USA Vs. Belgium: If The World Cup Were Played In Beer – NPR (blog)

Tuesday afternoon's match between the U.S. and Belgium will pit two countries with burgeoning beer scenes — and a shared love of fries.

hide captionTuesday afternoon’s match between the U.S. and Belgium will pit two countries with burgeoning beer scenes — and a shared love of fries.


The Americans have the spunk, the vigor and a willingness to try anything. The Belgians have the art, the creativity and the tradition of world-class success. We’re not just talking about their looming World Cup matchup here. We’re also talking about beer.

The topic of beer and the World Cup is now bubbling around in the highest offices of the two nations.

Belgium’s Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo has offered President Obama, a noted beer fan, a “beer bet” over the match, tweeting, “Hey @BarackObama, I am betting some great Belgian beers that our @BelRedDevils will make it to the quarter final!”

Of course, this is all a preamble to the big question: What will you be drinking when the U.S. and Belgium face off Tuesday afternoon?

That question leapt into many minds when the round of 16 game was announced. It also illustrates how far America’s beer scene and its soccer have come. And it makes us wonder how the two beer cultures match up.

We’ll have more of a sports-based preview of the game next week; for now, we’re offering ideas that might help you lay in provisions for Tuesday’s match. Feel free to share your own recommendations in the comments section.

Here’s our analysis on what the U.S. and Belgium bring to the table:

Ale vs. Ale

U.S. craft beer makers have taken ideas from their venerable peers in Belgium, Britain and elsewhere, just as U.S. Soccer benefits from its players’ experience on European clubs (it also brought coach Jurgen Klinsmann from Germany).

And as Garrett Oliver of the Brooklyn Brewery writes in his Oxford Companion to Beer, the ideas have traveled both ways.

“Slowly, the influence has crept back in the other direction as well,” Oliver says. “Belgian brewers are experimenting with bold hop character, long the signature of the American craft brewing movement.”

U.S. brewers are famous for their India Pale Ale, a style defined by hoppiness. We’ll resist the urge to compare that quality to a corner kick. Instead, let’s call it a general rambunctiousness — particularly along the defensive line. This is a beer with backbone and power, not afraid of its own pungency.

The U.S. lineup of IPAs also knows how to score. From California, the Russian River brewery’s Pliny the Elder gets high marks at both the Beer Advocate and Rate Beer sites — and it was the top pick in the American Homebrewers Association’s 2014 list.

Pliny the Elder isn’t available all over the U.S., but you might want to seek it out. As a recent review by says, “The first sip is ‘wow’ smooth. Grapefruit and pineapple — hello, citrus — are predominant, and the earthy, forest-floor flavors that you get from some IPAs, even good ones, are absent.”

Moving on to other candidates, we start with the beer that recently pushed Pliny off the top of the Beer Advocate list: The Alchemist’s Heady Topper, another IPA that’s only available in limited areas.

For solid (and more widely available) talent, we turn to Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, the Stone IPA, and the time-tested Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (which isn’t a full-on IPA, in the same sense that some defenders also score goals).

These are beers that will hang with you for the whole game — which reminds us that the Dogfish Head 90-Minute IPA would also be a strong choice. If that’s a bit too strong, you can always opt for the 60-minute version.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention perhaps the most fitting American beer to drink Tuesday: anything from Victory. The Pennsylvania brewer calls its DirtWolf IPA “wildly assertive, intentionally untamed and dangerously satisfying.” Which is how we often describe the World Cup at its best.

The Monks: Old School

For the Belgians, the discussion has to start with the Trappists. After all, the monks were crafty before craft beer was crafty. And unlike an IPA that might dither around on the field of play, these are beers that know how to finish.

And they’re legendary: The Westvleteren 12, one of the highest-rated beers in the world, caused a sensation when it was briefly imported to the U.S. in 2012.

If we want to equate one beer to one player, the unavailable-in-America Westy might be Belgium’s Christian Benteke, who proved his ability to score on the U.S. team by netting two goals against them in a 2013 match — but who is also currently sidelined with a torn Achilles.

So, we’ll throw that one out. But the talent level doesn’t really fall off, because here comes the St. Bernardus Abt 12, swooping in like a striker lining up a rebound off the goalie’s fist. It has a bittersweet complexity, like a beautiful goal by the other team.

And right alongside it is the Rochefort 10, a rich juggernaut of dark fruits emboldened by “oaky notes” and “leather,” as a review on the Rate Beer site says.

With those starters out of the way, we can look at the role-players and the bench. After astounding you with Trappist ales, the Belgians only get more complex, with funky saisons, light-footed witbiers and aged sour beers breaking off in startling new directions.

