As Italy and France get ready to square off in Sunday's championship game, we had important business of our own — determining the winner of the first-ever World Beer Cup.
Beer cup? No, no - mugs are for beer. Cups are for coffee. Get your brews straight.
Sixteen beers and 16 countries, matched up as they were in the actual second round of World Cup play. We chose quality beers that would represent their countries well, and readily-available beers, not ultra-rare brews you have to airlift from the Himalayas or the Amazon.This is admittedly a pretty good pretense for beer drinking, even if it means some odd vintages (Ghanian beer?). A group of five tankard jockeys taking pulls from the bottles, voting until one brew stands alone - nice work if you can get it.
There were two obvious flaws:
1. No American beer. I guess the point was that we didn't get out of pool play, but our beer is a great deal better than our soccer. Why make the judges suffer? (Oh, and Belgium had better get cracking in time for 2010.)
2. No Bingley on the panel. This casts grave doubts on the legitimacy of the entire contest. I mean, he actually travels to Brazil, doesn't he? So much for expert opinion. (I can hear his heart breaking from here...)
But on the bright side, the flawed process gave us Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale as a champion. Hoist a pint thereof and cry, "For Harry, England, and St. George!"