Monday, October 10, 2011

Rugby World Cup and Beer: Quarter Finals

Holy Fermented Vegetable Beverage Batman (!), Wallabies make it to the semi finals, and with a terrible performance. Luckily my own performance on beer was ok, but like Quade Cooper, saw plenty of shockers.

After drinking a bit more than what I should have on Friday night (the Mountain Goat Rye IPA was just tasting too good), I managed to get down to Cherry Tree and test out my stomach on a Little Creatures Bright Ale before Goater Naz rocked up, so we pulled up a pew just as the first quarter final began between Ireland and Wales. I have to say it was a pretty enjoyable match to see equally matched teams go at it, but having seen Ireland play over the past four rounds, I thought they would have superior fitness to get them over the line. However, my prediction was proved false, and as I finished my nicely refreshing but sufficiently tasty Bright Ale, I found the Welsh and my belly were stronger than first thought.

With the England vs France game about to start, Naz and I got onto a beer we taste quite a bit of through Mountain Goat Brewery, the Hightail Ale. The decent texture of the Bright was only improved with the Hightail, and with a bit more sweetness going on, my tastebuds appreciated the upgrade as well. However, what I saw around me did have my laughing quite a bit. With a decent selection of beers on tap and in the bottle, I still found a couple of people drinking long necks of Melbourne Bitter, and was further astonished to see a bloke with a longneck of Carlton Draught sitting in an ice-bucket, yes, and ice-bucket.

The hilarity both Naz and I got from this was only improved when seeing France get some early points, and make England start trying to play real rugby to get a try. Of course, they just couldn't convert with drop balls, bad passes and plain losing of the ball at every opportunity that came up. My desire of seeing a world cup where running rugby began to show its dominance again in the sport was coming to fruition, and just liked watching England lose, and lose in such fashion. That has definitely been my favourite game to watch in this World Cup, and even recorded the game and watched it the next day, just to relive the joy of it all. Is it bad to hate a team more than you like the Wallabies.

Still, when it came to the Wallabies, there was not much to like with their performance. Set play was dismal, our backline found it hard to fire, mainly through the disappointing performance of Quade Cooper. Luckily there is enough depth in this squad to allow us to continue even when our main play maker is struggling, and our work in defense and at the breakdown were good enough to see us through. As I was so agitated at the game (probably the worse game I have seen for quite a while from the Wallabies), I only managed to get one beer down, but at least it was a good one in Moo Brew Pale Ale. Still, with focus on the bad game and terrible reffing to go with it, I am happy to say I already know this beer is good as I have tasted it many times before, as I failed to register much this time around.

After my brother and I paced around his place for much of the game in frustration, and be astonished that we actually beat South Africa, it was nice to go round the corner to Little Creatures Dining Hall, for another Bright Ale and a Rogers while celebrating Harriet's birthday (Hoppy Beerthday Harriet!!!!!!). I was happy to find Rogers is still a good midstrength beer with enough sweetness and body to stand up against decent full strength beers of similar style. It is nice to see some breweries are still putting some effort into these types of beers, as the market is generally poor for those wanting less than full strength beers.

Getting home after this, I found that New Zealand had beaten Argentina, and so we are to meet them next Sunday, where we will probably be demolished after having put in such a massive effort to beat the Springboks. Still, at least we have made it further than England, and with the French having played their 'big' game of this World Cup, I expect a Wales vs New Zealand final...which reminds me of when I saw the two teams play each other in the 2003 quarter finals, Welsh were playing out of there skin and leading the All Blacks for most of the game, when...

As for beers next weekend, I have Pete's bucks party starting with beer tasting at Slowbeer at 11am, then Crafty Pint's Festival of the Froth to go to on Saturday, so unsure what state I will be in for watching the semi's...



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