Saisons from Dupont and Fantôme bring odd inflections to what might, to an unprepared taster, resemble a standard ale at first glance. But the hint that all isn’t what it seems begins with what Fantôme calls “a wonderfully musty and characterful aroma.”

The Americans answer with a rock-solid lineup of stouts that are strong in every sense of the word. From Goose Island comes the Bourbon County Stout, a rich glass of charred darkness. Founders brings the Kentucky Breakfast Stout, whose coffee notes could give you a second-half spark.

The ‘X Factor’

The U.S. side has another secret weapon: beating the Belgians at their own game. Consider that American brewers such as California’s The Bruery, Wisconsin’s New Glarus and New York’s Ommegang have excelled at making saisons, sour beers and Belgian-style ales.

In a sign that Tuesday’s game could be a close one, the winning Belgian-style tripel at the most recent World Beer Cup was from Delaware’s Dominion Brewing. And while Belgium’s Rodenbach brewery took gold in the aged sour beer category with its Vintage 2011, it was followed by the Funky Jewbelation, made by Shmaltz Brewing in New York.

If you want more proof that Tuesday’s match will be played under a vast beer-brella, consider that AB InBev, the mammoth company that now owns trademark beer companies in both the U.S. (with Budweiser) and Belgium (with Stella Artois), has roots in Brazil.

But in what could be a bad sign for the Yanks, the company’s headquarters are in Belgium.

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Next Round: Summer beers bearing fruit – USA TODAY

Citrus and melon flavors can add summertime flavors to beers.

Fruit beers can be extremely divisive.

For some beer lovers, any combination of the two amounts to heresy — be it a fruit-brewed beer or a lemon tossed into a Hefeweizen.

My position has evolved enough that I am open-minded. I’m comfortable with fruit in beer — more than a decade ago, I downed a bucket of Bud Lights with ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, who stuffed at least one lime into each longneck.

As brewers tiptoed fruity beers into the marketplace, I tried a few. Most were one and done, but a few go-to fruit beers remain: Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat, Abita Brewing’s Purple Haze (raspberry) and Magic Hat Brewing’s #9 (apricot), all of which are so popular they are available year-round.

My amenability to fruit beers comes in handy this time of year as retailer shelves and bar taps are flush with fruity summer beers. Here are a few that caught my fancy recently:

Third St. Brewhouse Hunny Do Wheat Beer (cans and draft) is a seasonal that’s appropriately named in more ways than one. The light, crisp beer, from a Cold Springs, Minn., brewery that began selling canned brews earlier this year, has a sweet honeydew flavor. And that taste doesn’t overpower this brew, which clocks in at 4.8% alcohol, light enough to make it a good selection before or after checking a task off your “honey do” list.

21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer (cans and draft). Staying in the melon family, this beer from a San Francisco brewer reminds me of Jolly Ranchers sour candy. And this pale, golden, light-bodied beer, which also comes recommended from Richards, is almost as refreshing as a slice of watermelon, but nowhere near as messy.

Otter Creek Fresh Slice White IPA (bottles and cans) is something different in that it’s a yeasty, hoppy mashup of a Belgian Witbier and an India Pale Ale — sort of a Blue Moon on flavor steroids. The Middlebury, Vt., brewer adds more twists: coriander, orange peel and juice from clementines, those smaller-than-navel orange citrus fruits. Its 5.5% alcohol level is slightly stronger than that of the melon beers.

Flying Dog Bloodline Blood Orange IPA (bottles, cans and draft) could be the fruit beer that wins over hopheads in that the fruit is definitely secondary to the aroma and tasty bitterness from the Citra, Galaxy and Northern Brewer hops here. A sip reveals a flowery, citrusy taste akin to grapefruit — I assume that’s blood orange as I can’t honestly say I’ve had the fruit. But this beer has a pleasant bitterness and it packs a bit more alcoholic juice (at 7%) than other fruit beers. This newcomer is already planned as a year-round release.

Next Round takes a regular look at new and recently released craft beers. If there’s one on your radar or if you have suggestions or questions, contact Mike Snider via e-mail. And follow Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.

