After two weeks of heart-pumping action, the World Cup reached the bracket stage of 16 teams, and elimination play is underway. As fans around the world turn their eyes to the games, we turn our beer glasses to toast the countries still in contention.
Over the next two weeks in Brazil, the coveted title of FIFA World Cup champion will be bestowed. The United States emerged from the “Group of Death” – celebrations erupted all over the country – to be among the 16 survivors of the brutal group play. The American team next faces Belgium on July 1.
The World Cup is a time to be patriotic, but it’s also an opportunity to celebrate how the event brings nations together for competition and camaraderie – and perhaps a cold beer. It’s a great opportunity to try out some new, international brews, as well as hoist a good ‘ole American beer in support of Team USA.
The sports fans of Knoxville clearly endorsed this idea during the U.S.-Germany game last week because there was standing-room only at downtown Knoxville’s Soccer Taco on Market Square. The Crown & Goose in the Old City has been packed with soccer fans daily during World Cup matches.
You can join fellow fans at a local pub or restaurant, or you can experience the flavors of the World Cup with a simple trip to a grocery store or beer market. Here are some imported and domestic brews that come from and are inspired by several of the countries who made the field of 16:
- To experience Belgium at its finest try Blue Moon Belgian White Ale, best served with a slice of orange to accentuate its citrus notes.
- If you’re feeling bitter about a tough loss, French Broad 13 Rebels ESB is a complex brew with a bitter punch that will let you swallow your emotions.
- Hofbrau Original and Hofbrau Dunkel are both fantastic crafts from Munich. Germany joined the United States in escaping the “Group of Death.”
- Carta Blanca, Dos Equis Ambar and Special Lager, Modelo Especial and Pacifico Clara are all imported from Mexico and provide authentic Mexican flavor.
- Try Angry Orchard Apple Ginger, made with genuine Nigerian ginger, for extra zest.
- Coors Light, Miller High Life and Pabst Blue Ribbon are distinctly homegrown American products.
- Drink a Pilsen, imported from Uruguay with a golden hue and gold-worthy taste, so fitting for the World Cup trophy.
As you follow the World Cup to the final game on July 13, we wish the best of luck to your favorite team. Enjoy the festive games, the cheering fans and the cold brews, and please drink responsibly.