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This is the first in a series of blog posts about teams in the World Cup. However instead of judging teams on their footballing ability we are rating them on the quality of their beer.
Brazil – The host country may be known for having the worlds best football players, carnivals and beaches but Brazilian beer can also be added to this list. You will have probably only heard of Brahma but Brazilian beer is a huge industry and apparently has the third largest beer market in world. Brahma, alongside Bohemia, Antartica and Skol are part of AmBev which accounts for the majority of the beer sold. Pilsener is far and away the most popular type of beer in Brazil with 98% of sales. However, there is a growing microbrewery culture in Brazil and Baden Baden and Eisenbahn are just a few names from this thriving scene. With lots of established internationals (AmBev) and some younger players coming through (microbreweries) the hosts are a strong contender and should easily make it out of their group.
Cameroon – Beer drinking in Cameroon is reaching record levels every year as people have got more money in pockets due to the growing economy. The two major lagers in Cameroon are 33 Export and Castel Beer which are brewed by Brasseries Du Cameroun the major market leader in the country. There is also a love for Guinness in Cameroon which has ventured over the border from Nigeria and there is now a growing demand for Stout from Cameroon. Despite attempts to limit beer sales under Sharia Law, the beer market is still thriving however, I think this tournament has come too early for Cameroon and they have a long way to go to compete with the rest of the group.
Croatia – The Croatians are beer mad howe they aren’t known as a big exporter of beer as they just love their own beer. In fact 90% of beer consumed is made in Croatia so it must be good stuff. I visited Zagreb a few years ago with Daniel and we tried a few beers from Ozujsko which is Croatia’s most popular beer. We tried an amber and a wit beer and they were rather tasty. As Ozujsko are sponsors of the national football team, they have produced these cool collectible cans especially for the World Cup. While they make good beer in Croatia, none of their beers have sold well outside of the country. Croatia only have a few big players and they will have to perform well to make it out of their group.
Mexico – When I think of Mexican alcohol I think tequila. Now you may be surprised to learn that Desperados the one beer that is flavoured with tequila has nothing to do Mexico and is in fact French. The big beer boys in Mexico are household names such as Corona and Sol which must always be served with a lime in the top of the bottle. I’m not sure whether adding the lime is to hide the lack of flavour or is just a bit of a gimmick. Mexico does however produce some interesting sounding beers, for example Noche Buena a strong dark beer which is only available around Christmas time and an array of the bizarre looking Dia De Los Muertos which are available from Beers of Europe. There is a small microbrewery scene in Mexico and Cerveceria Calavera who produce bottled beers including dubbel and tripel are an exciting prospect. With some old stalwarts and a very new microbrewery scene Mexico, will fancy their chances of getting out of their group.