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World Cup 2018: ones to watch (and beers to watch with!)

Beers of the Month

Football? Check. Beer? Check. Ok, our weekly armchair predictions on must-watch World Cup matches might not be 100% accurate, but we can at least promise some spot-on craft beer picks...

Our World Cup Special boxes contain 10 glorious craft beers to get your fridge nicely stocked up over the next few weeks.

Now for those all-important football matches to drink them with.

 Week 2 World Cup games to watch

Brazil vs. Costa Rica - Brazil disappointed in their first game as a plucky Switzerland side forced a deserved draw. Costa Rica lost narrowly to Serbia but we can't see them causing a similar upset as they did to Scotland back in 1990 (sorry couldn't resist!). Time for Brazil to show their quality.

England vs. Panama - For once, the script contained an extra twist in England's first game versus Tunisia.  Predictably, England started well, conceded a slightly soft goal, laboured for the rest of the game against limited opposition but, this time, they also managed to scrape a late winner.  Time for Harry Kane and co. to set a marker against another weak opponent and secure progress beyond the group stages.

Japan vs. Senegal - Forget Germany v Sweden in Group F (surely the Germans come good this time?). This game pits the two previously un-fancied group H leaders against each other.  Both could yet get eliminated if Poland and Columbia draw and win their final games but a decisive result probably sees one of these unlikely nations through to the knock-out stages.

>> Beer of the week: an energetic tastebud tingler for the England game build-up in the form of Hackney's Push Eject!

>> More beers like this: check out our World Cup Special boxes

Week 1 World Cup games to watch

Portugal vs. Spain - this could be an amazing display of attacking football from 2 of Europe's finest footballing... or they could just neutralise each other and it turn into a no-score-bore-draw!  Either way, one of the games of the first round.

Argentina vs. Iceland - the heroes, or villains, of Euro 2016 take on the villains of World Cup 1986.  Iceland are the world's second favourite team, so lets hope they can frustrate Messi and co., in the same way they did Ronaldo's Portugal 2 years ago (I went to that game - sitting with the Iceland fans in St. Etienne is one of the greatest footballing moments of my life!).

Germany vs. Mexico - our first glimpse of the World Champions, as they take on Mexico.  The Mexicans are a decent side, but can they overcome the might and consistency of Germany?  Probably not, but should be a good game!

>> Beer of the week to match: Peckham Pils makes for an old-school accompaniment from Brick Brewery

>> Love a lager? You'll need our craft lager box


Did we mention we do beer? Get into the World Cup spirit with a Hoppily box. Our World Cup Special boxes are great for enjoying a couple of games with friends and family. Choose between our craft lager box or our modern mix of craft beers.

>> Plus, more from our blog: 
a World Cup-inspired look at beers from around the globe

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World Cup 2018: beer styles from around the world

Beers of the Month

The return of the World Cup has got me thinking about different beers and styles from around the globe. Here’s a round-the-world tour of craft beers to inspire your tastebuds while you’re watching the tournament. 

We've just launched a couple of handpicked World Cup Special boxes - 10 glorious craft beers to get your fridge nicely stocked up over the next few weeks.


1. Euro lagers

Let's start with the most obvious example of influence from around the globe - Europe and lager. From Pilsner, through Helles, all the way to the kolsch, we have a lot to thank our friends from Germany and the Czech Republic for. The perfect summer drink, you can’t beat a few ice cold lagers in front of the football. 

A personal favourite of mine is the Cologne staple - Kolsch - a beautifully pale, crisp, light lager, with an almost sweet aftertaste. Kolsch was a well-deserved saviour when exploring beautiful Cologne mid-summer. 

There are some great kolsch inspired beers being brewed on our shores - with Hackney Lager from Hackney Brewery and Champion Kolsch from Canopy leading the way.


2. IPLs and Pils

As with all great styles, there are infinite variations and one of the recent lager-styles we’ve seen most prominently over the last year or so is the IPL (Indian Pale Lager) - a hopped lager, providing more body and little bitterness to give a more complex and interesting flavour. 

One of our favourites is the Untraditional Lager by Pillars Brewery - they only brew lagers, so you trust they know what they’re doing!  If you can find them – their experimental Chocolate Orange Black lager and new Rebel Helles are definitely worth a try too! 

A hat-tip to Villages’ Whilstle, Brick’s Peckham Pils & Five Points’ Pils too - they’re all fantastic Pilsners worthy of mention - but sadly the Czech’s aren’t the same team since Karel Poborksy retired (Ed. Crikey how old do you think our audience is? Since Pavel Nedved retired maybe?), and failed to qualify for the World Cup this year!

3. Belgian beers

Moving on to Belgium, a country famed for its beer and influence on brewing - just like the Belgium football team, however, some see them as a bit ‘hit and miss’ and struggle with the unique flavours of Belgian styles! 

First stop is the saison and farmhouse styles - unlike many more familiar styles, the flavour in a saison does not predominantly come from the hops or malt, but from the yeast used. 

The use of yeast is really important to getting that ubiquitous Belgian flavour - and there are some great examples of Belgian style beers being brewed at the Solvay Society (unsurprisingly, head brewer Roman is Belgian) - we loved their Belgian take on classic styles, especially Coulomb, a saison and Superposition, a session IPA/Witbier crossover.

