Way back in the 70’s a movement happened that made a lot of us sit up and take notice….One Day Cricket was born. During the 80’s it evolved to 50overs, C’mon Aussie C’mon ruled the playground chants, not to mention shooting to number one in 1979. This was back when tough men wielded the willow; they were moustachioed, smoked and didn’t cry (well not till a bloke called Kimberley Hughes decided he didn’t want to be captain anymore).
Those were the days when Boony set records for having a few schooners in a plane on the way to the old dart, Lillee decided to kick Miandad where the sun doesn’t shine, Rodney Marsh was breaking bats and the West Indian team were scaring the heck out of opposing teams.
Now with the World Cup Cricket having launched, and having spent far, far too many hours all ready on the couch watching it all, it led me to wonder about the countries competing in the WCC.
In honour of those visiting countries I’ve compiled a Captain’s Beer for each team, most readily available, some I’ve only tried whilst travelling, but it should be a national law that you need to have some of these in the fridge while the teams are playing.
Afghanistan: We couldn’t name one beer from Afghanistan. It’s nearly enough to make Boony do a Kim Hughes. But I am partial to a good Afghan biscuit, instead of being a beery nirvana, the Afghan is topped with chocolaty goodness, it’s nearly the same?
Australia: Cooper Vintage – coming out of Australia’s only independently owned macro brewery, the Vintage is like facing up to Jeff Thomson…when he was angry. Its big, powerful, and if you want to have any more than a couple, then I would suggest you do it with pyjamas on, because at just under 8% they can knock you for a six.
Bangladesh: Hunter Malt Beverage– while in Denmark a while back I was handed what I thought was a Fosters, turns out that the national beer of Bangladesh looks remarkably like the same tin, except with an “H” on it. It was average, so average I didn’t have a second.
England: Newcastle Brown Ale – I tried to drink my body weight in Newky Brown on more than one occasion. It’s creamy in the mouth, with nuttiness to it and makes a great introduction into the world of brown ales. Great beer, hideous hangover though.
India: Kingfisher – here’s a beer that was so much better when it was fully imported, rather than being made here under licence. Still it’s an acceptable beer, and a good go to for a match to Indian food.
Ireland: Guinness – nuff said
New Zealand: Steinlager – much like the NZ cricket team, Steinlager doesn’t fair to well over the long form of the game. Sure it’s great to have a couple of, but I’ve found I can’t go a full day on it. It has a malty sweetness about it that makes it refreshing after the first few, but a bit too much after that.
Pakistan: Murree – I needed help here and touched base with a mate that was based there for a while. Murree is ONLY available in Pakistan. Most comments were interspersed with swear words, but the basic gist was that the beer was acceptable; it lacked body, but had some crispy moments.
Scotland: Cairngorm Sheepshaggers Gold – what a great name! It shows mild citrus, touches of passionfruit, with hop and honey notes and a touch of smokiness. It’s crisp and thirst quenching.
South Africa: Castle Lager – a beer that looks just superb in the glass, but is let slightly down by the smell. It’s dominated by sweet aromas, the hops are barely evident, and lack any real bitterness. Because it is thin, and doesn’t have much flavour about it, it’s best when the weather is super hot, and the beer is super cold.
Sri Lanka: Lion Stout – pretty hard to find in a bottleshop but it can be purchased online. Roasted malts, coffee and hints of dark chocolate leap out of the glass. Super easy to drink with a coffee aftertaste. A lot of local macro brewers can learn something from these guys.
UAE: I’ve never seen a beer from the UAE. So like their cricket team, its much of unknown
West Indies: Red Stripe – last time I tried Red Stripe it was on a balmy 8degree English summers arvo. Like most lagers this would be best enjoyed when it’s hot day, much like you get in Jamaica its country of origin. Its shows grains, malts and traces of caramels on the nose and the tongue. It’s actually a pretty OK beer and was quite sessionable.
Zimbabwe: Bohlinger’s Lager – it’s been a while since I’ve seen a Bohlinger’s, and I’m ok with that. It’s a pretty bland beer, with a slight metallic taste to it, and a band aid type smell. Its drinkable on a hot day, but I’d choose another beer over it.