The second semi-final. Croatia were incredible in the group stages, but have been taken to penalties in their last two matches, whereas England have grown in their last game. Both countries have produced some brilliant brews on their way to the semi-finals, so hopefully both the beer and the football will match up to the occasion!
Mandatory “Sour” Facts
- Untappd Rating: 3.62 (at time of writing)
- Country of Origin: Croatia
- Brewery: The Garden Brewery
- ABV: 3.5%
- IBU: 5
- Style: Sour
- Serving: Can, 330ml
I’m a huge fan of the Garden Brewery, so unsurprisingly I’m ecstatic that from a beer perspective, the Croatian national team have advanced to the latter stages in Russia. This beer, ‘Sour’ is from their ‘Sour Series’ range. The main thing I notice is that both the %ABV and IBU marks are very, very low. On pouring a slightly hazy, very pale yellow liquid is poured, producing a moderate white foam head that settles over the course of a minute. It smells very, very inviting. The sourness is truly sensed on the nose, with tropical notes that make my salivary glands work into overdrive! The beer, however has a unique flavour profile. It is split into two primary parts. The first is a HUGE sour hit, which is brilliant! It takes me right to the edge of “zing” before it then is suddenly reigned in to leave a smooth, malt based finished, with a lemony-tropical edge. It has a great silky mouthfeel, which rounds off the beer nicely
Rating: 3.75/5. This is one of the best sours I’ve sampled, exactly what I want when it comes to sours. The Garden Brewery strikes again by producing another high quality beer.
Mandatory “What The Water Wanted” Facts
- Untappd Rating: 4.06 (at time of writing)
- Country of Origin: England
- Brewery: Wylam Brewery (in collaboration with Flying Couch and Simply Hops)
- ABV: 6.0%
- Style: IPA
- Serving: Can, 440ml
Wylam are a fantastic English brewery located in Newcastle Upon Tyne, in the North of England. I’ve had some fantastic beers from Wylam so I have huge expectations when it comes to their products. A two tone blue can produces a light orange hazy beer, which has a very typical look compared to their other IPA varieties I’ve sampled. A few bubbles form a head at the edge of the glass, but no true head is made. Scents are very subtle, with a touch of pine to it and the slightest citrus flavour at the back of the nose. On sampling I notice an initial fizzy carbonation on the tongue, with a lightness to it, despite a moderate alcohol percentage. I can taste the pine notes and citrus hop flavours initially, but once the carbonation fades away, all I can taste is a mild watery bitterness.
Rating: 2.75/5. The beer isn’t bad, it just doesn’t hit the high notes of previous Wylam brews.
Football: The complete final line up is now known. France will take on Croatia. France may be the favourites on the football pitch – but I have a sneaky suspicion that Croatia will win my final beer pairing! Croatia won this game in extra time, but the beer competition was won by the sour after the very first sip.