beer reviews

The World Cup Of Drink

The World Cup is on this summer in case you didn’t know. So for the months of June and July I will be on lockdown with pizza, alcohol, total control of the TV remote and many hours of quality football. One way to enjoy the feast of football is to incorporate drinks into your routine from the nations that are playing. When the country is playing you simply guzzle down their respective national booze. Every nation has their favourite tipple, even nations which are meant to be “dry”.

For each team pick a half and for 45 minutes enjoy their drink. One can also include a pre game warm up as well, of course! But remember there can be three games on some days.

Can rate on taste, texture, how easy it is to drink, or just how phished it might get you, and when the game is over you can decide who won, drew or lost. Of course one would have to cater for alcohol content and mark accordingly.  Would be ideal to play amongst a few of your mates. Might be a good idea to ask the wife/girl friend to not be around – for the entire two months, if possible!

So using the qualified nations I have chosen each country’s respective alcohol beverage. One would imagine that nations like Russia, Mexico, USA, England, Germany and Belgium would be favourites? Of course nations that would be top dogs – Ireland, Poland, and Czech Rep. didn’t qualify but that’s life. But who knows who would win as there are always underrated beers, plucky little unheard of wines that are tasty, or some spirit you never tasted before that might blow your mind or get you nicely smashed.

I have included a top rankings system compiled from the WHO of top nations listed by alcohol consumption (2011), which shows varieties in beers, spirits, and wine, and total alcohol consumption per year per adult (over 15!).  Our very own drinking rankings! (Christ I am desperate!) I have shown top nations and nations that have qualified for this year’s world cup. With a nice map if can’t be arsed to read!

I have given the groups with nations and a list of their respective bevvies for you to choose from. If nothing else, it might work as a general guide to booze in these countries!

Also, if any reader has anything to add, or any comments they want to give then please fell free to go to the contact area and email us with your opinions, we more than look forward to any feedback – good and bad- and will try and address your views.

Roll on June 2014!

List of countries by alcohol consumption

Pure alcohol consumption among adults (age 15+) in litres per capita per year

country

total

beer

wine

spirits

other

 Moldova 118.224.574.674.420.00
 Czech Republic 216.458.512.333.590.39
 Hungary 316.274.424.943.020.14
 Russia 415.763.650.106.880.34
 Ukraine 515.602.690.585.210.02
 Estonia 615.575.531.099.190.43
 Andorra 715.483.935.693.140.00
 Romania 815.304.072.334.140.00
 Slovenia 915.194.105.101.330.00
 Belarus 1015.131.840.804.082.67
 Croatia 1115.114.665.801.910.14
 Lithuania 1215.035.601.804.500.60
 South Korea 1314.802.140.069.570.04
 Portugal 1414.553.756.651.270.51
 Ireland 1514.417.042.752.511.09
 France 1613.662.318.142.620.17
 United Kingdom 1713.374.933.532.410.67
 Poland 2013.255.271.232.970.00
 Germany 2312.816.223.152.300.00
 Nigeria 2712.280.540.010.029.17
 Uganda 2811.930.510.000.1814.52
 Spain 3011.624.523.591.310.61
  Switzerland 3311.063.105.101.800.10
 Belgium 3510.775.493.550.620.03
 Greece 3610.752.204.512.380.13
 Italy 3710.681.736.380.420.00
 Grenada 4010.353.160.427.150.04
 Netherlands 4310.054.723.261.560.00
 Australia 4410.024.563.121.161.02
 Argentina 4510.002.494.620.520.20
 Canada 489.774.101.502.100.00
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 509.632.220.347.080.00
 New Zealand 519.624.093.041.370.81
 South Africa 569.463.931.171.150.75
 United States 579.444.471.362.650.00
 Ecuador 599.382.300.071.690.00
 Brazil 629.163.360.332.490.03
 Chile 658.552.032.592.160.04
 Mexico 678.423.960.021.090.03
 Uruguay 698.141.333.951.210.06
 Japan 708.031.720.293.372.61
 Cameroon 757.572.050.050.002.60
 Thailand 777.081.750.024.690.00
 Ivory Coast 866.480.610.330.053.55
 Colombia 926.172.710.081.440.02
 China 965.911.500.152.510.23
 Costa Rica 995.552.290.181.710.02
 Jamaica 1105.001.490.111.800.10
 Honduras 1164.481.290.041.870.00
 Ghana 1392.970.400.070.030.97
 Iran 1621.020.020.000.000.00
 Algeria 1630.960.090.070.000.50
 India 1700.750.060.020.050.00
 Libya 1830.110.000.000.000.00

Slide2

Slide1

GROUP A:

(From first viewing, I would expect Brazil and Mexico to come out of this group (much like the football))

 

Team

BrazilSlide8

Brazil, a nation famous for partying and having a good time. But does its alcohol match the good mood of its people. According to the Barthhaas group (whoever the hell they are) Brazil has the world’s third largest market for beer, which, if true, is pretty amazing. There is a strong German influence with their beers which goes back to early immigration. Bohemia is the oldest Brazilian beer which is still under production. Two important brands, Antarctica and Brahma, started production in the 1880s, and are still popular. I have no idea how strong or good Brazilian beer is but it would be fun to try them. Alternatively one could try Cachaça which is a distilled spirit made from sugarcane juice. It is the most popular distilled alcoholic beverage in Brazil. It is typically between 38% and 48% alcohol by volume. Meant to be good for a cocktail mix, but again I have never tried this Brazilian drink.