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From Beer to Caffeine: The Birth of Innovation – Forbes

<p>300 years ago, during the Age of Enlightenment, the Coffee House became the center of innovation.</p>
<p>Back then, most people went from drinking beer to consuming coffee (i.e. from being tipsy to being wired) and ideas started exploding.</p>
<p>The details of this story are important (and fun) one for anyone passionate about innovation…</p>
<p>I wrote about this very phenomenon in <em>Abundance</em>, and offer the excerpt below.</p>
<p>Read, enjoy and pass it on to all the coffee-lovers (and innovators) in your life.</p>
<p><em>Please send your friends and family to <a href=“”></a> to sign up for these blogs — this is all about surrounding yourself with abundance-minded thinkers. And if you want my personal coaching on these topics, consider joining my <a href=“”>Abundance 360</a> membership program for entrepreneurs.</em>
<h2>***Beginning of Abundance Excerpt: The World is My Coffee Shop*** </h2>
<p>In his excellent book <em><a href=“”>Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation</a></em>, author Steven Johnson explores the impact of coffeehouses on the Enlightenment culture of the eighteenth century. “It’s no accident,” he says, “that the age of reason accompanies the rise of caffeinated beverages.” There are two main drivers at work here. The first is that before the discovery of coffee, much of the world was intoxicated much of the day. This was mostly a health issue. Water was too polluted to drink, so beer was the beverage of choice. In his New Yorker essay “<a href=““>Java Man</a>,” Malcolm Gladwell explains it this way: “Until the eighteenth century, it must be remembered, many Westerners drank beer almost continuously, even beginning their day with something called ‘beer soup.’ Now they begin each day with a strong cup of coffee. One way to explain the industrial revolution is as the inevitable consequence of a world where people suddenly preferred being jittery to being drunk.”</p>
<p>But equally important to the Enlightenment was the coffeehouse as a hub for information sharing. These new establishments drew people from all walks of life. Suddenly the rabble could party alongside the royals, and this allowed all sorts of novel notions to begin to meet and mingle and, as Matt Ridley says, “have sex.” In his book <em><a href=“”>London Coffee Houses</a></em>, Bryant Lillywhite explains it this way:</p>
<blockquote>The London coffee-houses provided a gathering place where, for a penny admission charge, any man who was reasonably dressed could smoke his long, clay pipe, sip a dish of coffee, read the newsletters of the day, or enter into conversation with other patrons. At the period when journalism was in its infancy and the postal system was unorganized and irregular, the coffee-house provided a centre of communication for news and information . . . Naturally, this dissemination of news led to the dissemination of ideas, and the coffee-house served as a forum for their discussion.</blockquote>
<p>But researchers in recent years have recognized that the coffeeshop phenomenon is actually just a mirror of what occurs within cities. Two-thirds of all growth takes place in cities because, by simple fact of population density, our urban spaces are perfect innovation labs. The modern metropolis is jam-packed. People are living atop one another; their ideas are as well. So notions bump into hunches bump into offhanded comments bump into concrete theories bump into absolute madness, and the results pave the way forward. And the more complicated, multilingual, multicultural, wildly diverse the city, the greater its output of new ideas. “What drives a city’s innovation engine, then — and thus its wealth engine — is its multitude of differences,” <a href=“”>says</a> Stewart Brand. In fact, Santa Fe Institute, physicist Geoffrey West <a href=“”>found</a> that when a city’s population doubles, there is a 15 percent increase in income, wealth, and innovation. (He measured innovation by counting the number of new patents.)</p>
<p>But just as the coffeehouse is a pale comparison to the city; the city is a pale comparison to the World Wide Web. The net is allowing us to turn ourselves into a giant, collective meta-intelligence. And this meta-intelligence continues to grow as more and more people come online. Think about this for a moment: by 2020, nearly three billion people will be added to the Internet’s community. That’s three billion new minds about to join the global brain. The world is going to gain access to intelligence, wisdom, creativity, insight, and experiences that have, until very recently, been permanently out of reach.</p>
<p>The upside of this surge is immeasurable. Never before in history has the global marketplace touched so many consumers and provided access to so many producers. The opportunities for collaborative thinking are also growing exponentially, and since progress is cumulative, the resulting innovations are going to grow exponentially as well. For the first time ever, the rising billion will have the remarkable power to identify, solve, and implement their own abundance solutions. And thanks to the net, those solutions aren’t going to stay balkanized in the developing world.</p>
<p>Perhaps most importantly, the developing world is the perfect incubator for the technologies that are the keys to sustainable growth. “Indeed,” <a href=“”>writes</a> Stuart Hart, “new technologies — including renewable energy, distributed generation, biomaterials, point-of-use water purification, wireless information technologies, sustainable agriculture, and nanotechnology — could hold the keys to addressing environmental challenges from the top to the base of the economic pyramid.”</p>
<p>However, he adds, “Because green technologies are frequently ‘disruptive’ in character (that is, they threaten incumbents in existing markets), the BoP may be the most appropriate socioeconomic segment upon which to focus initial commercialization attention . . . If such a strategy were widely embraced, the developing economies of the world become the breeding ground for tomorrow’s sustainable industries and companies, with the benefits — both economic and environmental — ultimately ‘trickling up’ to the wealthy at the top of the pyramid.”</p>
<p>Thus this influx of intellect from the rising billion may turn out to be the saving grace of the entire planet. Please, please, please, let the bootstrapping begin.</p>
<h2>***End of Abundance Excerpt***</h2>

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Canadian Man Puts Resume on a 4-Pack of Craft Beer – ABC News

PHOTO: Brennan Gleason takes a new approach to the resume, printing his qualifications on a 4-pack of home-brewed beer.

