Friday, 21 May 2010

Very interesting new research...

Friday - am listening to the wonderful Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo film reviews on Radio 5 after playing cricket this morning. Nothing to do with beer hunting I hear you cry - oh contraire mon frere...

Have been doing a little bit of desktop research for COGH and stumbled across this page:-

It's only a list of beers for every country playing in the World Cup! Stone the lummy crows! I feel this is a significant contribution to human endeavour, and I have to say caught my attention for some time. Key quote: "Apart from North Korea, Honduras and Cameroon, there are very few participating teams whose beers aren’t imported into the UK."

Of the 'difficult' countries we still have to find, the bible of beer says thus:-

Group A

South Africa (ok, SA isn't difficult but this sounds nice).

Castle Milk Stout 6%

Blacker than a coalminer’s pocket with a delicious, creamy mouthfeel, this full-bodied stout from the Johannesburg region is one of the most popular beers in South Africa.


Stinger, 4%

Stinger’s from Dorset not Montevideo but we chose it because Uruguay won the inaugural World Cup in 1930. As everybody knows, this was the same year Maude Grieve of the horticultural society came up with the recipe for her Nettle Beer. This tingle-tastic organic ale is brewed with nettles from the garden of celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Hugh is renowned for his love of meat and so, as it happens, are the Uruguayans.

Group B


Mythos, 5%

A clean, simple thirst-quenching pilsner-style lager that falls down easier than an unstable economy.

33cl £1.29.

Group C

England (saw this is a London pub the other day - sounds delicious)

Thornbridge Jaipur IPA, 5.9%

A quintessentially English beer style revived by one of the most progressive and adventurous micros in the UK. A fruity, honey-tinged and delightfully hoppy India Pale Ale that can go toe-to-toe with strong, spicy food.

12x33cl £24.


Skol, 4%

The biggest beer in Algeria is Skol. The one synonymous with the chanting Viking adverts of the 80s.

4 x 33cl cans. £2.85.


Adnams Innovation, 6.7%,

No Slovenian beers are readily available in the UK, but Slovenian hops are used widely in British brewing. This American-style IPA brewed beside the seaside in Suffolk is a marvellous mouthful.

12 x 50cl £21.50

Group D


Jelen Pivo, 5%

A basic bottom-fermented brew is one of the best from the Balkans.

50cl £1.59.


Star, 5%

When it gets hot in Ghana, which it does quite a lot, this crisp and slightly sweet pale lager hits the spot.

Group E


Pelforth Brune, 6.5%

A liquid legacy of French rule, this deep russet-coloured ale is full of figs, prunes and warming alcohol with a Port-like finish.

33cl £2.41.

This is going to be one tough mother to get hold of...

Group F


Palo Santo Marron, 12%

OK, so this beer isn’t from Paraguay, it’s from America. Yet Dogfish Head, one of the most impressive and adventurous craft ale creators in the States, ages this awesome after-dinner brown ale in 10,000 gallon brewing vessels made of Paraguayan Palo Santo wood.

35.5cl £


Zlaty Bazant, 5%

Meaning Golden Pheasant, the biggest beer in Slovakia is a pale European lager brewed in a Czech style.

£1.99. 50cl

Group G

North Korea

Mann’s Brown Ale, 2.8%

In 2000, North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Il announced he wanted a brewery. At the same time, the Ushers Brewery in Trowbridge, Dorset, was put up for sale. A deal was done and within 18 months, the North Korean government had dismantled the brewery, shipped it home to Pyongyang, put it back together again and begun brewing “Taedong River Beer”. As you can’t get Taedong River Beer in the UK, we’ve opted for Mann’s Brown ale, the terrific traditional beer that was once brewed on the same brewing kit. A slightly sweet, malt driven creamy ale with a nutty finish.

50cl £2.77.

Are you North Korea in disguise? (repeat)

Ivory Coast

Tusker Lager, 4.2%

Ivorian ales are a bit thin on the ground in the UK. But, as the Ivory Coast football team are nicknamed the elephants, we’ve gone for Tusker from Kenya. It’s got an elephant on the label and, er, tusks are made from ivory and the brewery’s founder was killed by a rogue elephant. Surely that’s enough isn’t it? Eh? Oh.

Group H


Banana Bread Beer, 5.2%

If you want a Honduran beer, you’ll have to go to Honduras. Given that it’s quite far away and very dangerous, it’s better to make do with this British ale brewed with bananas, Honduras’ main export.

12x50cl £25.49.


Fallen Angel’s Fire in the Hole Chilli Beer, 4%

As Chileans export their wine but not their beer, why not give Sussex’s Fallen Angel Brewery a call. It’s not from Chile but it’s brewed using chillis. Do you see what we’ve done there? Clever eh?

What they eat pastel de choclo (meat stew topped with corn)

And another thing.... Chile is only one of two countries in South America that does not border Brazil.


Now, some of these seem like a cop-out, but if that's what the industry experts are suggesting, who are we to argue? Going to London tomorrow to try and outdo these suggestions, but otherwise we could have found some reasonable fall-back positions so we are ready to stage COGH when the WC2010 begins...

So, it's time to enjoy the rest of the film reviews, pull the top off a can of Red Stripe and enjoy the sunshine. ;)



  1. Mercenary toff and Equatorial Guinea chokey-dodger Simon Mann is the heir to the Mann's brewery millions. The money from their beer is what put him through public school. Good choice for North Korea, I reckon. (Although at 2.8% it's questionable whether it actually qualifies as beer).

  2. Im fully expecting Group D to supply the two finalists, Erdinger and Coopers. Its a shame "little creatures pale ale" no longer plays for australia, as that would strengthen it even further

  3. Hi Neil,

    We have seen Little Creatures on our travels but had already gone for Coopers. I was out in Oz during the 98 finals and totally loved drinking it. Aah, memories.

    We ll see how Group D contenders do but in many ways I m inclined to agree with you