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Euro 2012 beer matches

With Euro 2012 in full swing, we pair up popular ales with competing countries.

English football fans drank on average 17 pints each at FIFA World Cup 2006 in Germany and local breweries were reported to have called in emergency supplies of beer.

During FIFA World Cup 2010, over 200 million pints of beer were drunk in the UK as fans packed into fan parks and pubs to watch the action.

With fears of racism, language issues, and against a tough economic backdrop, the bulk of England’s barmy army has stayed at home rather than make the trip to Poland and Ukraine for the tournament.

Here we go through some beer accompaniments for the tournament based on the 16 teams involved.

Group A:  Russia



Beer: Baltika

What’s the Score? The biggest beer in Russia promised to blow away the opposition. At 5.5% it’s all brute force but it just wasn’t enough.

Form: Baltika Brewery is the largest brewery in Eastern Europe and is based in Saint Petersburg. Baltika became the most popular beer in Russia in 1996 and by 2010 Baltika has maintained that status with a market share of 40.6%. Sales of Baltika brands internatiionally totaled over 270 million litres in 2009.

Where to buy: Sainsbury’s, Tesco.

Group A:  Greece

Beer: Mythos

What’s the Score? The economic woes could be a hampering factor but like this beer it could pack a surprise in Euro 2012 as proved so far with progression to the Quarter-Finals.

Form: The company is a subsidiary of Carlsberg since 2008 and one year before Mythos beer was introduced to the range. In 2001 the company renamed itself to the Mythos Brewery, as Mythos had become its primary product. In 2004 Scottish & Newcastle became majority shareholders.

Where to buy: Tesco, Morrisons

Group A: Poland

Beer: Zywiec

What’s the Score? The hosts were expecting big things from their hard-hitting 5.6% ABV beer – but it couldn’t last the distance.

Form: Currently the Heineken Group have a 61% shareholding of the brewery, which has the capacity of producing five million hls a year, making it the largest brewery in Grupa Zywiec. Grupa Zywiec S.A. consists of five main breweries: Żywiec Brewery, Elbrewery, Leżajsk, Warka Brewery and Cieszyn Brewery. Zywiec beer is not be confused with the song and dance group based in Ealing, London.

Where to buy: Sainsbury’s, Asda.

Group A: Czech Republic


Beer: Pilsner Urquell

What’s the score? The original pilsner will have to be at its best to make an impression but with the national team topping Group A things are looking positive.

Form: The beer is a prominent brand of SABMiller and it is steeped in history as it claims to be the first pilsner beer in the world. Its varied line-up means versatilely in serving options as it is available in a 330 ml, as well as 355ml and a 500ml in both aluminium cans and green bottles.

Where to buy: Morrisons, Sainsbury’s.

Group B: Denmark

Beer: Tuborg

What’s the score? This old Danish brew has a modern twist – a modern ring-pull cap and comes in at 4.6%.

Form: Since 1970 it has been part of Carlsberg. In 2008, Tuborg announced a sponsorship deal with Reading & Leeds music festivals to become the festival’s exclusive “Official Beer” partner, a position held in previous years by Carling.

Where to buy: Tesco, Asda.

Group B: Netherlands

Beer: Heineken

What’s the score? It has the form of a world beater (see below) and the talent of millions of drinkers around the world – which is rather more successful than the Dutch team have proved to be this tournament.

Form: Heineken Group beer is brewed by 140 breweries in 71 countries around the world. In 2011, 2.74 billion litres of Heineken brand beer was produced, while the total beer production of all breweries fully owned by the Heineken Group over all brands was 16.46 billion litres globally.

Where to buy: Morrisons, Tesco.

Group B: Portugal


Beer: Super Bock

What’s the Score? The best-selling beer in the country and apparently the favourite of English fans at Euro 2004.

Form: Super Bock brand is the most popular beer in Portugal (42% market share, September 1998) especially in the north of the country, and competes well against Sagres and Coral (Madeira) in the rest of Portugal. Sold in 21 countries.

Where to buy: Tesco, Sainsbury’s.

