Published on June 5, 2018 | by Alastair Gilmour0
Beers to savour and set the mood from seven of the World Cup finalists chosen by Adrian Tierney-Jones
The football jamboree that is the World Cup finals is upon us. Four weeks of 65 matches taking place between June 14 and July 15 in 14 venues across Russia.
Our pubs are showing matches, hosting events and producing food from any one of the 32 participating nations, so it’s an opportunity to pick a team – if you’re not English – and follow their fortunes. And what better way to do that than with an appropriate beer at hand? Cheers invited award-winning beer journalist Adrian Tierney-Jones, the current British Guild of Beer Writers’ writer of the year, to pick a few world sups.
Adrian says: “Are you in the mood for a beer? Of course you are. But what kind of mood are you in and what kind of mood is the beer in that you fancy drinking? Will there be a row when the two of you meet, or will you get on famously and stay together for the next three glasses or so?
That’s the kind of mood I got myself into when writing and thinking about my latest book, The Seven Moods of Craft Beer (I didn’t really want to use the word ‘craft’ in but you know publishers and all that). When I thought about the mood of a beer, I liked to try and guess what the beer in the glass was saying to me. Then I thought about the kind of conversation I was having with the beer in my hand. What was this beer saying to me, what was I saying back to it? How did the two of us feel when brought together?
Or is this all a bit too fanciful, a conceit conjured after a few too many? Here are six beers from World Cup finals nations – so see if they match your mood (especially when England lose on penalties).
Dougall’s 942 American Pale Ale (4.2% abv)
This zesty, chatty APA is bright and colourful in the surge of hop and fruit aromatics that emerge from the glass; a beer made for friends gathering in a beer garden, eager to spend time together. Brewed in the heart of rural Cantabria in northern Spain this is a beer that reflects the sunny, social side of life out there.
Brasserie du Grand Porter Gourmande Porter (5.9% abv)
There’s a glorious sense of adventure and ambition behind the story to the way Brasserie du Grand Paris’ founder Anthony Baraff moved from the US with his French wife who was starting work in Paris. He wanted beers like he drank at home, so began brewing them himself, including this silky smooth porter which is rich in coffee and chocolate flavours.
Burning Sky Monolith Wood-Aged dark beer (8.0% abv)
A remarkably calm beer that has held its own amongst the disorder and disorientation of ageing within a barrel that once held red wine. Complexity is its name in the glass with toffee, treacle, smoke, cherry and a woodiness on the nose and then a mouthful of vanilla, chocolate, cherries, liquorice and a stroke of creaminess before heading for a dry, bitter finish. Beef bourguignon please!
La Sirène Flemish-Style Farmhouse Red Ale (6.0% abv)
Melbourne might not be that bucolic, but envelope yourself with this gorgeous Flemish-style red ale that is influenced by the rustic brewing traditions of northern France and Belgium. You are now in the countryside. A ripe plummy fruitiness alongside the delicate waft of rose dominates the aroma, while sip after sip reveals layers of tartness, creaminess, vinosity, a hint of toasty caramel, more stone fruit (cherry, plum) before it finishes dry and appetising.
Schönramer Saphir Bock (8.0% abv)
This Heller Bock gleams gold in the glass, as gold as a ring of which sagas are sung. One single hop variety, Saphir, leads the way to an eloquent poem of a beer with soft lemon and honey notes on the nose followed by a herbal, citrus-sweet, zingy and honeyed character that makes this strong beer all the more drinkable.
Wäls Petroleum Imperial Stout (12% abv)
Contemplation is all within the breadth and scope of this imperial stout, that was first brewed in 2010. Time is needed to evaluate its sweet nose that’s reminiscent of Yorkshire Parkin (with a hint of ginger), treacle toffee and a hop-influenced pungency. Then give yourself more time to contemplate the sweet mocha-like notes on the palate with a citrusy fruitiness in the background.
Viking Gylltur (Viking Gold) 5.6% abv
This isn’t one of Adrian Tierney-Jones’ Seven Moods picks – although an Icelandic classic it’s perhaps too “ordinary” – but we’ve included it to celebrate the imagination of one hopeful North East punter who stands to win £25,000 if Iceland win the World Cup.
Beer blog Wake Up Reykjavik reckons: “Viking Gylltur will not change your life but it is a quality beer that has for a good reason been the most popular beer in Iceland since 1989!”
Twenty-five grand might change a life, though.
*The Seven Moods of Craft Beer by Adrian Tierney-Jones (published by 8Books, £12.99)