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Football and Beer - The Odd Couple

I may as well get this grandiloquence over with now as it will only build over the next few weeks as Euro 2012 approaches. I’ll try to be brief and inoffensive.

I’m a big football fan and I always have been. I was long before I was reaching drinking age and discovered the wonders of beer variety. I was long before beer had politics and when I still believed it was only something to enjoy. Unfortunately, there seems to be large numbers within the beer community who, don’t simply dislike football, but resent it and belittle those that don’t.

There are a lot of stereotypes to beer enthusiasts; namely that they are trainspotter sorts, with great beards and a poor dress sense. I suppose there are stereotypes to football fans as well. This is why I find it so disgusting that there are so many prejudiced people around determined to force these stereotypes on everyone. Are we not allowed other interests away from God’s nectar? Or is there a limit to what hobbies are permitted. Personally, I couldn’t care less if you enjoy your craft beer with a teenage vampire film or a Kennebunkport Surprise – it’s your life!

Two events on Twitter have frustrated me on this subject in the past week. Firstly, after having a few days off the booze, I sent a couple of football related tweets out and promptly lost a number of beer enthused followers, as if they thought that thinking of anything but ale is completely desuetude. Then, Port Street sent out a few tweets proudly boasting that they weren’t showing any of the football. (We know this. There aren’t any screens.) They then boasted again, then declared their hatred for football. I’m sure they were just playing innocent, but I immediately felt derisory and unworthy of their bar. (I quickly got over it – I was there twice this weekend.)

I understand the why the majority of modern craft beer bars don’t bother with television screens or live sports and it is not something I begrudge or lament. It’s because in these places the beer is the focus, as is the conversation and distractions aren’t a necessity. It isn’t because sport is a loutish past-time or an evil, wicked device.

So before the big kick off, let’s just all learn to live and let live. You get back to your cross-stitching and I’ll put the soccer on and let’s all enjoy ourselves with great beer as we do it. If I can find a craft beer bar that’s showing the football then I’ll see you there, for I can think of no better way to enjoy Holland v Denmark than with a bottle of De Molen Hel & Verdoemenis and a Mikkeller I Beat You. Now there’s a thought, somewhere should really make the most of this European fest…


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