CroatiaSlide25

Croatia, a nation that I am not aware of in terms of alcohol beverages, but they have supporters who look like they like a sip of the hard stuff. Most of the domestic market in beer is Croatian beer, a patriotic bunch the Croats, and that is dominated by a few main beers. Osječko is the first Croatian beer ever produced, produced since 1697 which Is pretty damn old.  Karlovačko is the second most popular beer in Croatia. It is also the national beer. Ožujsko is the most popular beer in Croatia, apparently with 10 bottles being consumed every second. I will write that again – ten bottles consumed a second, wow! It has been produced since 1893. Gricka Vjestica has the strongest alcohol content with 7,5%. All that sounds very appetising, but you might also want to try Croatia’s wine. The majority (67%) of wine produced is white and produced in the interior, while 32% is red and produced mainly along the coast. But if you want to try the national beverage then Rakia is the one to opt for. Rakia is a popular alcoholic beverage in southeast Europe produced by distillation of fermented fruit. The alcohol content of Rakia is normally 40% ABV.

MexicoSlide1

Now before we jump straight into the obvious, Mexico has a lot to offer than THAT drink!

Let’s have a look so. Beer in Mexico has a long history long before the Spanish conquest. Globally, one of the best known Mexican beers is Corona, which is the flagship beer of Grupo Modelo. Corona is the best-selling beer produced by Mexico. It is one of the five most-consumed beers in the world. Corona, is a nice drink, but not what I would look for if I wanted to have a good time. There are a lot of other Mexican brands, too – Tecate, Sol, Dos Equis, Carta Blanca, Superior, Indio, Bohemia, Noche Buena, Negra Modelo, Modelo Especial Victoria, Estrella, Léon, Montejo and Pacifico.  Apart from beer, one could try Pulque, an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented sap of the maguey plant. It is traditional to central Mexico, where it has been produced for millennia. It has the colour of milk and a sour yeast-like taste.It is not as popular as before due to the increase of beer drinking in Mexico but is making a slow comeback .If looking for wine, Mexico is the oldest wine-making region in the Americas, as of the 2013, about 90% of Mexican wine is produced in the north-western state of Bajz California, neighbouring the wine producing region of California in the U.S.. Which makes you think if Californian wines are so popular these days then why not Mexican wines?

To be honest if you were trying a drink from Mexico then it would be none other than tequila. I have to admit I love Tequila, neat and no messing with lime or salt (fuck off!). Love the drink and don’t find it as hard to drink as some find it, I guess its one of my poisons! The Consejo Regulador del Tequila (Tequila Regulatory Council) reported 1377 registered domestically bottled brands from 150 producers as of November 2013, so good with all that if searching for a strong recommendation from me!. Of course there are differing levels of tequila, but any bottle of the decent tequila is good enough for any party in my opinion.

CameroonSlide21

The most popular beers in Cameroon are foreign beers, and, much life a lot of Africa, Guinness. There are some millet beers called ‘bil-bil’ in the north, but good luck if you can source that beer.

Palm wine is popular, created from the sap of various species of palm tree such as the palmyra, date palms and coconut palms. The sap is extracted and collected by a tapper. Typically the sap is collected from the cut flower of the palm tree. A container is fastened to the flower stump to collect the sap. The white liquid that initially collects tends to be very sweet and non-alcoholic before it is fermented. Palm sap begins fermenting immediately after collection, due to natural yeasts in the pores of pot and air. Within two hours, fermentation yields an aromatic wine of up to 4% alcohol content, mildly intoxicating and sweet. The wine may be allowed to ferment longer, up to a day, to yield a stronger, more sour and acidic taste. Palm wine may be distilled to create a stronger drink, which goes by different names depending on the region, but in Cameroon its called mimbo, matango, mbuh. Again, good luck with sourcing that.

GROUP B:

(From first viewing, a tough group to call as i do like my Heini, and know that wines from Chile and Australia are meant to be good, and then there is sangria! the group of death perhaps)

Team

SpainSlide23

The land of all the “S”’s; sun, sea, sand, sex and sangria. World champs in football but how would they fare in our drinking world cup? Spain has some nice beers alright but we really must talk about the wine and sangria. Sangria normally consists of wine, chopped fruit, a sweetener, and a small amount of added brandy. Chopped fruit can include orange, lemon, lime, apple, peach, melon, berries, pineapple, grape, kiwifruit and mango. A sweetener such as honey, sugar, syrup, or orange juice is added. Because of the variation in recipes and in regions, sangria’s alcoholic content can vary greatly, usually from 4 percent up to about 11 percent. Sangria is served throughout Spain during summer. It is a popular drink among tourists at bars, pubs and restaurants where it is often served in 1-litre pitchers or other containers large enough to hold a bottle of wine plus the added ingredients. Bottled sangria can be bought in some countries. Sangria has become popular in the UK and the U.S., with many supermarkets stocking it during summer months.

