Craft Beer Wins World Cup

The beer showdown may have peaked with the Belgium vs. USA match for which American beer drinkers shunned Belgian imports in favor of American-made Belgian-style ales, or even American Trappist beers. Meanwhile the Prime Minister of Belgium, Elio Di Rupo, challenged President Barack Obama on Twitter to a bet with “some great Belgian beers” on the line that Belgium would make it to the quarter-finals. Breweries got in on the fun too: Berkeley, California’s sour beer brewery The Rare Barrel made a wager with Pierre Tilquin from Gueuzerie Tilquin in Belgium’s Senne Valley that the losing team would send the other brewery a case of their beer. We hope Pierre and his team enjoy their sour spoils.

Craft breweries took inspiration from the World Cup for their beers. As we’ve covered here, Asheville, North Carolina’s Wicked Weed Brewing released a series of nine World Cup-themed beers throughout the month of June, from a Caipirinha-inspired beer to a saison brewed with French hops, yeast, and mushrooms. Peticolas Brewing Company in Dallas, Texas, brewed Thrilla in Brazilla, a 7.5% ABV IPA, released on the day of the opening match between Brazil and Croatia, and available until the final on July 12. Scotland jokesters BrewDog released a hibiscus witbier called Vote Sepp in an attempt to “bribe” World Cup Officials to choose Scotland over Qatar as host for the 2022 World Cup. Ahead of this year’s cup, Anheuser-Busch InBev also launched a limited run of their Brazilian Brahma beer, called Brahma Selecao Especial, brewed with barley grown on Granja Comary, the official training ground of the Brazil national team.

Big beer had its victory too. On his show, “Last Week Tonight”, John Oliver highlighted FIFA frustrations, including the passing of the so-called “Budweiser bill,” which repealed the public safety law that banned alcohol sales in soccer stadiums and allowed Budweiser, a World Cup sponsor, to be sold throughout the World Cup.

The Cup highlighted Brazil’s emerging beer scene, with breweries such as São Paulo’s Cervejaria Colorado and Cervejaria Bodebrown from Curitiba, whose stadium hosted Algeria vs. Russia, Australia vs. Spain, and more.

And then there was endless coverage of beer and soccer pairings and trend stories. NPR took a look at USA Vs. Belgium: If the World Cup Were Played In Beer; the LA Times covered what beer to drink for the different matches, and The Fiscal Times brought it state-side with a feature on the no-brainer partnership between U.S. soccer teams and craft beer. German beer sales got a boost during the World Cup, according to the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post looked at what your beer says about your World Cup tastes.

Finally, I’m betting America would like to collectively buy Tim Howard a beer or two—or maybe one for every shot he saved in the match with Belgium.

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