Celebrating the World Cup (Boa’s Beer Sampling Series Session 14)

Session 14 of the Boa Beer Sampling Series celebrated the World Cup, the premier sporting event on Planet Earth. The beer tasting was held on June 12 in my biergarten, and featured the U.S. versus England match on two flat screen TVs. The biergarten has recently been upgraded and now has patio room seating at a new oak bar, with a perfect view of the TV mounted on the brick wall of the house.  Outdoors under the umbrellas, there was stadium-style seating and another TV for USA Soccer fans ready for some World Cup soccer and…beer!

In the 2010 World Cup, the United States faced England for the first time since a famous upset 60 years ago. In that spirit, the beer tasting featured U.S. vs. England beer battles, along with brews inspired by some of the 32 nations represented in the World Cup. The 12 beers on the menu spanned 12 different styles, and 5 home brews were presented.

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2010 World Cup Beer Tasting Menu

As the U.S. vs. England match kicks off, we’ll have our first beer battle of the day.

  • American Amber Ale, Rogue Ales, Newport, Oregon (5.1%)
    U-S-A, U-S-A! This American Ale is tawny in color with a coffee aroma. Look for a generous use of hops, delicate roasted malt accent, and a smooth finish, just like a Landon Donovan goal.
  • Newcastle Brown Ale, Gateshead, England (4.7%)
    The unique golden brown color is the result of combining two malts: English Pale and Dark Caramel.  Newkie Brown is lightly hopped, and the blend of light and dark malts creates a smooth flavor for easy drinking. Served from a mini keg.

On to the homebrewers, and our second U.S. vs. England beer battle.

  • Shane and Sherri’s Hefeweizen, Riverdale, Maryland (5.0%)
    This is the first homebrew Shane and Sherri have made — a Bavarian Hefeweizen described as a medium bodied, effervescent ale, and it tastes like a liquid multigrain bread. Its slightly low carbonation level surprisingly adds to the ease of drinking and smooth nutty taste. Perfect as a refreshing summer sip.
  • Rabine’s Half-Bass Ale, Ellicott City, Maryland (5.0%)
    Modeled after Bass Ale, an English Bitter, David Rabine’s version is dangerously drinkable. Lightly brown in color and light in flavor. The Irish Moss finishing makes for a smooth-drinking summer beer.
  • Rabine’s Sierra Madre Pale Ale, Ellicott City, Maryland (5.6%)
    The target beer, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, is quite hoppy, and this recipe called for a lot of hops. So the resulting beer is VERY hoppy. The beer has a golden hue, quite impressive for a homebrew, but the hops are a might powerful in this one. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is an acquired taste and this attempt is even more so — not for the faint of heart.

Next up, beers inspired by world soccer powers, including two more homebrews…

  • Birra d’Azzurri (Beer of the Blues), RAW Brewing, Washington, D.C. (5.1%)
    A Belgian-style Blueberry White Ale brewed with American hops to celebrate the 2010 Italy World Cup team, the Azzurri (and surely not for Les Bleus  of France).
  • Tilburg’s Dutch Brown Ale, Brewery de Koningshoeven, Tilburg, Netherlands (5.2%)
    This brew is an interesting interpretation of a Belgian Dark Ale. The orange color of this beer reminds of the Oranje – the Dutch national football team, also know as Clockwork Orange.  Creamy mouthfeel, with a smooth flavor that boasts of malts and roasted barley, followed by a fruity finish.
  • Xingu, Cervejaria Sul Brasileira, Jacareí – São Paulo Brazil (4.6%)
    An opaque, full-bodied Schwarzbier (black lager) with mild bitterness. Extravagant aromas. Rich and creamy, well balanced sweet notes and hints of tartness with exceptional mouthfeel, in two words: Black Silk.
  • Samuel Adams Long Shot Lemon Pepper Saison, Boston Beer Company, Boston, MA (6.4%)
    Saison, French for season, is a beer style originating in the French-speaking region of Belgium. This flavorful, refreshing, light-bodied beer is brewed with Grains of Paradise, a tropical spice. The peppery flavor is complemented by a slightly sweet aroma with hints of vanilla and citrus, making this beer the perfect cool down to a hot summer day. This Long Shot beer was selected to symbolize the United States’ odds of winning the World Cup.
  • Budesliga Bock, RAW Brewing, Washington, D.C. (8.3%)
    A German Bock-style ale brewed with brown sugar for that extra “kick” to celebrate the 2010 Germany World Cup team.

We’ll end with the final U.S. vs. England beer battle of the day.

  • Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout, Tadcaster, England (5.0%)
    Champion of the Washington Post’s 2010 Beer Madness Competition.  This beer is almost opaque, with an unusually silky texture and complex, velvet palate. There is a bitter finish, symbolic of the mood in England at the conclusion of the U.S vs. England World Cup match.
  • Hop Wallop, Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, PA (8.5%)
    Selected for the beer tasting in prediction of a U.S. victory over England, Hop Wallop is a fragrant experience that delights the taste buds. Pure gold of color, this ale offers its heady bounty of hops to the adventurous of taste. Bold, bracing and surprisingly refreshing for a strong ale.

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Click to download the PDF version of the June 2010 Beer Tasting Menu.

The beer descriptions were provided by breweries/brewers, and include my own personal touch to reflect the occasion.

Attending: Rich, Susan, Elizabeth and Andrew, David, Christine and family, Javier and Maryellen, Terry and Cindy, Beth, Emily and Benjamin, Kristen, Miles, Tara and family, David, Lori and family, Greg, Shane and Sherri.

Thanks to the home brewers!

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