4. Sour beers

Turning our attention to the rise in popularity of sour beers in the UK over the last few years, let’s look at Lambic style beers that originate in Belgium (including beers like Kriek and Gueze). 

Lambic styles are hundreds of years old and the brewing process is aligned to wine making as much a beer making.  Rather wonderfully, Lambic beers are ‘spontaneously’ fermented, using natural airborne yeast to ferment the beer, meaning there is something magic about the whole process, that science can’t replicate. 

This process produces a tart, sour beer that divides opinion between beer drinkers across the world.  With the addition of some sour cherries, Kriek is born and this is a real favourite of mine.

5. German sours

Quickly skipping back to Germany, Gose beer is a lighter beer than a Lambic and a great introduction to sour beers (Note: tbh, I thought Gose was Belgian too!  But, as they often do in the World Cup, Germany has the last word...) - using spices such as coriander, citrusy, tart fruits, and brewed with salt, it provides a sharp hit of flavour. 

A really great example of this style has been produced as part of Moncada’s limited edition Blueprint series - their Apricot Gose is a sharp but refreshing beer, another one great cold in the sun. 

And whilst we're back in Germany, I should probably mention Berliner Weisse - which has also grown in popularity over recent times, like the Gose, it has a sourness not usually associated with German beers and in traditional Berlin pubs (I sampled this Berlin's oldest pub no less!), it comes topped up with green (watermelon) or red (raspberry) syrup, which makes it look more like WKD than beer! 

Putting the colour aside, it's a tasty sour treat, and a must if you're in Berlin.  If you fancy trying something new and challenging - you should definitely jump on the sours wagon; we’ve loved the range from Brick over the last year or so - especially their Citrus Sour and Rhubarb Berliner Weisse.

And the rest...

There are many other fantastic beers I could mention – German altbiers, heffeweizen, dunkels and rauchsbier, Belgian dubbels, trippels and Trappist beer, bocks from across Europe (again they originate in Germany!), the many amazing breweries in Denmark (Mikkeller and Tool are making some amazing beer)…but I think that might be for another blog in future!

Before bidding adieu, just an honourable mention for another couple of countries who didn’t make this year’s tournament in Russia. 

Whilst their footballing prowess might be lacking, you can’t knock the American’s beer making skills, particularly the amazing hoppy pales they’ve been brewing for the last decade or so.  Where would we be without all the US hops that have invaded our shores?!  All hail Citra! 

And probably the biggest surprise of all is the failure of the Italians - this is the first time they’ve not qualified. 

Manned by four Italians, our friends at Brewheadz are one of the most exciting new breweries in London - I’m sure a few Fired Up Donkeys will drown their sorrows this time round!  We also love the beers from another group of Italians, ORA Beer - particularly their Balsamic Milk Stout; it’s an absolute stunning beer.

Why not get into the World Cup spirit with a Hoppily box? Our World Cup Special box is great for enjoying a couple of games with friends or commiserating England losing (again!)

>> Plus, more from our blog: our weekly round-up of match predictions and beery accompaniments

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Home brew – is it all that? (Part 2)

Home Brew

Part 1 - the Brew

By @SimonNead_ @HoppilyUK

So, this is the easy bit!  Just got to decant the IPA in to bottles, leave for two weeks and drink! Cheers!

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The Homebrew IPA

Cooking with Beer -  Christmas Chocolate Brownies

Beer & Food

Having worked in various private schools the past few years and knowing that the pupils wouldn’t eat Christmas pudding with their Christmas lunch, my fall-back dessert was a Christmas chocolate brownie - I’ve made tonnes of the stuff! 

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What we've been drinking...November 2017 Beers of the Month

Craft Beer, Beers of the Month

Another month down and Christmas is just around the corner - so here is our monthly round up of the beers we've been drinking!  It's been a busy November at Hoppily HQ - with Black Friday & Cyber Monday offers and a whole host of events that we've appeared at (keep your eyes peeled to see us throughout December too!).  You've probably noticed a few new breweries have been represented in your last couple of Hoppily boxes; the good news is we've got some more great beers from new breweries planned as we head into 2018.  This month's selection come from 2 breweries we've stocked before (Enefeld and Brick) and 2 new ones to Hoppily (One Mile End & Gipsy Hill).

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Home brew – is it all that?

Home Brew

Part 1 - the Brew

By @SimonNead_ @HoppilyUK

Home brew, that’s just a tin of malt that you mix in hot water, add some yeast and bottle, right? Just a couple of different types – generic bitters and ales.

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Home Brew Part 1.png

Cooking with Beer - Bonfire Night special - Chilli con Porter

Beer & Food

Bonfire night, Guy Fawkes, fireworks and parties.  A lot of different things come to mind when you think of the 5th of November.

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What we've been drinking...October 2017 Beers of the Month

Craft Beer, Beers of the Month


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Hoppily….a little bit of beer tasting!

Beer & Food

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Some interesting events in October & November

Hoppily on the Road

Whilst we love drinking the beers from our Hoppily boxes at home – sometimes we go out too! These are some of the events that are coming up in the next few weeks that we think might pique your beery interests – and who knows; you might see us there as well!

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