Spain has also a big reputation in wine, is the worlds third largest producer of wine, and with hot weather most of the year round a good place to be a wine producer. Spanish wines are wines produced in the south-western European country of Spain. Spain’s reputation is that of a serious wine producing country that can compete with other producers in the world wine market, and definitely worth a try.

Then we move onto Shakespeare favourite tipple, sherry which is a fortified wine made from white grapes that are grown near the town of Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia, Spain. In Europe, “Sherry” has protected designation of origin status, and under Spanish law, all wine labelled as “Sherry” must legallycome from the Sherry Triangle, an area in the province of Cadiz between Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, and El Puerto de Santa María. Wines classified as suitable for aging are fortified until they reach a total alcohol content of 15.5 per cent by volume. As they age in barrel, they develop a layer of flor—a yeast-like growth that helps protect the wine from excessive oxidation. Those wines that are classified to undergo aging are fortified to reach an alcohol content of at least 17 per cent.

NetherlandsSlide30

Heineken, Amstel, Grolsch, and Irish students favourite, Dutch Gold. The Netherlands exports the largest proportion of beer of any country in the world – approximately 50% of production, according to The Brewers of Europe. Great beers from a top class beer producing nation. Having lived in the Netherlands I can definitely say it’s a great place for the drink connoisseur, with 24 hour bars, easy going atmosphere and with very cheap prices and if including some sweet space cakes a great place to get smashed!  Love the Heineken, one of my favourite beers, but there is of course much more to the Netherlands’ than the big three (H,A,G), and one should definitely try out some of the smaller producers dotted all over the Netherlands with each town having their own special brew.

Apart from its beer, one might like to try Jenever (also known as Dutch gin), is the juniper-flavored national and traditional liquor of the Netherlands, from which gin evolved. Jenever was originally produced by distilling malt wine to 50% ABV. Because the resulting spirit was not palatable due to the lack of refined distilling techniques (only the pot still was available), herbs were added to mask the flavour. The juniper berry was chosen for its alleged medicinal effects, hence the name jenever (and the English name gin).

Believed to have been invented by a Dutch chemist named Sylvius de Bouve, it was first sold as a medicine in the late 16th century. There are two types: Oude jenever must contain ‘at least’ 15% malt wine, but no more than 20 g of sugar per litre. Korenwijn (grain wine) is a drink very similar to the 18th century style jenever, and is often matured for a few years in an oak cask; it contains from 51% to 70% malt wine and up to 20 g/l of sugar. Jonge jenever has a neutral taste, like vodka, with a slight aroma of juniper and malt wine. Oude jenever has a smoother, very aromatic taste with malty flavours. Oude jenever is sometimes aged in wood; its malty, woody and smoky flavours lend a resemblance to whisky. Different grains used in the production process make cause for different flavoured jenevers.

ChileSlide32

Not really a beer drinking nation Chile has made leaps and bounds in the world of wine, and that’s where we will concentrate. Chile is now the fifth largest exporter of wines in the world, and the ninth largest producer. The climate has been described as midway between that of California and France, making it an ideal place to produce great wines. Chilean wines have ranked very highly in international competitions. In the Tokyo Wine Tasting of 2006, Chilean wines won four of the top five rankings. Why is Chilean wine so good? Well it probably is due to a strong collaboration with France and Spanish brands and producers, learning and improving on old techniques and the Chilean climate of the Andes and the fertile land that gives great growing conditions.

Something that might be worth and try and looks interesting is Pisco, a good drink for mixing cocktails. Pisco is a colourless or yellowish-to-amber coloured grape brandy produced in winemaking regions of Chile. Pisco was developed by Spanish settlers in the 16th century as an alternative to orujo, a pomace brandy that was being imported from Spain.

AustraliaSlide24

Well there are hundreds of beers one could try, from Carlton, Castlemaine, XXXX,  Coopers, Tooheys, and even Fosters. Like most people this side of the world I have only ever tried Fosters. I like it but am well aware it’s not what most Aussies drink and is looked down upon. It’s a good beer, light but nice taste, a good starter.

The Australian wine industry is the world’s fourth largest exporter of wine, and generally considered cheap but of decent quality, a better buy than that expensive and maybe overrated French wine you were thinking of buying!

Could try the famous Bundaberg Rum, a dark rum produced in Bundaberg, Australia. It is often referred to as “Bundy”. Has a bit of a reputation with violence and dodgy drinlking but in my book that’s good!

If desperate could try an Australian whiskey, but then maybe not!

GROUP C:

(From first viewing, go with japan (saki) and Greece (ouzi))

Team

ColombiaSlide29

Well Colombia is a place that can get you easily off your head but we are not talking about alcoholic beverages. But having said that there is a bourgeoning beer industry ranging from small local micro-brews to large scale productions of popular brands. It is estimated that Colombia has more than 15 large national brands but dozens of small/local microbrewery boutique beers are growing beyond regional demand.

