NABC World Cup Trilogy for 2014: USA vs. Ghana, Portugal and Germany

Has it really been four years since NABC’s first World Cup Trilogy beer series, as minted by former NABC brewer Jared Williamson (now brewing with Schlafly in St. Louis)?

Yes, it has, which means that NABC will repeat the Trilogy in 2014, with three fresh new beers – each meant to honor the three national football squads facing the USA in Group G of the opening round: Ghana, Portugal and Germany.

Beginning on June 16, 2014, the beers will debut as the American squad’s opening matches are played. There’ll be many places in metro Louisville to view these contests — but how many of them created and brewed three new beers as specific accompaniment to the beautiful game, and the world’s biggest sporting event?

Budweiser never went to this much effort for NASCAR or the Madison Regatta, did it?

The trilogy is elegant in its simplicity, yet also possesses ample room for creativity. Ever since the World Cup drawing on December 6, 2013, NABC’s brew crew of David Pierce, Josh Hill, Ben Minton and Peter Fingerson has been brain-storming. Here are the results.

Ghana has a tradition of brews made with cassava and sorghum, which unfortunately are not conducive to extended shelf life, but the country also is a noted exporter of fruit, and so an American-style pale ale with passion fruit and Citra hops was conceived.

USA vs. Ghana – Citra Passion Ale
Release: Monday, June 16, at both NABC locations
Malts: Rahr Pale and Canadian Honey (Gambrinus)
Hops: Galena and Citra
Other: Passion fruit puree
Yeast: San Diego Super
ABV: 5.2%
IBU: 30

Golden lager beers are the norm in Portugal, and among the best known to visiting soccer fans (especially from rambunctious England) is Super Bock, truly a national brand and handy when served nice and cold. Accordingly, the brew crew has created an homage to Super Bock.

USA vs. Portugal – “Super Bock”
Release: Sunday, June 22 at Bank Street Brewhouse (June 23 at the Pizzeria & Public House)
Malts: German BoHo Pils and Rahr Pale
Hops: German Perle
Yeast: Saflager
ABV: 5.2%
IBU: 24

For German brewing inspiration, David recalled a fortuitous afternoon at Zum Uerige in Dusseldorf, and its surprise release of Sticke Alt, surely one of the most noteworthy styles of German ale.

USA vs. Germany – Sticke Alt
Release: Thursday, June 26, at both NABC locations
Malts: German Dark Munich, Rahr Pale, US White Wheat and German Carafa II
Hops: German Perle and Slovenian Celeia
Yeast: San Diego Super
ABV: 5.8%
IBU: 65

For the sake of historical continuity, following are the unique beers unveiled for each of the USA’s opening round matches in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

USA vs. England – Ordinary Bitter 2010
Classic cask ale malt from the UK, with Pacific Northwest hops for flavor and aroma. English ale yeast.
ABV: 3.9%
IBU: 26

USA vs. Slovenia – Keller Pils 2010
European and North American malts, hopped seven times with 100% Slovenian-grown Styrian Goldings.
ABV: 3.9%
IBU: 36

USA vs. Algeria – Biere de Garde 2010
Franco-Belgian malts, hopped to style, with spicing inspired by the Maghreb region’s cuisine, specifically tajine. Chouffe yeast.
ABV: 3.9%
IBU: 15

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