Beer is a surprisingly sophisticated drink if you take a serious look at it. Not all beer, though – there are many varieties that are only appreciated for their alcohol content and ability to inebriate. Millions are pairing beer with a night out, with grilling on a hot summer day, some even pair it with food in a way similar to wine – you would be surprised how well some varieties pair with different dishes. And there are beer brands that are paired with football clubs. No, we’re not talking about Budweiser- that’s the official beer of the Premier League – we’re talking about the brews sold at the clubs’ stadiums.
This year, Football London has tried the brews of all 12 London football clubs, ranking them from worst to best.
Crystal Palace, Fulham, and the Queens Park Rangers sell Carlsberg at their stadiums. The Dutch brewery calls its product “probably the best beer in the world”. Not in the UK, though, where – after lowering their brew’s alcohol content by volume to avoid paying extra taxes – they have fallen out of the favour of consumers. While it did repent in the meantime, launching a new brew that it hopes will appeal to the British consumer, this was still not enough for it to compete with the other brewers’ products.
The Spurs and West Ham sell another Dutch beer in their stadiums: Heineken. The brewery is a big fan of sports – it sponsors the UEFA Champions League, among others – but it’s still a “commonplace” brew. Aside from the above-mentioned imports, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium also has what Football.london editor Greg Johnson has found to be the absolute best London stadium beer, Beavertown Gamma Ray, an American pale ale made by the Tottenham-based brewer appreciated both by local consumers and international reviewers over at RateBeer.com
Chelsea, of course, sells Singha, the brand of the Bangkok-based brewery it has signed a long-term sponsorship deal with in 2010. The two have renewed their agreement this summer, so the Blues will continue to treat their stadium’s visitors with this oriental brew until at least 2022.
Leyton Orient has chosen Greene King to quench the thirst of the visitors to Brisbane Road. Greene King is the biggest brewer in the UK, based in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. It owns pubs, hotels, and restaurants. The visitors to Leyton’s matches have nothing to complain about: the Greene King IPA is great.
The Gunners have chosen Camden Hells, a brew provided by the Camden Town Brewery. While the brewery is not Arsenal’s official partner, the club has chosen its products to further emphasize its connection to North London. And when it comes to its quality, Johnson says its finish is better than the Gunners’ in the last few years.
Finally, Brentford has chosen a brew with a very descriptive name: Fuller’s London Pride, brewed less than three miles away from its home, Griffin Park. Fuller is the official “pouring partner” of the club, an award-winning beer produced at the Griffin Brewery since 1958.
What brews have you tasted at your favourite club’s stadium?