They do like their spirits though, and Aguardiente is their drink, drank neat as well. Aguardiente is a generic term for alcoholic beverages that contain between 29% and 60% alcohol by volume. In Colombia, aguardiente known as guaro, is an anise-flavoured liqueur derived from sugarcane, vastly popular in the country. By adding different amounts of aniseed, different flavours are obtained, leading to extensive marketing and fierce competition between brands. Aguardiente has 24%–29% alcohol content.

GreeceSlide26

Ouzo, my mother’s favourite drink! I have tried it once or twice and it isn’t bad, but it’s definitely an acquired taste. It seems to be a hugely popular drink and usually drank in the long hot months of summer. Ouzo is an anise flavoured aperitif that is widely consumed in Greece and Cyprus. Can be mixed with water but who the fuck would do that, neat is always better. Ouzo is traditionally served with a small plate of a variety of appetizers called mezes. Ouzo can be described to have a similar taste to absinthe which is liquorice-like, but smoother. On October 25, 2006, Greece won the right to label ouzo as an exclusively Greek product. After all the stages of fermentation and distilling the final ABV is usually between 40 and 50 percent; the minimum allowed is 37.5 percent.

Of course you could try some Greek wine, from one of the oldest wine producing regions in the world. The earliest evidence of Greek wine has been dated to 6,500 years ago, a good age for a wine then!

Côte d’IvoireSlide27

Could find very little on IC drinking habits. All I found was that they like to drink a lot of Palm wine, an alcoholic beverage created from the sap of various species of palm tree such as the palmyra, date palms and coconut palms. A drink that is popular in certain parts of Africa.

JapanSlide31

Sake or saké is an alcoholic beverage of Japanese origin that is made from fermented rice. Sake is sometimes called “rice wine” but the brewing process is more akin to beer, converting starch to sugar for the fermentation process. Sake is sometimes referred to in English-speaking countries as rice wine. However, unlike wine, in which alcohol is produced by fermenting sugar that is naturally present in grapes and other fruits, sake is produced by means of a brewing process more like that of beer. To make beer or sake, the sugar needed to produce alcohol must first be converted from starch. The brewing process for sake differs from the process for beer, in that for beer, the conversion from starch to sugar and from sugar to alcohol occurs in two discrete steps. But when sake is brewed, these conversions occur simultaneously. Furthermore, the alcohol content differs between sake, wine, and beer. Wine generally contains 9%–16% ABV, while most beer contains 3%–9%, and undiluted sake contains 18%–20%

Or if Sake isn’t strong enough for you then you might want to try some Shōchū, which is a Japanese distilled beverage. It is typically distilled from barley, sweet potatoes, buckwheat, or rice, though it is sometimes produced from other ingredients such as brown sugar, chestnut, sesame seeds, or even carrots. Typically shōchū contains approximately 25% ABV, which is weaker than whisky or standard-strength vodka but stronger than wine and sake.

The style of Japanese whisky is more similar to that of Scotch whisky than Irish, American or Canadian styles. There are several companies producing whisky in Japan, but the two best-known and most widely available are Suntory and Nikka. Both of these produce blended as well as single malt whiskies and blended malt whiskies.

Having mentioned all that, beer is still king in Japan and is the most popular alcoholic drink in Japan, accounting for nearly two thirds of the 9 billion litres of alcohol consumed in 2006.  Major makers are Asahi, Kirin, Sapporo and Suntory while small local breweries supply distinct tasting beers.

GROUP D:

(From first viewing, How could you not go with England, a strong favourite for the whole competition and the home of fine ales, and Italy, a place of good wines)

Team

UruguaySlide15

Couldn’t find a whole lot on Uruguay, big on cannabis but so much on alcohol. Mate is a traditional South American caffeine-rich infused drink, in Uruguay. It is prepared from steeping dried leaves of yerba mate in hot water. The yerba may be brewed, but not so sure if it’s a big alcoholic drink at all, but why not just add some liquor anyway. In Uruguay it is common to see people walking around the streets toting a mate and a thermos with hot water.

Costa RicaSlide17

Beer in CR include Imperial, Imperial Light, Imperial Silver, Pilsen, Pilsen 6.0, Bavaria Gold, Bavaria Light, Bavaria Dark, Rock Ice and Rock Ice Limón. With the exception of Bavaria Negra, all are light-coloured, light-bodied lagers. Not sure if any of them are home produced, doesn’t look like it, maybe.

EnglandSlide18

You have bitters, ales, lagers, stouts, porter, shandys; just don’t ask me to go in detail about them all, just that there is a shit lot of good beer in England! Beer in England pre-dates other alcoholic drinks produced in England, and have been brewed continuously since prehistoric times. As a beer brewing country, England is known for its real ale which finishes maturing in the cellar of the pub rather than at the brewery and is served with only natural carbonation.

English beer styles include bitter, mild, brown ale and old ale. Stout was also originally brewed in London. Lager style beer has increased considerably in popularity since the mid 20th century. Other modern developments include consolidation of large brewers into multinational corporations; growth of beer consumerism; expansion of microbreweries and increased interest in bottle conditioned beers.