Brennan Gleason takes a new approach to the resume, printing his qualifications on a 4-pack of home-brewed beer.

Courtesy Brennan Gleason



Employers receive countless resumes from hopeful job applicants, but not many come in the form of craft-brewed 4-packs of beer.

Brennan Gleason, a designer from British Columbia, decided to try an unconventional approach to his resume, opting to showcase his qualifications on his home-brewed blonde beer, dubbed “Resum-Ale,” instead of the standard one-page CV.

Read More: Top Beer Makers to Post Ingredients Online

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Read More: College Student’s Job Application Made of Legos Goes Viral Online

“A resume is an important first impression for any potential employer,” Gleason told ABC News. “A standard resume just won’t cut it.”

Gleason, who had recently developed a passion for home brewing, was struck with inspiration when he decided to combine his two passions, designing and brewing beer.

To truly showcase all of his abilities, the designer put his resume on the box and a different piece of his work on each bottle, culminating in the ultimate self promotion via alcoholic beverage.

After sending the custom 4-packs to three potential employers, Gleason ultimately secured a job with Techtone, a digital marketing agency in Vancouver.

Cheers to Resum-Ale!

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Throwback! Brewer re-releases beer can featured in original 'Jaws' –


Jim Galligan TODAY contributor

June 26, 2014 at 12:50 PM ET

Narragansett and Miller Lite have both come out with retro cans.

Jim Galligan

Narragansett and Miller Lite have both come out with retro cans.

If you were born later than 1965, there are likely two distinct periods in your life – the time before you saw the movie “Jaws,” and the time after you saw the 1975 killer shark thriller. 

Before “Jaws” the world was your oyster – any body of water held the promise of splashy summer fun with your friends. After “Jaws,” you wouldn’t jump into a land-locked community pool without double-checking to make sure there wasn’t a dorsal fin gliding silently across the water’s surface. Duhhh-duumm…duhhhh-duumm.

The folks at Narragansett Brewing Company have a special place in their hearts for this summer blockbuster, because their flagship beer – Narragansett Lager – has a special place in the film. It was featured in a scene where Robert Shaw’s crusty captain Quint tries to intimidate marine biologist Matt Hooper (played by Richard Dreyfuss) by crushing a can of Narragansett Lager he’d just polished off. Not to be outdone, Hooper crushes the empty paper cup he’d been drinking out of, albeit with less macho effect.

Now you can recreate this classic scene with the release of retro-styled Narragansett Lager cans, which look almost identical to the one crushed by Quint (minus the toe-slicing pull tabs that littered the beaches back in the day). If you want to make things even more authentic, point your shark hunting boat off the shore of Cape May, New Jersey, where you very well could have a great white encounter of your own.

Like its label, the beer inside the can also harkens back to a simpler time. In an age of gonzo IPAs and beers brewed with everything from licorice to grapes to wasabi, there’s something refreshing about a well-made American Adjunct Lager. Narragansett Lager pours a little darker than your standard macro lager, and treats your taste buds to an unpretentious mixture of bready malts and a sweet hint of corn, followed by a spicy little tickle of hops on the back end. Nice, easy and tasty. Sometimes it’s fun to drink Dad Beer.

Narragansett isn’t the only brewer waxing nostalgic for the days of muttonchops and polyester. In December, Miller Brewing Company released a throwback version of Miller Lite, resurrecting the iconic white can (Tastes great! Less filling!) that put it on the map. The rollout coincided with the release of the retro-romp “Anchorman 2: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” and lifted sales of the beer so significantly, Miller has extended the end of its run from March of this year until September 30.

Like Narragansett, Miller is also using a decades-old blockbuster to draw attention to their retro can this summer, with billboards proclaiming “All Other Light Beers: I Am Your Father.” Clearly they want to pat themselves on the back for creating “the original light beer” (Dr. Joseph Owades, who created Gablinger’s Diet Beer over a decade earlier, would disagree) while making us think of poor Luke Skywalker hanging off that scaffolding in Cloud City crying his little Jedi eyes out.

If you’re waxing nostalgic for a taste of simpler times gone by, then Narragansett and Miller Lite have you covered. If these don’t float your boat (or charge you lightsaber), there’s always Pabst Blue Ribbon, whose sales might suffer this summer now that hipsters have more options for ironic beers to enjoy.

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