be the worst case scenario for most USMNT fans. However, I want to stress that you should try not to pick a beer in anger or sadness. Actually you should use a good beer to help you rebound from this debacle into a new age of hope. So in that regard I say to drink: Full Sail LTD 05. This particular beer is only available until the end of June, just like the Gold Cup.
Rafa, WFD (again in the 3rd person): Although a bit bitter and upset at the result, the boys of WFD are looking for a good time. Rafa takes Kenny under his wing and being a halfie, Rafa says the right things and he and Kenny party like rock stars all night in the Rose Bowl Parking lot. They drink what ever is being handed to them, which is definitely questionable at this time, but they say it’s just warm Coors Light cause the ice melted in the ice-chest. Either way, it’s a parking lot fiesta.
Scott, DHB: I suck it up and grab one of those 24oz Tecate’s. Careful wording here since grabbing is different from consuming. Somehow I will end up fighting Cuatemoc Blanco’s neck.
Kyle, Sporting KC: Dos Equis. The eyes of dejected USA fans who thought playing in the States meant a home field advantage.
The USA wins the Gold Cup against Mexico at the Rose Bowl in front of a predominantly Mexican crowd. (Bonus: Who scores for the States)
Scott, DHB: I suck it up and grab one of those Belgian beers everyone’s talking about, “Budweiser”. Same wording clarification applies to this one. The game winner will be scored by Chicharito with the most improbable goal of all time: The Own Goal Penalty Kick.
John, Timbers: I will need a victory beer, basically a beer that I love so much that the very smell, taste and imbibing of this beer brings me to a heady place of love. For this I select: Terminal Gravity IPA. Just about impossible to get east of Boise, North of Portland or South of Salem; yet glorious, just like a USA win against Mexico. Scorer: Carlos Bocanegra, just because.
Rafa, WFD: The “cerveza mexicano” to celebrate a truly fantastic result for the States after our boy Maurice Edu gets the game winner (that counts!) and sends the US to the Confederations Cup.
Eric, Roma: In a 2-1 US victory over Mexico in the final (goals from Dempsey and Agudelo as the hype continues to build) to claim the 2011 Gold Cup, the USMNT will have won their 5th Gold Cup title to join Mexico as five-time winners and I’m saving my favorite beer for this occasion. Bear Republic’s Racer 5 (get it? 5?) is a big, flavorful IPA that sometimes goes down a bit too easy, but hey, it’s a celebration! After a few of these, be sure to follow them with some caipirinhas since we’re going to be watching our boys in Brazil in 2013! Oh, and you might want to follow my lead and call out of work the next day.
Dan, FBM: Poppin’ bottles! Poppin’ bottles! We’re filling up a replica Gold Cup (Do they make those? They should.) with SoCal Beer Company’s Red Carpet Ale. Roll it out for the Men’s National Team!
(Oh and put of course, Freddy Adu with the game winner against Mexico. Fly young son, fly.)
Kyle, Sporting KC: Bud Light Lime – Take that Mexico! We copied your beer (Corona) flavor and beat you in front of your own fans! Jose Francisco Torres hits a long-range bomb in stoppage-time FTW!
Alexi: Session Lager. It comes in a stubby, which make it easier while running around the parking lot. (own-goal R. Marquez)