Cider is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from fruit juice, most commonly and traditionally apple juice but also the juice of peaches, pears or other fruit. Cider varies in alcohol content from 1.2% ABV to 8.5% or more in traditional English ciders. Cider is popular in the United Kingdom and has the highest per capita consumption of cider, as well as the largest cider-producing companies in the world, including H. P. Bulmer, the largest. Much cider today is made from apple pulp rather than fresh apples and may contain added sweeteners or flavours. Cider is available in sweet, medium and dry varieties. Recent years have seen a significant increase in cider sales in the UK.  A key market segment exists in the UK for strong white mass-produced cider at 7.5% alcohol by volume. Typical brands include White Lightning, Diamond White, Frosty Jack, and White Strike, shit cheap and a great way to get completely smashed!

Gin is a spirit which derives its predominant flavour from juniper berries From its earliest beginnings in the Middle Ages, gin has evolved over the course of a millennium from a herbal medicine to an object of commerce in the spirits industry. Today, the gin category is one of the most popular and widely distributed range of spirits, and is represented by products of various origins, styles, and flavour profiles that all revolve around juniper as a common ingredient Beefeater, first produced in 1820, and Gordon’s are two well known brands from England.

ItalySlide19

Italy is considered to be part of the wine belt of Europe. Nevertheless, beer is common in the country. It is traditionally considered to be an ideal accompaniment to pizza; since the 1970s, beer has spread from pizzerias and has become much more popular for drinking in other situations. One of the oldest and most widespread breweries in Italy is Peroni. Since the beginning of the 2000s, there has been a rise in the number of new microbreweries opening. The success of this phenomenon is due to the excellent quality of their products. The local materials are of good quality and much of the experience derived from wine-making applies to brewing. When I was in Italy I got to love and really appreciate their beers. I was taken aback as Italy doesn’t really have a reputation for good beer, and yet here I was drinking excellent quality produced beer. It was lovely to drink and easy to drink, and best of all it was damn cheap. I think Italy will continue to make a strong name for itself in the future with its excellently produced beers.

Grappa is another alcoholic beverage that is around in Italy. It’s a fragrant, grape-based pomace brandy of Italian origin that contains 35%–60% volume. The flavour of grappa, like that of wine, depends on the type and quality of the grapes used, as well as the specifics of the distillation process. Grappa is made by distilling the skins, pulp, seeds, and stems left over from winemaking after pressing the grapes. It was originally made to prevent waste by using these leftovers.

Italy is home of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world and Italian wines are known worldwide for their broad variety. Italy shares with France the title of largest wine producer in the world, its contribution representing about 1/3 of world production. Italian wine is exported around the world and is also extremely popular in Italy: Italians rank fifth on the world wine consumption list by volume with 42 litres per capita consumption. Grapes are grown in almost every region of the country and there are more than one million vineyards under cultivation. Italy is home to good quality affordable wine.

GROUP E:

(From first viewing, would have to be the two Euro sides and Absinthe sides! Legal or otherwise!)

Team

SwitzerlandSlide20

The Swiss do have some beers, whiskeys and wines, but unlike their neighbours Germany, they are not so famous for their alcoholic beverages. They would much rather concentrate on their cheeses and chocolate. Some say that the mysterious drink of Absinthe originated from Switzerland but I am not so sure.

EcuadorSlide28

Not a whole lot on Ecuador but found they like Aguardiente.  Aguardiente is a generic term for alcoholic beverages that contain between 29% and 60% alcohol by volume.. In Ecuador, aguardiente is derived from sugarcane, but unlike Colombia, it is left largely unflavoured. It is then taken straight as shots, mulled with cinnamon and fruit juices to make the hot cocktail canelazo, or mixed with the juice of agavemasts and Grenadine syrup for the hot cocktail draquita. Locally or artisanally made aguardiente is commonly called punta, and alcohol content can vary widely, from “mild” puntas of about 10% to “strong” of about 40% or higher. The traditional distillation process produces aguardiente as strong as 60GL. Every Ecuadorian province has a slightly different flavour to the aguardiente produced there, and equally each province has a different recipe for canelazo. In Ecuador, aguardiente is the most commonly consumed strong alcohol. Aguardiente Astillero is one of the newest brands, which is becoming very popular due to its symbolic title especially around Guayas.

FranceSlide22

Most beer sold in France is mass-produced, with major breweries having control of over 90% of the market and pilsner lagers predominating. There are also distinctive traditional beer styles, such as the top-fermented Bière de Garde In recent years; France has also seen a proliferation of microbreweries. Overall alcohol consumption is down 25% since 1960 and beer currently represents 16% of the total. Imagine it’s down, what the hell are they doing in France! Similar data is shown by the World Health Organization Global Status Report on Alcohol 2004, which indicates a huge decline in total alcohol consumption by adults (15+) in France between 1961 and 2005 but beer consumption was relatively stable, wine being impacted the most. In 2005 beer represented 17% of the total alcohol consumption (compared to 62% for wine and 20% for spirits).

