Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Eurovision 2016 beers

The television event of the year is back on Saturday (May 14): it's Eurovision night! And what's not to love? There's sarcastic commentary from our beloved Graham Norton; an hour and a half of awkward voting with the show hosts desperately trying to find out who got 12 points while some hyped-up Armenian TV host tries to have their ten seconds in the limelight; more key changes than you ever thought you could want from one night; questionable pyrotechnics; the genuine panic as you think the UK may get nil points again; and a half-arsed political statement thrown in for good measure. This year, my money's on Brexit, although if Australia are allowed in for the second year in a row, I doubt we'll be going anywhere whatever the outcome (how many years is it since the UK actually qualified on talent, rather than the amount of pennies we throw at it?).

If you're in it for the whole night (and why wouldn't you be, yay Eurovision), you're going to need supplies. While you're madly waving your French flag and dearly hoping you win the office sweepstakes (hello £20!), consider ordering in a few of these. There's a Beer for That have compiled a list of beers available for the countries that have been given the best odds of winning this year's Eurovision: place your bets and order in six of each!

Bring on the beers

#1 Russia 3:1
Act and song title: Sergey Lazarev - You Are the Only One

Available From: Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda
RRP: £3.00 (x6)
ABV: 0%

There's a Beer for That says: Baltika is the only one for you if you’re supporting Russia during Eurovision. This light, alcohol-free, aromatic beer has a refined flavour and is served in the finest restaurants and bars of St. Petersburg, Moscow. The beer possesses a unique taste and a subtle aroma.

I say: As this is alcohol free, it might be nice to mix in a few with some of the stronger beers on the list below. But if you can't face the thought of drinking alcohol-free beer, there are another eight varieties of Baltika where the ABV is a little higher than zero.  

#2 – France 4:1
Act and song title: Amir - J'ai Cherché

Bellerose Biere Blonde
Available From:
RRP: £2.19
ABV: 6.5%

Amir is looking strong in second place for the running at this year's contest.  Why not accompany his performance with something a little bit different from France? Bellerose Biere Blonde contains three different hops collected from three continents, making it a mix between the French 'Biere de Garde' style and an IPA.

#3 – Australia 13:1
Act and song title: Dami Im - Sound of Silence

Available From: Tesco, ASDA, Sainsbury's and Morrisons
RRP: £3.50 (x4)
ABV: 5.0%

There's a Beer for That says: Eurovision has officially welcomed Australia for the second time! First brewed in Melbourne by William and Ralph Foster, this Aussie lager is light-coloured, presenting full malt character with balanced clean hop bitterness. Combined with a slightly hoppy, but yeasty/malty nose.

I say: If you're getting on those last minute party plans then you'll certainly be able to get your hands on a few crates of Foster's, but if you can get down to Waitrose, pick up a few bottles of Little Creatures pale ale (currently £1.59 a bottle, bargain). It's got a nice citrus kick, thanks to the addition of hop flowers into the brew, but it's still very drinkable and not too heavy on the hops.

#4 – Sweden 15:1
Act and song title: Frans - If I Were Sorry

Available From:
RRP: £1.79
ABV: 4.60%

You won't be sorry when you try Sweden's Pistonhead beer. Crafted in a self-proclaimed 'brutal brewing workshop' the 'kustom lager' is a smooth, no-nonsense brew. It’s a dry beer with cascade and amarillo hops to offer a spicy citrus edge. Plus the beer is organic, and glows in the dark! 

#5 – Bulgaria 17:1
Act and song title: Poli Genova – If Love was a Crime 

RRP: £1.99
ABV: 5.5%
Easily recognised for its rich flavour, pleasantly bitter taste, and 5% alcoholic content. Thanks to its quality ingredients, Zagorka is a true innovator of the beer market.

#6 – Malta 17:1
Act and song title: Ira Losco – Walk on Water 

Available From:
RRP: £1.59
ABV: 5.0%
Cisk was launched in Malta in 1928. It is a golden-coloured lager with a distinctive and well-balanced character. Its rich hop aroma and pleasant bitterness, combined with a mild astringency, make it an outstanding thirst-quencher.

#7 – Ukraine 21:1
Act and song title: Jamala – 1944 

Obolon Lager
Available From:
RRP: £1.79
ABV: 4.5%
Celebrate Ukraine with its famous Obolon Lager. It's a deeply fermented beer with hoppy bitterness and flavour. Expect grassy aromas and a bittersweet finish, pure gold in colour and has a strong foamy head. 

#8 – Latvia 23:1
Act and song title: Justs – Heartbeat 

Aldaris Porteris
Available From:
RRP: £2.89
ABV: 6.8%
Aldaris Porteris is a strong beer so perfectly matches Latvia's Eurovision entry. It contains a hint of caramel and wine which may also be detected in the aroma.

#9 – Armenia  23:1
Act and song title: Iveta Mukuchyan – Love Wave

RRP: £2.19
ABV: 4.5%
This Armenian beer is light in colour, while providing waves of apple, floral notes and a cookie dough aroma. Its grainy sweetness overpowers the bitter notes while pouring clear and crisp with a bouncy head.

#10 – Serbia 26:1
Act and song title: ZAA Sanja Vučić – Goodbye (Shelter) 

Jelen Pivo
RRP: £1.49
ABV: 5.0%
Jelen Pivo is the leading core lager brand in Serbia-Montenegro. This golden bitter beer will provide fresh grassy notes combined with warm honey tones. A bright and light hoppy lager makes for an easy drinking beer.

...Well, we're not last! It would be rude not to have the UK on the list, or in the competition!

#24 – United Kingdom 101:1
Act and song title: Joe & Jake – You're Not Alone

Meantime IPA
Available From: Ocado and Waitrose
RRP: £5.35
ABV: 6.9%
While our nominated act might not be a top ten contender, Meantime IPA is certainly an excellent consolation prize. Meantime has a slightly roasted malt profile with plenty of sweetness, lots of citrusy hops which lighten the beer and create a lingering bitter finish.

And if those suggestions aren't doing it for you, or if you didn't do so well in the work sweepstakes but still want to remain loyal to your country, tweet #BeerMatch to @BeerforThat, along with a dish from your chosen country i.e. PIZZA, and you'll get a response. They also run a #BeerClub every Wednesday at 8pm with beer experts on hand to answer any question you've ever had about beer.

Enjoy the ridiculous spectacle that is Eurovision this weekend, and let me know what you'll be quaffing!

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