A beer at half-time? No thanks

Will Hawkes

cottage 250x300 A beer at half time? No thanksEnglish football has become hugely popular around the world. You only have to visit a Premier League football ground to realise what a draw the excitement and atmosphere of our native game is for tourists. This is the league that welcomes players from all corners of the globe, and now supporters too.

And while many go away delighted to have experienced ‘the greatest league in the world’ at first hand, I can’t help feeling we’re missing a trick in failing to promote another of our contributions to world culture: beer. At Craven Cottage on Saturday there was no shortage of Americans, Japanese and Australians but if they wanted to try a good local beer they were out of luck. Industrial lager is the only real option in the Hammersmith End, unless you can squeeze your way to the front of the Riverside bar. There the lucky few can get their hands on some smoothflow bitter or Guinness. Even then, you can’t drink it in view of the pitch.

Isn’t that a shame? I’m sure Fulham do very well out of their deal with their official beer supplier, but I can’t help feeling a trick is being missed. Cricket is better: at the Lord’s Test against Pakistan (AKA ‘the Test that died of shame’) Marston’s Pedigree was available. A bit more variety wouldn’t go amiss but one good beer is a thousand times better than none.

Once again, the Americans are a step ahead of us here. According to the New York Times Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, sells a selection of beers from the Brooklyn Brewery. Supporters of the San Francisco Giants, meanwhile, can enjoy a variety of different craft beers. At Coors Field in Denver, home of the Colorado Rockies, there’s even a brewery in the stadium. Blue Moon is owned by Coors – if they can do it there, why not here?

Still, things could be (very slightly) worse. At the last Ashes series Down Under, no beer stronger than three per cent was sold, apparently to help prevent ‘antisocial behaviour’. I’m sure plenty of Aussies would agree that selling lager of less than 3 per cent strength is about as antisocial as it gets.

Is Craven Cottage typical of English football grounds? What about other sports? What’s the best sport for beer?

Picture: Getty Images

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  • MarissaJaneSmith

    Ascott beer festival is on the 24th. A few other horse racing events also have them.

  • trotters1957

    You can get a decent pint of bitter at my club, if you know your nicknames you can tell who that is from my name.

    Yet another North/South divide?

  • nightside242

    Nice ground at the Reebok too, much better than the hovel I have to watch rugby in at Wigan these days.

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