Brandy I find is a tough one to drink, not my poison at all, even if I went through a period of the Remys. Cognac, named after the town of Cognac in France, is a variety of brandy. It is produced in the wine-growing region surrounding the town from which it takes its name. For a distilled brandy to bear the name Cognac, an Appellation d’origine contrôlée, its production methods must meet certain legal requirements. In particular, it must be made from specified grapes of which Ugni blanc, known locally as Saint-Emilion, is the one most widely used.The brandy must be twice distilled in copper pot stills and aged at least two years in French oak barrels from Limousin or Tronçais. Cognac matures in the same way as whiskies and wine when aged in barrels, and most cognacs are aged considerably longer than the minimum legal requirement. While there are close to 200 cognac producers, a large percentage of cognac comes from only four producers: Courvoisier, Hennessy, Martell and Rémy Martin.

France is really all about its wines and French wine is produced all throughout France and the country is the largest wine producer in the world. French wine traces its history to the 6th century BC, with many of France’s regions dating their wine-making history to Roman times. The wines produced range from expensive high-end wines sold internationally to more modest wines usually only seen within France. France is the source of many grape varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot noir, Sauvignon blanc, Syrah) that are now planted throughout the world, as well as wine-making practices and styles of wine that have been adopted in other producing countries.

If you are feeling really flush with some cash then why not shell out of some Champagne, a sparkling wine produced from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France following rules that demand secondary fermentation of the wine in the bottle to create carbonation. Some use the term champagne as a generic term for sparkling wine, but the majority of countries reserve the term exclusively for sparkling wines that come from Champagne and are produced under the rules of the appellation. The primary grapes used in the production of Champagne are Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier.

HondurasSlide13

The big Honduran beers are Salva Vida, Imperial, Port Royal and Barena. Salva Vida is a lager, Imperial is a dark pilsner, Port Royal is pilsner and Barena is a light pilsner.

GROUP F:

(From first viewing, I am guessing that Argentina have good wines, and then Nigeria surely has a decent beer that would trump the two muslims nations?)

Team

ArgentinaSlide14

The Argentine wine industry is the fifth largest producer of wine in the world. Argentine wine has its roots in Spain. During the Spanish colonization of the Americas, vine cuttings were brought to Santiago del Estero in 1557, and the cultivation of the grape and wine production stretched first to neighbouring regions, and then to other parts of the country. Historically, Argentine winemakers were traditionally more interested in quantity than quality with the country consuming 90% of the wine it produces. Until the early 1990s, Argentina produced more wine than any other country outside Europe, though the majority of it was considered unexportable. However, the desire to increase exports fueled significant advances in quality. Argentine wines started being exported during the 1990s, and are currently growing in popularity, making it now the largest wine exporter in South America. In November 2010, the Argentine government declared wine as Argentina’s national liquor

Bosnia and HerzegovinaSlide12

Even though it might be considered a Muslim nation, B n H is a European nation that likes to drink beer. Bosnia and Herzegovina have several beer brands. They are: Tuzlanski pilsner, Sarajevsko pivo, Nektar, Preminger. There are several minor breweries in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

IranSlide10

The alcoholic drinks market in Iran consist of only non-alcoholic beer, as the law bans alcohol for Muslim citizens. Non-Muslim citizens (namely Christian and Jewish citizens) are allowed to produce alcoholic beverages for their consumption. However, despite complete prohibition for Muslim citizens, there is still widespread alcohol use across Iran. Under the law, it is forbidden for Iran’s Muslim citizens to have alcoholic drink. However there is open violation of the law. Alcohol drinking is so widespread that Iranians are the third highest consumers of alcohol in Muslim-majority Middle Eastern countries, behind Lebanon and Turkey (in both of which it is legal to drink), with an annual per capita consumption of 1.02 Litres. Beer in Iran has had a long history. The earliest known chemical evidence of beer dates to circa 3500–3100 BC from the site of Godin Tepe in the Zagros Mountains of western Iran, and there is evidence of beer-drinking over a long period in the Persian empire. Since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, production, possession or distribution of any alcoholic beverages is illegal and punishable under the Islamic law. While non-alcoholic beers are the only ones available from legal outlets, illegal alcoholic beers are smuggled into the country and consumed. So that’s that then no alcohol from Iran, bloody Mullahs!

NigeriaSlide11

Nigeria produces a version of Guinness that one can not get anywhere else in the world, And is meant to be quite strong. But does it have its own unique beers? Yes it does. Nigerian Breweries Plc is the pioneer and largest brewing company in Nigeria. Its first bottle of beer, STAR Lager, rolled off the bottling lines of its Lagos Brewery in June 1949.

To the Palm Wine again,  they like so much in parts of Africa, the alcoholic beverage created from the sap of various species of palm tree such as the palmyra, date palms and coconut palms. Palm wine may be distilled to create a stronger drink, which goes by different names depending on the region. Throughout Nigeria, this is commonly called ogogoro. Palm wine plays an important role in many ceremonies in parts of Nigeria. Guests at weddings, birth celebrations, and funeral wakes are served generous quantities.

