Later this month, all eyes will be on London and the 2012 Olympic Games. Arguably one of the world’s greatest assemblies of international athletes, the Games is a great way to celebrate athletic prowess and culturally diversity. In On Tap fashion, we decided to approach our Olympic coverage by checking out the beers that some of the powerhouse athletes that won at the last Olympics (many of which are competing again this year) might order up at home. But don’t worry – we made sure you can get these landmark brews locally.
After each beer, check the beer availability letters to find out where you can snag one of these brews locally. We tried to offer a DC, MD and VA option. We also encourage you to check out Westover Market in Arlington and their “wall of beer.”
United States of America
Winning the 2008 Olympic gold medal for Basketball, the US “redeem team” dominated in Beijing with a star-studded roster that included notables Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Dwayne Wade.
Considered part of the “good ole’ American pastime” Miller Lite is iconic as the first mainstream light beer and represents the “All-American brew.” Wisconsin made, this popular light lager pours a luscious golden color and is made using choice malted barley and premium hops – so, is it “Miller Time” yet? BCRT
Best known for his lethal left hook and reputation for steamrolling opponents, Italy’s Super Heavyweight, Roberto Cammarelle, took home the gold in 2008 – Watch-out Cammarelle is looking to retain his title in London this summer.
Peroni Nastro Azzurro
Known as the original Italian lager, Peroni is the number one lager brand in Italy. At 5.7% ABV, it’s a crisp, lighter lager that still carries solid flavor. CRT
In the road race category, Britain’s Nicole Cooke battled the elements boasting a climactic win in Beijing, becoming the first woman to win a major championship and the Olympic gold in the same year – a hopeful Cooke plans to defend her Olympic crown in London this summer.
Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale
Fermented in Yorkshire Squares, this creamy, nutty brown ale pours a lush mahogany color. With a balance of roasted malts, and fragrant hops this hearty ale promises a clean, fruity finish and a little taste of jolly old England. BCKRT
Aussie native Matthew Mitcham won the gold for his impeccable 10 m platform dive, and received the highest single-dive score in Olympic history – though the underdog in the upcoming games due to injury he feels confident he can win gold again.
“Australian for Beer”, Fosters Lager is a full bodied beer with excellent drinkability. This frothy light lager serves as the perfect thirst quencher on a blazing hot day. BRT
In the all-around category, the men’s gymnastics team stormed the Beijing stage and grabbed the gold medal uplifting the hometown crowd – be on the look-out for some hefty competition from the Chinese this summer.
This crisp, slightly malty lager, has a nutty sweet taste. Brewed in a German style, the beer uses all natural ingredients including spring water from China’s Laoshan mountain region. BCRT
Specializing in freestyle and the current world record holder, German swimmer Britta Steffen stole the show in Beijing, winning gold in both the 50 and 100 meter freestyle – Britta is aiming for a repeat double win in London.
Brewed from a traditional recipe using ‘fine yeast’ in strict accordance with the Bavarian Purity Law, Erdinger Weissbier pours a fluffy white head and has an unforgettable fruity, wheaty flavor with a tinge of banana sweetness. BKRT
Four-time Olympic champion Anastasiya Yermakova paired up with Anastasia Davydova to take down the gold in synchronized swimming in 2008. Watch-out, this fierce duo is looking to achieve victory again this summer.
Baltika #6 Porter
With a long legacy as one of the most prominent Russian beers, Baltika #6 Porter is brewed according to an ancient English dark beer recipe. At 7% ABV, with a malty, cocoa-coffee flavor this is a medium-full body brew. BRT
Currently the fastest man on the planet and the first male to ever set world records in three sprinting events, Usain Bolt definitely made his home country proud in 2008 – and get this… Bolt says he “intends to emerge from London 2012 as a living legend’.”
Looking for a Jamaican experience Mon? Try Red Stripe! With a slight essence of butterscotch this Jamaican beer provides a smooth lingering sensation that is seriously refreshing, and this is a great session beer. BCRT
With blinding topspin and speedy footwork, tennis icon Rafael Nadal aggressively man-handled opponents and took home the 2008 gold medal in the men’s singles division and – serious as ever, Nadal is committed to retaining his title this summer.
Estrella Damm Daura
Brewed by Spanish beer icon Estrella Damm, Daura is brewed following a process that breaks down the gluten protein in the grains. Made with barley malt that is certified and guaranteed to contain less than 6 PPM gluten, this gluten free beer doesn’t sacrifice taste. BKT
Talk about victory in style, the Brazilian women’s indoor volleyball team played a near perfect round missing only one set as they tore through the competition and took home gold in 2008 – get ready team USA, Brazil is coming back this summer!
Named after the Amazon’s Xingu river and imported from exotic Brazil, Xingu Black is an exceptionally rich and creamy black lager. Voted as the one of the best dark lagers in the world, this brew is a “must try” for any avid beer drinker. BRT
Practically born to wrestle, Steeve Guenot took home the first Olympic gold for France in the men’s Greco-Roman Wrestling since 1936 – and Steeve is ready to “show off his stuff” at the games this summer.
Brasseries Kronenbourg 1664
Named after the year the Hatt family, the brewery’s founders, first started commercial brewing, 1664 has a dark crisp finish and golden highlights. Made with select malts and exclusive yeast, this light-bodied brew remains the top selling beer in France. BRT
Oh, Lionel, you make it look so easy… International phenomenon Lionel Messi led the fiercely competitive Argentinean team to victory in Beijing and took down the gold. Sorry fans, sadly, Argentina is sitting out this summer’s games. I guess we’ll have to feed our Messi addiction some other way.
Quilmes Red Lager
Quilmes lager combines three types of toasted malts to yield a beer with a crisp, even finish. This Vienna – style lager has aromas of caramel and butterscotch and a slightly hoppy taste. BRT
B - Bier Baron: Boasting a fine selection of over 500 bottled beers from around the world, the newly renovated Bier Baron (formerly The Brickseller) proudly celebrates a passion for beer. Look for this DC institution located just one block from Dupont Metro station at 1523 22nd St. NW, DC; 202-293-1885; www.bierbarondc.com.
C – Chevy Chase Beer & Wine: Family owned, neighborhood friendly, and the oldest in Bethesda, Bethesda Chevy Chase Beer and Wine carries 200 types of beer. Find them tucked away off 4701 Miller Ave. Bethesda, MD; 301-913-0042; www.bccbeerwine.com.
K – ChurchKey: Meticulously conceived out of love for beer in all its facets, ChurchKey offers 555 labels of beer and expert staff to guide you through them. Find them at 1337 14th St. NW, DC; 202-567-2576; www.churchkeydc.com.
R - R.F.D: Known as the world of beer in the heart of the city, RFD is code for B-E-E-R. RFD offers over 300 bottled beers from around the world, a patio dining area and super convenient Verizon Center area location. Find them at 810 7th St. NW, DC; 202-289-2030; www.lovethebeer.com.
T - Total Wine and More: Don’t let the name fool you, Total Wine and More carries an incredible 2,500+ beers. With several NoVa locations to choose from, find the one nearest you online at www.totalwine.com.