By Dan Wiersema / Founder, Free Beer Movement
As an American craft beer drinker there’s really no better symbol for U.S-Canadian beer relations than the classic 1995 film, "Canadian Bacon". The premise is that a faltering U.S. President dreams up a plan to make Canada our new enemy.
The whole conflict begins when American, John Candy, attending a Canadian hockey game, after a string of anti-Canadian statements by him and his friends, belts out, "I'll tell ya another thing: their beer sucks!
The crowd stops and turns toward Candy, as do the players, and a huge riot breaks out. Eventually the incident boils into a full-blown international incident.
Candy was mostly likely referring to one of their macro-beers such as Molson’s or Labatt’s, but when craft beer is compared we’re certain that:
"Their beer STILL sucks!"
Now both American AND Canadian craft beer has come a long way since 1995 and we mostly say that to get a rise out of any Canuck that might wander onto this post, but when compared head-to-head American craft beer, like pretty much anything when compared to Canada, comes out on top.
How much does the United States dominate in craft beer? Consider Beer Advocate’s list of top 250 beers. A Canadian brewery, Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel’s Peche Mortel (an AMERICAN Double Stout), doesn’t arrive until the 43rd spot and a second one, Unibroue’s La Fin Du Monde (a Belgian Tripel), shows up in 70th place. Granted Canadian craft beers are hard to come by and harder to rate, but still…
WE’RE NUMBER ONE AND NUMBER TWO AND NUMBER THREE AND NUMBER FOUR…… AND WE’RE NUMBER 42!
You get the idea.
So what’s a full-of-patriotism, rub-it-in-Canada’s-face American soccer and craft beer fan to drink for today’s international friendly?
We’re going to recommend a beer style that plays on the former plan the United States military held in the early 1930s to invade Canada in the event of a war with Great Britain: War Plan Red. Once World War II broke out and the British (and by extension, the Canadians) and the U.S. were all allies the plan was shelved, but not de-classified until 1974. Canadians have always been suspicious of an U.S invasion; as they should be since we’ve tried (and failed) three times and apparently harbor some fears to this day.
American soccer and craft beer fans… arm yourself with a red ale!
A few for you to seek out:
1) Tröegs Brewing Company (Hersey, PA) "Nugget Nectar" – Very hoppy. Just hoppy enough to perhaps jump across the border. Plus, it’s got an umlaut in the name so Jurgen will like that.
2) AleSmith Brewing Co. (San Diego, CA) "Evil Dead" – Nothing says American like having Bruce Campbell introduce Canada to his "boom stick".
3) Saint Arnold (Houston, TX) "Amber Ale" – Go red. Go local. Go USA!
Can’t find any of these "red" beers?
Unless you're a hipster, you want to see soccer grow in America and what better way than the Free Beer Movement. Check it out and practice it.