It’s time for the first round of the 2014 Basketball World Cup of Beer. The format is simple, every nation in the FIBA World Cup is represented by a beer, most of which have been selected by you the BiE faithful. We’re running each of these beers off in a tournament to decide which nation heading to Spain has the best beer.
Today it’s Group A. We will grade the six beers from the six nations with the top four progressing. First, we’ve got to take you through the six beers…
Brazil – Brahma
Chosen by Rafael Uehara, a man who I respect deeply on matters basketball, to represent his nation this is as mundane a lager as it gets. Brahma is 4.3 per cent alcohol by volume (ABV) and tastes even weaker. There is a touch of sweetness but it’s so watery that it’s tough even to get that from this beer.
Egypt – Al Ahram Stella
It’s slightly more Egyptian than me but still the best choice from the nation. This 4.5 per cent lager is mild, sweet, with a touch of bitterness. It is just about the right side of drinkable and that’s pretty much enough at this stage of the competition.
France – Mont Salève Admiral Benson IPA
France comes to this competition with a much stronger contender than they do to the FIBA World Cup and that says plenty. Admiral Benson is a 6 per cent IPA with a flavour The Beernut describes as flint meets mango on a dank funky background, liberally brushed with tangy high fruit notes.
Iran – Black Delster
Well this will be swift and as merciful as can be. Black Delster is non-alcoholic beer, it has roughly the same amount of flavour as it has alcohol.
Serbia – Zajecarsko
The postives: At 4.7 per cent it’s a drinkable beer which you can get through easily.
The negatives: Everything else.
Spain – Alhambra Reserva 1925
At 6.4 per cent, this is a high alcohol lager that tastes like it’s high in alcohol (well you’d expect that) and low in everything else. A touch of lemon and malt to the flavour but a terribly watery finish.
The final standings, remember the top four progress.
1. Admiral Benson IPA – France
2. Al Ahram Stella – Egypt
3. Zajecarsko – Serbia
4. Alhambra Reserva 1925 – Spain
5. Brahma – Brazil
6. Black Delster – Iran
Admiral Benson wins the group at a canter and will be a serious contender by the looks of things. Al Ahram getting second spot purely on the grounds of drinkability says a lot about the rest of the group’s standings. Brahma may be out but it is at least spared an inevitable slaughter at the hands of a 1 seed in the next round.
Come back tomorrow for Group B which promises to be better, mainly because it really can’t be any worse.