I've mentioned a couple of times previously that, in conjunction with the World Cup (which begins next Friday, June 11), Ami and I will be conducting a "World Cup of Beers."
(At left is the beer selected by me as the "Official Beer of World Cup 2006," after a grueling month of drinking fine beers at establishments all over metro Atlanta.)Here's how it will work: We have purchased adequate (I hope!) supplies of beers from the countries that have been "drawn" into this year's competition. Each participating country will have one beer to represent it. There will be a pre-tournament qualifying campaign this weekend for countries that have drawn more than one beer. Those countries are marked below with an * asterisk.
Ami will disguise the beers and serve them up in code-marked cups, and I will drink them and choose the winner of each match. (It's a tough job, but...!)
We will have 16 beers / nations represented in the final tournament, which begins next weekend. They will be drawn (by Ami) into four "Groups" for round-robin competition.
The top two beers from each Group will move on to single-elimination competition, as in the real World Cup. And so on until the World Cup Champion of Beers is crowned!
The beers were selected by Ami and me based on a combination of factors-- I wanted to include a few "old favorites" along with a few that I was not familiar with at all. We also wanted as wide of a global distribution as possible, based on what was available here in the St Louis area.
Sadly, I could not find any Tiger Beer (Singapore) or Kiwi Lager (New Zealand). But otherwise I think we did very well.
Without further ado, then, here are the countries represented in the 2010 World Cup of Beers:
UEFA (Europe -- 9 spots available)
Belgium: Stella Artois
Czech Rep: Pilsner Urquell
England: Bass Ale and Newcastle *
Germany: Beck's and St Pauli Girl Lager *
Ireland: Harp Lager
Scotland: Belhaven Ale
Spain: Estrella Galicia
CONCACAF (North & Central America & Caribbean-- 3 spots available)
Jamaica: Red Stripe
Mexico: Dos Equis Lager and Pacifico Clara *
USA: Fat Weasel Ale and Killian's Red and Sam Adams Lager and Schlaffly's Pale Ale *
AFC (Asia and Pacific -- 3 spots available)
Australia: Foster's Lager
Japan: Asahi Super Dry
CONMEBOL (South America -- only 1 beer available)
Brazil: Xingu Black Beer
So there you have it-- the 22 beers that will enter a final weekend of qualifying before being narrowed down to 16 for the big competition.
I hate not having, for example, an Argentine beer... and surely there are another dozen Mexican and English and German beers (each!) that would have been worthy. I don't feel as bad about leaving out the big, bland, watery US major beers-- I don't drink them anyway.
Tune in later this weekend for the announcement of the Final 16 Countries/Beers!