Sunday, 4 July 2010

Two beers - 26% - well hello... + 2012 Euros preview

World Cup trophy replica made entirely of
cocaine - not to be sniffed at

Match 59:
Nigeria 4
Amataxi 2, Yobbo 34, Ohdear 61, Shittu 66

Australia 2
Chippyfeel 37, Galesalesovic (pen) 90

A tasty match here but yet again Guinness Foreign Extra piles on the goals and powers into the semis. 'I don't know how many of these you could drink in an hour, but I wouldn't mind finding out,' says Deaks, loving the sole African contender left in the competition. Coopers Sparkling Ale put in a very respectable account of itself, only to be felled by one of the giants of world beer. 'This would win the Oceanic COGH Cup by a country mile,' says James, supping down the final drops.

It's a genuine shame that Paraguay got knocked out last night...

COGH 2012 Euro Previews (part one)

Cup of Good Hop taster Stuart Fuller looks forward to what the future of fusing beer and football might hold...

With the ticker tape still floating down on Soccer City in Jo’burg, our thoughts in Europe turn to Poland and Ukraine in 2012 for what promises to be a very strong tournament judging by the European fairing in South Africa. And after the success of the inaugural Cup of Good Hop it would be rude for us not to start looking forward and trying to predict what the final sixteen beers could look like. We already know that hosts Poland and Ukraine will be well represented.

Who has not tried the delights of Polish Zyweic or even a cheeky Bosman – beer that has helped Poland become the 10th biggest beer drinkers in the World. Ukraine on the other hand is more defined. Like its women – blonde, striking in outside appearance, but essentially just after your money. Obolon and Lvivski are major brands, whilst Arsenal has its own brand too – made by Carlsberg which at least makes it more interesting than the real Arsenal.

So what can we look forward to in qualifying? Will the Swiss carry on their COGH form into the Euros? And what of the emerging nations? Well, one thing is for sure – the COGH team will be sampling them all over the course of the next two years. We’ve just to find them first. Hooligan anyone?

Group A
Germany – Weissbier
Turkey – Efes
Austria – Steigl
Belgium – Hoegaarden
Kazakhstan – Derbes (owned by Carlsberg)
Azerbaijan – Xirdalan (Castel brewery)

Group A looks like it will go with on-field form with the Germans favourite simply down to the number of excellent beers they could offer. Our tip would be the refreshing Kolsch beer from Cologne or the very dark, almost black offering from the Neckar, Schwarzbier. Austria will also fancy their chances with Salzburg’s Steigl tasting so good it makes nanny’s go all loopy and start signing Do-Reh-Me. Is there a country in the world with as many different beers as Belgium? Probably not and for that reason they will struggle. Who can really take them seriously with their chocolate or cherry offerings, or when they put a wedge of lemon in the Hoegaarden? Efes off some might say, but this is the staple drink in Bodrum and enjoyed by many before they got dysentery (personal experience talking here) and spend the rest of their holidays talking on the phone to God.
And what about the outsiders? The ex-Russian states of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan have western influences all over them. The biggest breweries are owned by foreign giants such as Kazakhstan’s Derbes brew which is owned by Carlsberg and Xirdalan in Azerbaijan owned by Castel. Have they got a chance? Not really.

Group B
Russia – Baltika
Slovakia – Saris
Republic of Ireland – Guinness
Macedonia – Skopsko
Armenia – Hooligan (beer and vodka)
Andorra – San Miguel?

You may think that this group is a foregone conclusion with Guinness and Baltika all but confirming qualification early doors. There is no denying the quality of Ireland’s finest, nor the variations (Guinness Cold, Mild, Export to name a few) but they are all a bit samey. Russia’s Baltika is crisp, refreshing but still has that Cold War edge. But then along came the Armenian offering – Hooligan. What brilliant mind came up with the idea of mixing Vodka and Beer together, and then calling it Hooligan? Sheer genius and we make this favourite for the group. Andorra deserves nil points for not bothering to produce a beer of its own.

Group C

Italy – Peroni
Serbia – Lav Pivo (owned by Carlsberg)
Northern Ireland – Clotworthy Dobbin
Slovenia – Union
Estonia – Le Coq
Faroe Islands – Green Islands Stout

Surely a group for the underdogs? Whilst Italy would expect to win with its Peroni, the comedy names keep on coming in this group. Northern Ireland’s Whitewater brewery produces some excellent beers but the contender here could be Clotworthy Dobbin. Estonia’s Le Coq has nothing to do with the sportswear brand, but is the signature brew of the biggest brewery of the same name. Surprisingly the Faroes’ could fairo quito wello in this group and if we can lay our hands on the Green Islands Stout then it may be a match for the 2nd favourite Lav from Serbia.

Match 60:
Paraguay 1

Alcatraz 20
Switzerland 2

Tell 41, Federal 85

This was an immense encounter - the two strongest beers in the contest going head-to-head, and with a combined ABV of 26% there was going to be fireworks along the way. However, whilst Swiss giant Samichlaus had universally high ratings, Palo Santo Marron was a love-it-or-hate-it kind of feel to it. 'It is the Marmite of beers,' says Dan, 'and I bloody love it.' Is definitely one for those who like esoteric flavours, but in this match of the big, dark flavours that have put the frighteners into all their opponents thus far, there were infinitely more holes in Swiss cheese than the Samichlaus defence.

Next time:- the semi finals - France v Spain & Nigeria v Switzerland plus more 2010 previews...


  1. Talking of Bosman beers in Poland. They once saved our skins:

    In conclusion, beer is best.

  2. As you might know by now, I've been engaged in some beer-sampling endeavours in a number of countries. Armenia was a particularly interrsting destination.
    Biggest name is Kotayk but I found Gyumri being a clear winner.
    1. Gyumri, 2. Kotayk, 3. Kilikia, 4. Erebuni

  3. looking forward to the qualifiers - what more can I say...

    some countries will be an absolute bugger - i dare say Armenia will be one...


  4. Too good and superb post on euro sup.