Welcome back to Pride Pub. This Wednesday night, Orlando City hosts the lads from West Bromwich Albion F.C. for an international friendly. Lions vs. Baggies (no really, that's what they call themselves). The Baggies finished 13th in the Premier League last season, and are 18th going into the upcoming 2015/2016 season. They hail from the West Midlands of England, near Birmingham, but southeast of Nottingham. I'm sure that helps you locate the town in your head. I attended Nottingham University for a Study Abroad program, and our choice of beer to represent our visitors was one that I frequently enjoyed when I was there.
From England - Newcastle Brown Ale, John Smith's Brewery (by Heineken)
The Number one imported Brown Ale in the United States, Newcastle Brown Ale (or a "Newky Brown" as we called it) is a pleasantly malted ale that does its best to be good, without offending. In much the manner of the English themselves! Since this is a "friendly" we won't get on the Baggies too much.
The gold standard in Brown Ales since Col. Jim Porter perfected his recipe in 1927. Auburn in color with a rich full-bodied flavor and a slighty sweet finish...or as most people know it, smooth brown deliciousness!
Pair with: Bangers and Mash
Dave's Recommendations: Obviously we're going with traditional English fare here, and while the Brits might not be known for haute cuisine, bangers and mash is one of those exceptions. I like this recipe with the onions. The good thing is Brown Ales are the "pair with just about anything" beer.
From Florida - Rod Bender Red Ale, Three Daughters Brewing
Style: Our Rod Bender Red is an American style amber ale which is characterized by medium to high malt character and medium to low caramel flavor. American amber ales have a medium bitterness derived from American grown hops. They are usually darker in color which comes from the addition of darker caramel malts and typically have more body than pale ales.
Taste: Rod Bender Red is driven by a rich malt flavor that reels you in with a dry toasted chocolate finish. It has a slight caramel sweetness and just enough hop bitterness to balance out the flavor.
Pairing: Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwich
Dave's Recommendations: In addition to the Pulled Pork Sandwich, have some baked beans and coleslaw for a good southern meal to show these plonkers (see the movie BeerFest for reference) how we cook here in the FLA of the USA!
As always, happy tailgating. And friendly or no...Beat the Baggies! (ha ha)