To celebrate football's biggest fiesta, the FIFA World Cup, we've assembled a five-a-side team of some of the best beers to enjoy this truly global event with. So kick back, pick up one of these star players and watch the action unfold with the peace of mind that you are drinking some of the world's best.
Yes, you should have already guessed that Sportsbajer translates to English as sports beer. This dry-hopped lager has a real juicy feel and sessionable ABV, brewed and designed for maximum pleasure and minimum distraction say the experts at To Øl. So as your side fail, yet again, to defend properly from a corner you can yell at your television without distraction. The design geek inside us also loves the work of Kasper Ledet, art director and designer at To Øl, and the incredible labels he produces – this one is no exception.
Our star player from Japan comes via Osaka-based Minoh – one of the most well-established and well respected brewers in Japan – and its W-IPA. This orange-coloured imperial IPA is heavy-hitting with its citrussy and earthy-noted aroma that is backed up with a sweet caramel and slightly brown ale taste, later complemented by a hazy tang of citrus such as grapefruit. You can probably only get hold of this one in Japan itself, but trust us, it’s worth the trip.
Friday Über IPA
The Germans, in footballing terms, are known for being clean, clinical, and getting the job done with no frills. That seems a harsh thing to compare our beer choice to, but it does kind of work. One of the main reasons we recommend Friday Über IPA from Munich-based AndUnion is that it is actually quite easy to get hold of – not an uncommon sight in supermarkets. It boasts that it is a Bavarian take on the American-style IPA and offers a clear, hoppy and fruity experience of this beer type with some strong malty body.
Our choice of star player for Belgium was an easy one, considered by many to be the best beer in the world – Westvleteren 12 is the Lionel Messi of craft beer. At 10.2 per cent ABV we don’t recommend you enjoy too many of these whilst the footy is on for fear of sleeping through the second half. Although not the easiest to get your hands on we recommend everyone to try Westvleteren 12 at least once on their craft beer journey.
Einstök’s White Ale is not only one of the most talented of beers in the country’s craft beer lineup, but it is also readily available in the UK and is a great session beer – perfect for watching a game. It’s a classic witbier with orange peel and coriander notes, brewed with pure Icelandic water that will ideally compliment any spicy half-time takeway you have planned. To honour Iceland qualifying for their first ever world cup, Einstök has even produced a limited edition label.
Let’s just hope they avoid England this time…
See our full guide to the craft beer world cup in issue five.