GROUP G:

(From first viewing, Germany all the way with the beers, and would expect the USA despite it’s over rated alcohol beverages but maybe Portugal could cause a shock?)

Team

GermanySlide4

Beer is a major part of German culture, and they are proud of their beers I am as of yet still to have had a great German beer. I might not drank the correct German beers but to date I am not convinced of how “great” German beers are meant to be. Almost half of all German breweries are in Bavaria. In total, there are approximately 1300 breweries in Germany producing over 5000 brands of beer. The highest density of breweries in the world is found in Aufseß near the city of Bamberg, in the Franconia region of Bavaria with four breweries and only 1352 citizens. The Benedictine abbey Weihenstephan brewery (established in 725) is reputedly the oldest existing brewery in the world (brewing since 1040). The alcohol-by-volume, or ABV, content of beers in Germany is usually between 4.7% and 5.4% for most traditional brews. Bockbier or Doppelbock can have an alcohol content of up to 16%, making it stronger than many wines.

German wine is primarily produced in the west of Germany, along the river Rhine and its tributaries. Germany has about 102,000 hectares of vineyard, which is around one tenth of the vineyard surface in Spain, France or Italy. The total wine production is usually around 9 million hectoliters annually which places Germany as the eighth largest wine-producing country in the world.White wine accounts for almost two thirds of the total production. As a wine country, Germany has a mixed reputation internationally, with some consumers on the export markets associating Germany with the world’s most elegant and aromatically pure white wines while other see the country mainly as the source of cheap, mass-market semi-sweet wines.

German whisky is a distilled beverage produced in Germany made from grains traditionally associated with the production of whisky. The distillation of German-made whisky is a relatively recent phenomenon having only started in the last 30 years. The styles produced resemble those made in Ireland, Scotland and the United States: single malts, blends, and bourbon styles. There are currently 23 distilleries in Germany producing whisky.

PortugalSlide3

Beer in Portugal has a long history, going as far back as the time of the ancient Roman province of Lusitania, where beer was commonly made and drunk. Sagres is a leading brand.

Ginjinha or simply Ginja, is a liqueur made by infusing ginja berries in alcohol and adding sugar together with other ingredients. Ginjinha is served in a shot form with a piece of the fruit in the bottom of the cup. It is a favourite liqueur of many Portuguese and a typical drink in Lisbon, and other Portuguese cities.

Portuguese wine is the result of traditions introduced to the region by ancient civilizations, such as the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, and mostly the Romans. Portugal has a large variety of native breeds, producing a very wide variety of different wines with distinctive personality.

Port wine is a Portuguese fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal. It is typically a sweet, red wine, often served as a dessert wine though it also comes in dry, semi-dry, and white varieties. Port wine is typically richer, sweeter, heavier, and possesses higher alcohol content than unfortified wines. This is caused by the addition of distilled grape spirits to fortify the wine and halt fermentation before all the sugar is converted to alcohol and results in a wine that is usually 18 to 20% alcohol.

GhanaSlide6

Ghana’s most famous brands are Star beer and Club Premium Lager, not sure if both are home produced.

We are back to that Palm Wine they like so much in parts of Africa, the alcoholic beverage created from the sap of various species of palm tree such as the palmyra, date palms and coconut palms. In parts of southern Ghana distilled palm wine is called akpeteshi or burukutu.

USASlide5

I like American wine but I am not so convinced by its beers and whiskeys, both a bit weak to be perfectly frank, nice enough to taste but not enough of a kick for me, but then again I might not have drank the right brands.

American wine has been produced for over 300 years. Today, wine production is undertaken in all fifty states, with California producing 89 percent of all US wine. The United States is the fourth largest wine producing country in the world after France, Italy, and Spain.

American whiskey is a distilled beverage produced in the United States from a fermented mash of cereal grain. Outside of the United States, various other countries recognize certain types of American whiskey, such as Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey, as indigenous products of the United States that must be produced in the United States. Famous well known whiskeys are Jack Daniels and Jim beam

Beer in the United States is manufactured by more than 2,100 breweries, which range in size from industry giants to brew pubs and microbreweries. In 2008, the United States was ranked sixteenth in the world in per capita consumption, while total consumption was second only to China. The most common style of beer produced by the big breweries is American lager. Beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage in America and accounts for about 85% of the volume of alcoholic beverages sold in the United States each year. The top beer brands by market share were Bud Light (28.3%), Budweiser (11.9%) and Coors Light (9.9%). 2009 figures show an overall decline in beer consumption from previous years. By the way is Bud Light not an oxymoron?

GROUP H:

(From first viewing, Belgian beer is damn good, and I love Russian vodka but maybe South Korea has something that could change that order?)

Team

BelgiumSlide2

There are approximately 180 breweries in the country, ranging from international giants to microbreweries. Belgium exports 60% of its beer. Some draught-beer brands produced by InBev  Stella Artois, Hoegaarden and Leffe – are available in several European countries. Aside from these, mostly bottled beer is exported across Europe. Belgium is like a Disney dreamland for beer lovers, lovely quaint towns where very bar seems to have its own brew, brilliant.

