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So the World Cup is now in full swing and now it is time to make my predictions for Group E.
When I mention Ecuador I always say it like in the song by Sash. Anyway, I don’t know a lot about Ecuadorian beers but I have been well-informed by my brother who spent 3 months in the country, “There are two major beers called Pilsener and Club Premium which are both terrible. Pilsener came in big 500ml bottles so at least it was good value. Club was a bit like Heineken so yeah nothing spectacular”. Both of these are brewed by Cerveceria Nacional Ecuador and the Pilsener is so big that it’s even the sponsor of the national football team. One of the smaller breweries that is highly regarded is Doggerlander. It was only set up last year but has already received some high ratings online. When I delved deeper I found quite an American feel about the brewery. Although Ecuadorian ingredients are used it seems the beers are aimed at an international market for example an American Style IPA, Russian Imperial Stout and a Belgian Dark Ale. Not a lot of good beer coming out of Ecuador so they will do well to qualify.
The French are known more for their love of wine, but do they drink beer? Oui, of course. Obviously we have all tried Kronenbourg 1664 which is a standard lager and doesn’t need discussing. France is also home to Desperados the Tequila beer, again we won’t dwell too much on that. One beer that I have tasted and liked was by Pelforth when I was in Paris a few years ago. I had their blonde beer at 5.8%, it was thirst quenching on a very hot day but nothing spectacular. I have also recently tried a trappist beer from Sainte Marie du Mont Des Cats which was pretty disappointing and tasted a bit like dishwater. I must also mention that the French have created their own style in the region of Nord-Pas-Des-Calais called ‘Biere De Garde’. This means beer for keeping and is typically a strong pale ale that is top fermented and unfiltered. A special mention for this type of beer must go to Brasserie Castelain who are one of the best in this area. The French produce lot’s of beer and although not all of it is to my taste they still have enough experience and should have more than enough to get out of this group.
As Honduras is a hot country most of their beers are light lagers. The main brewery that produces most of these is Cerveseria Hondurena with Imperial and Salva Vida seemingly their most popular beers. Check out i think about beer for an excellent review of their beers. One brewery I found was the Bay Island Brewery on Roatan Island. It is currently producing a pilsener and an ale. You can find out more about the brewery here. There are not many beer choices in Honduras so they have no chance of qualifying.
The Swiss are not known for their love of beer and being right in the heart of Europe they have many places to get inspiration from. You may be surprised to hear that they have their own Oktoberfest which showcases some of the best beers from around the world. But what about the Swiss? How good is their beer? The market in Switzerland is dominated by Heineken and Carlsberg who produce popular lagers such as Hurlimann and Calanda which are not that inspiring. In terms of smaller breweries the ones on the east side of the country which is the German speaking part are producing more pale lagers which aren’t too different to those of Heineken and Carlsberg. However if you go to the West they are more inspired by Belgium and even the UK so you will find a variety of IPA’s and Stouts. One brewery that is worth a mention is Brasserie Trois Dames who are brewing exciting and different beer. The Swiss have a good chance of qualifying as they aren’t in the strongest of groups.