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The Rugby World Cup is almost here and after our successful Beer World Cup blogs from 2014 I thought about having a go and doing something similar with rugby.
I have to admit I don’t know much about rugby, but I’m going to give it a try (get it). Rather than going through every Pool and rating every team I thought I would just focus on England’s opponents. England have got a tough draw with Wales and Australia in their pool and only two teams progressing to the quarter finals.
First up for England is Fiji, ranked 9th in the world. With only a 900,000 population there are 80,000 registered rugby players in Fiji. However Fiji have a far more successful Rugby Sevens team who have won the Rugby World Cup Sevens twice. Their best performance in a World Cup was in 2007 when they beat Wales to get through to the Quarter Finals where they even gave eventual winners South Africa a scare. Fiji have a few exciting players including the huge Nemani Nodolo on the wing and at centre Vereniki Gonova of Leicester Tigers who won 2013/2014 Player’s Player of the Year. But how about the beer in Fiji?
The most well-known brewery is Paradise Beverages who produce beers such as Fiji Bitter and Fiji Gold. Paradise Beverages are a subsidiary of Australian beer company Carlton & United who produce Victoria Bitter (VB) and Foster’s. After reviews online it seems Fiji Bitter is not too dissimilar to other popular beers of their such as Victoria Bitter (VB). Online reviews aren’t too kind as the majority describe Fiji Bitter as bland and watery with a slight sweetness and Fiji Gold as a mediocre pale lager with a grassy bitterness .
However over the last few years another brewery has emerged. Island Brewing Company is a microbrewery set up by two entrepreneurs in Nadi, Fiji. Their beer is brewed from pure tropical rainwater and is named Vonu after the Vonu Dina endangered Sea Turtle who they support through sponsoring the Mamanuca Environment Society. This is very impressive but is the beer any good?
The most widely available across Fiji is Vonu Pure Lager. The reviews all say it is crisp and refreshing with a medium body. This craft lager is quite drinkable and perfect for the tropical climate.
Their other beer is Vonu Eight which is a malt liquor. This beer sounds quite strange with reviews saying it has no head with a slight caramel sweetness and malt taste. It’s 8% but apparently the strength isn’t that noticeable and overall it doesn’t sound that nice.
However just over two years ago Island Brewing Company were bought out by Coca Cola Amatil who planned to bring the Vonu brand to Australia and New Zealand. Since then the website has gone down and who knows whether they are still producing beer using tropical rainwater and supporting the sea turtles.
The beer choice is limited and not that inspiring and with England, Australia and Wales in their Pool, Fiji have no chance of progressing.