 Group B: Germany

Beer: Beck’s

What’s the score? The world’s best-selling German beer, which has the history to go all the way to the final.

Form: Owned by local families until February 2002, it was then sold to Interbrew for €1.8 billion. The largest markets for Beck’s outside Germany are the UK, the US, Italy, Australia, Ukraine, Romania and Russia.

Where to buy: Morrison’s, Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s.

Group C: Italy

Beer: Peroni

What’s the score? A nippy, smooth beer which may surprise a few people.

Form: Peroni is now based in Rome and is owned by SABMiller. Peroni is the Peroni company’s original brand and the best selling pale lager in Italy. It is probably best known worldwide for its premium lager Nastro Azzurro, which was the 13th best-selling beer in the UK in 2010.

Where to buy: Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s.

Group C: Spain

Beer: Estrella Damm

What’s the score? Its a favourite for many and it is easy to see why.

Form: It has been brewed in Barcelona since 1876 and is the flagship beer of S.A. Damm, a prominent Barcelona brewery. “Estrella” means “Star” in both Catalan and Spanish.

Where to buy: Sainsbury’s, Morrisons.

Group C: Croatia

Beer: Ožujsko

What’s the score? This 5% beer is the nation’s biggest brand and sponsors the national team – a long-time foe of England.

Form: Zagrebačka Pivovara, the biggest brewery in the country which is part of StarBev, a regional brewery group previously owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev. Between 2003 and 2007 the Croatian First League officially carried the name “Prva HNL Ožujsko” for sponsorship reasons.

Where to buy: You’ll have to go to Croatia if you want to try this one.

Group C: Ireland 

Beer: Guinness

What’s the score? Strong and steady Guinness is a world beater in terms of ales but on the football pitch the Irish never turned up for Euro 2012.

Form: The company is now a part of Diageo, a company formed from the merger of Guinness and Grand Metropolitan in 1997. St. James’s Gate has been the home of Guinness ever since. It became the largest brewery in Ireland in 1838, and was the largest in the world in 1914, covering 64 acres.

Where to buy: Morrisons, Tesco.

Group D: England 



Beer: Carling/Meantime Brewery

What’s the score? One may lack a bit of creativity but the other shows off some English brilliance, these two beers should still pack a punch in the latter stages of the competition.

Form: Carling, which is owned by the American/Canadian brewing giant Molson Coors Brewing Company is the highest selling beer in England and is mainly brewed in Burton upon Trent.

For a more exclusive tipple try one of Meantime’s brews with everything from Stout to Porter to India Pale Ale, Wheat beer, lager, helles and fruit beers. Brewed in Greenwich, Meantime is an award winning beer, that’s giving English craft brewing a good name and bringing beermaking back to the capital.

Where to buy: Nationwide

Group D: France

Beer: Kronenbourg

What’s the score? A premium lager which is a contender.

Form: The company is owned by the Carlsberg Group. The main brand is Kronenbourg 1664, a 5.0% pale lager which is the best selling premium lager brand in France.

Where to buy: Nationwide

Group D: Sweden

Beer: Norrlands Guld

What’s the score? A laidback beer for a country who never found that something extra up front.

Form: Norrlands Guld (Gold of Norrland) is a Swedish lager introduced in 1965 by Sollefteå Bryggeri. It is now brewed by Spendrups as of 1989. It is known for its long-running ad campaign which feature a stereotyped view of Norrland. The principal character is Ingemar, a very laid back man who lives a simple life with his buddies.

Where to buy: You’ll have to hunt hard to track this one down

Group D: Ukraine

Beer: Slavutich

What’s the score? This is a relatively new beer, unlike its football team which was relying on some old hands to guide them through.

Form: Slavutich is the main brand produced by Slavutich, Carlsberg Group Company. Slavutich Svitle is one of the lighter beers in the Slavutich family. After a re-launch of the Slavutich brand in 2007, its sales increased considerably, pushing Slavutich to the number four position in the Ukrainian market by volume sold.

Where to buy: Sainbury’s, Asda

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