Like the Netherlands, the Belgians like the taste of Jenever , the juniper flavoured national and traditional liquor of the Belgium, from which gin evolved. Jenever was originally produced by distilling malt wine to 50% ABV. Because the resulting spirit was not palatable due to the lack of refined distilling techniques (only the pot still was available), herbs were added to mask the flavour. The juniper berry was chosen for its alleged medicinal effects, hence the name jenever (and the English name gin).

There are two types: Oude jenever must contain ‘at least’ 15% malt wine, but no more than 20 g of sugar per litre. Korenwijn (grain wine) is a drink very similar to the 18th century style jenever, and is often matured for a few years in an oak cask; it contains from 51% to 70% malt wine and up to 20 g/l of sugar. Jonge jenever has a neutral taste, like vodka, with a slight aroma of juniper and malt wine. Oude jenever has a smoother, very aromatic taste with malty flavours. Oude jenever is sometimes aged in wood; its malty, woody and smoky flavours lend a resemblance to whisky. Different grains used in the production process make cause for different flavoured jenevers.

AlgeriaSlide7

Algerian wine is wine made from the North African country of Algeria. While not a significant force on the world’s wine market today, Algeria has played an important role in the history of wine. Algeria’s viticulture history dates back to its settlement by the Phoenicians and continued under Algeria’s rule by the Roman empire. Just prior to the Algerian War of Independence, Algerian wine (along with the production of Morocco and Tunisia) accounted for nearly two-thirds of the total international wine trade. With as much land under vine as the countries of Germany and South Africa, Algeria continues to maintain a wine industry with over 70 wineries in operation. Algerian wines are characterized by their overripe fruit, high alcohol and low acidity. The grapes often go through a short fermentation process and are bottled after little to no oak aging. Not sure how much was continued or affected by the recent war but I bet many didn’t know that Algeria had a long history of wine production.

Again the Palm Wine that is loved in parts of Africa, the alcoholic beverage created from the sap of various species of palm tree such as the palmyra, date palms and coconut palms. Called lāgmi in Algeria.

RussiaSlide9

Love my vodka, it is my poison, so hence I love Russian vodka, quality stuff. Russia and vodka. The two words are synonymous with each other. Until the mid-18th century, the drink remained relatively low on alcohol content, not exceeding 40% abv. Multiple terms for the drink are recorded, sometimes reflecting different levels of quality, alcohol concentration, filtering, and the number of distillations; most commonly, it was referred to as “burning wine”, “bread wine”, or even in some locations simply “wine. Burning wine was usually diluted with water to 24% ABV or less before drinking. It was mostly sold in taverns and was quite expensive.

By 1911, vodka comprised 89% of all alcohol consumed in Russia. This level has fluctuated somewhat during the 20th century, but remained quite high at all times. The most recent estimates put it at 70% (2001). Today, some popular Russian vodka producers or brands are (amongst others) Stolichnaya and Russian Standard

Russian beer is quite good too, strong and nice to drink, the only pity is how to pronounce the names of the beers as must start with a Z and after a few beers are hard to remember. In Russia, beer is the second most popular alcoholic drink after vodka, seen by many as a healthier alternative. Until 2011, there were no regulations on beer in Russia. Previously, the government declared any beverage with less than 10% alcohol content to be a foodstuff which sounds fucking hilarious. Therefore, it was sold all hours of the day and consumed heavily in public. The beverage is now regulated in an effort to curtail heavy drinking In 2011, there were 561 beer producers operating in Russia.

Korea Republic

Slide16Beer was introduced into Korea in early 20th century. Seoul’s first beer brewery opened in 1908. The Korean beer market is dominated by two major companies, Hite-Jinro, and OB, and which each sell several brands on the local market. Unfortunately in a very tightly regulated market where micro breweries are not encouraged, SK beer is meant to be a little bland and boring.

So that’s maybe why the South Koreans’ tend to drink Soju which is a distilled beverage native to Korea. Jinro and Lotte soju are the first and third top selling alcohol brands in the world. It is usually consumed neat. It is traditionally made from rice, wheat, barley, but modern producers of soju use supplements or even replace rice with other starches, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, or tapioca. Soju is clear and colourless. Its alcohol content varies from about 16.7%, to about 45% alcohol by volume (ABV) for traditional Andong soju, with 20% ABV being most common. However, by using freeze distillation, ABV can be increased to desired percentage. Distilled Soju usually has a higher ABV of 30~35% than diluted Soju with ABV of 21~30%. As distilled Soju tends to have a higher ABV, it has stronger smell than diluted Soju. It is widely consumed, in part, because of its relatively low price in Korea. Although beer, whiskey, and wine have been gaining popularity in recent years, soju remains one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in Korea because of its ready availability and relatively low price. More than 3 billion bottles were consumed in South Korea in 2004. In 2006, it was estimated that the average adult Korean (older than 20) had consumed 90 bottles of soju during that year.

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Beer drinker and all round annoyance. Likes drinking, football, cricket and having a good time.

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