So, enjoy the last two matches, Stuart's final examination of European beer and other fripperies and catch you soon. There is of course, the whole COGH experience here - more than 50 posts from tracking down our first beer, through all 64 match reports to the grand final right here.
All the best and enjoy,
Peter and James...
Guinness Foreign Extra rides roughshod over La Choulette, though both sides can be far happier with their COGH performances compared to the complete rubbish they served up in South Africa over the last month. The French brew was ultimately a little too sweet, and tasted a little too much like Special Brew for it to win the bronze medal. The Guinness - dark, brooding and tasting a little of liquorice (but not too much to offend) had ample class to cruise through the penultimate encounter - a fitting build-up to the final itself, which promises to be a classic.
here's Stuart Fuller's final preview of the 2012 Euros...
England – Fullers Honey Dew Ale
Switzerland - Samichlaus
A strange suggestion for the English entry but sharing my surname, and having a distinct honey taste, Honey Dew Ale is absolutely perfect, served ice cold on a summer’s day. It has to be a good beer to get anywhere near our World Cup winner, the 14% Samichlaus brew which is only brewed once a year on the 6th December in celebration of Santa Claus. It is a ploy by the Swiss that if you drink this you have no knowledge of whether Santa actually makes it down the chimney or not. Wales may be a dark horse here as well. Brains is no weak link here. The tipple of choice of toddlers in the valleys, and drunk in huge quantities by Gavin Hensen after mistaking it for Ronsil i.e “Does what it says on the tin”. Bulgaria have only recently got into beer after blocking out the memory of some awful fashion statements with Raki for so many years and so Zagorka may not fair too well although I doubt it will stop Redknapp making a ludicrous bid for him. Montenegro’s offering could well be the title from a Tarrantino film and the gore that could result may just be a bridge too far for us.
Portugal – Super Bock
Denmark – Jacobsen Brown
Norway - Ringnes
Cyprus – KEO
Iceland – Viking Sterkur
This is the group that could spring a surprise. It is also the group of pleasure if we were ever thinking of holding the Euro Championship of women. Denmark is my second home and for that reason I am calling the shots on this one. Carlsberg produce a dozen or so brands in Denmark and the Jacobsen brown is a lovely chocolately brew found in a few bars and off licenses around the city. Ringnes may be the most popular beer in Norway but it is another “same old” from the Carlsberg brewery and the similarities with plain old Carlsberg international brew is all too clear to see. Super Bock is another holiday favourite and is commonality may be its undoing here. Cyprus’s KEO is in the same camp – almost unheard off outside the tourist resorts but you cannot escape it when you are there in the sunburn burger bars. Iceland is a strange place – not just for its economic and volcanic situation. Beer was actually banned until 1989 and every day on the 1 March the country stops for Beer Day to celebrate its repeal, enjoying a few Viking Sterkurs along the way. Out of sheer admiration for such abstinence they may get one of the two top spots here.
Spain - Moritz
Czech Republic - Budvar
Liechtenstein - Brauhaus
Without a brewery of its own for over 90 years, Liechtenstein’s offering is certainly worth the wait and could well spring a surprise in this group. Lithuania is one of those countries that need an identity and its beer seems to blend in with the offerings of Poland and Latvia and that may be an issue here. Scotland – well what can we say? Tenants Extra would be harsh on a country better known for its Whisky. But we have plumped for a Deuchars which is becoming one of the best exports from north of the border since Kelly Dalglish. We could have gone with a typical San Miguel from Spain or for their offering from the COGH but we have gone with a Catalan Moritz which hopefully is more palatable than a walk down the Las Ramblas at night. Finally, the Czech’s. They love a good Pilsner but we don’t think you can get a better lager in the world than Budvar and this must be favourites from a weak group.
In an ideal world we would love to see some of the underdogs qualify but we know that come Cup of Good Hop time in June 2012 we will be faced with the likes of England, Italy, France, Germany et al. And that will surely mean no place on the European stage for the classics of Hooligan or Layla Dirty Blonde. Shame real shame.
Cup of Good Hop Final
Federal 20, Toblerone 51, Franc 76
The Winner: Glorious
The presentation of the trophy... emotional scenes