Euro 2012: The Beery Version

I'm watching as much of Euro 2012 as I can. I could claim it's for professional purposes now I'm employed in the football industry, as long as I analyse the brand exposure and rotation time of the digital advertising boards. 

So, here's a simple premise: what if the competition involved beers of the Euro nations pitted against each other? Through the groups, leading up to a beer-off final on the first of July? Which country has strength in depth, natural flair, proven heritage, emergent talent?

With a heap of caveats (basically, it's down to what beers I've tried and whatever beery prejudices I hold), let's get EuroBeer 2012 kicked off.

Group A: Poland v Greece

An ugly matchup for the opening game. My Greek beer knowledge starts and ends with taking the piss out of Mythos. Which, let's face it, can't afford to have the piss taken out of its slight profile lest there be nowt left in the bottle. Poland at least has a solid foundation of Baltic Porters; I have vague memories of Lodzkie's being fairly robust and fonder ones of Zywiec being a great beer at Beer Exposed a few years back. 

Somewhat dour. Certainly nothing as exciting as Jan "The Clown" Tomaszews used to be.

Result: Poland 1 Greece 0.

Group A: Russia v Czech Republic

Before I've even thought too much about this, Russia nick an early goal with a blindsided in-swinger. Baltika Porter ticks my boxes in a similar way to Poland's Zywiec. And then they almost go and do it again; Baltika No 7 is plain and unprepossessing but just lacks that killer edge. Off the post, out for a goal kick. And that's when the Czechs run up field, open their legs and show you their class. 

Pilsner Urquell proves to be an unexpected equaliser. Budvar and Herold play the same Route One approach and give the Czechs a clear lead. And then Matuška comes on towards the end and nabs a hat-trick; Černá Raketa 17° (Black Rocket), Raptor IPA and Speciální Světlé 13°. Even Lev Yashin couldn't have kept the Czechs out.

Result: Russia 1 Czech Republic 6

Group B: Netherlands v Denmark

What a juicy tie this proves to be. It comes down to those at the front and centre of contemporary brewing: De Molen and Mikkeller. The might of Menno Oliver and his stoic yet surprising beers that surge from midfield. The flight of Mikkel Borg Bjergsø and his continent-hopping collaborations often whipping in from the wings.

The substitutes can't get a look in, even though there's plenty of talent on the bench. Truth is, as they've brewed together their Mikkel & Menno Weizenbock means they can't be separated. You can't even fit a bottle label between them.

Result: Netherlands 1 Denmark 1

Group B: Germany v Portugal

All rather embarrassing. The Germans let Sagres and Superbock warm up - literally - before watching them fall over themselves. The flying Friesian forward Jever beats the Portugese dribble and scores with mad abandon. By the caseload. The Andechs quins don't even need to get off their sunloungers. I mean, subs bench.

If this were a boxing match, the referee would have stopped it on compassionate grounds.

Result: Germany 24 Portugal 0

So, Harry, it's been a frantic start but it's a game of three halves. I'll be giving it 110% every day until I'm sick as a parrot. 


  1. I thought about doing a beer tournament, but the thought of three bottles of Mythos in the group stage frankly scared me. That and Croatian beer was going to be far too difficult to get hold of. I look forward to further action Simon!

  2. Luckily for all cencerned Belgium didn't make the cut. Or maybe they're just too good to be allowed play.