England vs The World

So England are through to the knock-out stages of the World Cup, hurrah! And unless you live under a rock you’ll probably know that coming second in the group has supposedly given us a much more favourable run than the winners. But, if we’ve learned anything from the unpredictability of this year’s tournament, it is to never underestimate the abilities of the so-called ‘easier’ teams – just ask Germany.

That being said, we’ve had our best start to a tournament in over a decade, and last night’s underwhelming defeat was the first in a year, and against an arguably weaker side on our part. So, let’s get ourselves all excited and look at who stands between us and football’s greatest prize.

Round of 16: 3rd July

England v Columbia

Quarter-Final: 7th July

England v Sweden / Switzerland

Semi-Final: 11th July

England v Spain / Russia / Croatia / Denmark

Final: 15th July

England v Literally anyone from the other side of the draw

(France / Argentina / Uruguay / Portugal / Brazil / Mexico / Belgium / Japan)

Watching it in the pub? Of course you are! Find ones near you showing all the games – here.

Come on, England!

Monk-ey Business

Exciting news for British beer enthusiasts this week as a group of Cistercian monks from Mount St Bernard Abbey in Coalville, Leicestershire are set to release the country’s first officially recognised Trappist beer since the Reformation.

Incorporating Trappist tradition of being a ‘strong, dark ale’ while introducing a bit of English character, Tynt Meadow is described as mahogany-coloured, with an aroma carrying hints of dark chocolate, liquorice, and rich fruit flavours. The balanced flavours of dark chocolate, pepper, and fig are said to ‘leave a warm and dry finish on the palate.’

Brewed with English barley and hops, using an English strain of yeast, it is twice-fermented – first in the tank, second in the bottle – and on the monks’ recommendation, should be stored in a cool, dark, quiet place.

The 7.4% ale takes its name from the nearby plot of land on which monks first established a small church back in 1835.  According to records it was after this time that these 19th century monks first brewed their own beer for personal consumption.

Drawing on this historical connection, today’s monks set about reviving the abbey’s beer-making tradition after coming to the realisation that their previous source of income, dairy farming, was financially inviable for their needs.

In March 2017 the monastery became a member of the International Trappist Association, and just one of 12 monasteries in the world (6 of which are in Belgium) to have permission to call itself a Trappist brewery. A little over a year later, the fruits of their labour have been welcomed by experts lucky enough to snag a preview. Renowned beer writer Roger Protz, told the BBC the beer was “seriously nice” and should generate “enormous interest” from beer drinkers.

In keeping with Trappist values, every stage of the process, from brewing through to packaging, takes place within the abbey and is carried out by the monks. Even the labels are their own design, based on a twelfth-century Cistercian script developed by an early monk of the community. The label, along with the brewery’s logo, has been sketched using a quill, with the latter’s design inspired by the lancet windows of their church. 

The beer goes on sale Monday 9th July, with proceeds used to fund the monks’ living expenses and support charitable commitments. It can be purchased from UK distributor James Clay, as well as the abbey’s very own on-site shop – easier than trekking all the way to Belgium!

Photo credit: Bier! magazine

World Cup 2018 – Group Stage Fixtures

We are now just days away from the start of the FIFA World Cup 2018, and first up we have the group stages. We’ve highlighted the very important dates for you, and we’ve even made a list of some cracking pubs and bars in your area where you can catch the action. So, all you need to think about is what your first pint will be. C’mon, England!

Thursday 14th June

Russia vs Saudi Arabia (Group A) – Moscow (Luzhniki) – 4pm – ITV

Friday 15th June

Egypt vs Uruguay (Group A) – Ekaterinburg – 1pm – BBC

Morocco vs Iran (Group B) – St Petersburg – 4pm – ITV

Portugal vs Spain (Group B) – Sochi – 7pm – BBC

Saturday 16th June

France vs Australia (Group C) – Kazan – 11am – BBC

Argentina vs Iceland (Group D) – Moscow (Spartak) – 2pm – ITV

Peru vs Denmark (Group C) – Saransk – 5pm – BBC

Croatia vs Nigeria (Group D) – Kaliningrad – 8pm – ITV

Sunday 17th June

Costa Rica vs Serbia (Group E) – Samara – 1pm – ITV

Germany vs Mexico (Group F) – Moscow (Luzhniki) – 4pm – BBC

Brazil vs Switzerland (Group E) – Rostov-on-Don – 7pm – ITV

Monday 18th June

Sweden vs South Korea (Group F) – Nizhny Novgorod – 1pm – ITV

Belgium vs Panama (Group G) – Sochi – 4pm – BBC

Tunisia vs England (Group G) – Volgograd – 7pm – BBC

Tuesday 19th June

Colombia vs Japan (Group H) – Saransk – 1pm – BBC

Poland vs Senegal (Group H) – Moscow (Spartak) – 4pm – ITV

Russia vs Egypt (Group A) – St Petersburg – 7pm – BBC

Wednesday 20th June

Portugal vs Morocco (Group B) – Moscow (Luzhniki) – 1pm – BBC

Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia (Group A) – Rostov-on-Don – 4pm – BBC

Iran vs Spain (Group B) – Kazan – 7pm – ITV

Thursday 21st June

Denmark vs Australia (Group C) – Samara – 1pm – ITV

France vs Peru (Group C) – Ekaterinburg – 4pm – ITV

Argentina vs Croatia (Group D) – Nizhny Novgorod – 7pm – BBC

Friday 22nd June

Brazil vs Costa Rica (Group E) – St Petersburg – 1pm – ITV

Nigeria vs Iceland (Group D) – Volgograd – 4pm – BBC

Serbia vs Switzerland (Group E) – Kaliningrad – 7pm – BBC

Saturday 23rd June

Belgium vs Tunisia (Group G) – Moscow (Spartak) – 1pm – BBC

South Korea vs Mexico (Group F) – Rostov-on-Don – 4pm – ITV

Germany v Sweden (Group F) – Sochi – 7pm – ITV

Sunday 24th June

England vs Panama (Group G) – Nizhny Novgorod – 1pm – BBC

Japan vs Senegal (Group H) – Ekaterinburg – 4pm – BBC

Poland vs Colombia (Group H) – Kazan – 7pm – ITV

Monday 25th June

Uruguay vs Russia (Group A) – Samara – 3pm – ITV

Saudi Arabia vs Egypt (Group A) – Volgograd – 3pm – ITV

Spain vs Morocco (Group B) – Kaliningrad – 7pm- BBC

Iran vs Portugal (Group B) – Saransk – 7pm – BBC

Tuesday 26th June

Denmark vs France (Group C) – Moscow (Luzhniki) – 3pm – ITV

Australia vs Peru (Group C) – Sochi – 3pm – ITV

Nigeria vs Argentina (Group D) – St Petersburg – 7pm – BBC

Iceland vs Croatia (Group D) – Rostov-on-Don – 7pm – BBC

Wednesday 27th June

South Korea vs Germany (Group F) – Kazan – 3pm – BBC

Mexico vs Sweden (Group F) – Ekaterinburg – 3pm – BBC

Serbia vs Brazil (Group E) – Moscow (Spartak) – 7pm – ITV

Switzerland vs Costa Rica (Group E) – Nizhny Novgorod – 7pm – ITV

Thursday 28th June

Japan vs Poland (Group H) – Volgograd – 3pm – BBC

Senegal vs Colombia (Group H) – Samara – 3pm – BBC

England vs Belgium (Group G) – Kaliningrad – 7pm – ITV

Panama vs Tunisia (Group G) – Saransk – 7pm – ITV