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  • The Away Day Beer Challenge

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    November 1st, 2012grahamlargeBeer and travel

    Football is mostly about what happens during the game, but if you ask anyone who goes to away games regularly they will tell you it’s more about what takes place outside of the match.

    The 2011-12 football season was a fairly disastrous one for Wolverhampton Wanderers, culminating in their relegation from the Premier League. However for three of their loyal supporters, it wasn’t a complete disaster.

    Friends Russ, Darb, and Graham decided to start a ritual for away games involving another passion of theirs; drinking beer.

    Let’s face it, travelling up and down the country every other week by train can be quite monotonous, so the lads always took along a few cans of beer for the journey.

    One week, Darb decided to do something a little bit different and brought a long an assortment of international beers for the lads to get stuck into. In sheer amazement with the selection on offer, Russ suggested “Stick a picture of the bottle label up on Twitter, and see if anyone can guess the nationality.”

    As a result, the Away Day Beer Challenge was born.

    From here on, the lads have taken it in turns to find beers from across the world to sup on their travels. There have been the odd exceptions to the rule, where a bottle of (readily available) Cusqueña or Cobra has made an appearance, but usually it is a mixture of the weird and the wonderful.

    “We hired a limo bus to take us to the Arsenal away game during the Christmas period, and I knew I had to do something special to go with the occasion.” said Graham. “I popped in my local one night and noticed Hobsons Brewery were offering ale in 18-pint polypins (beer-in-a-box) for the festive period. The box got warped quickly, so there we were, travelling to Islington, pouring auburn coloured liquid out of what looked like a catheter bag! I’m glad the windows were blacked out.”

    Since the challenge started, the lads have consumed beer from all over the world; including Kenya, Estonia, Ukraine, Iceland, Nigeria, Norway, Japan, Laos, Mauritius and most recently Corsica. A photo of the label is taken, and posted to Twitter, where it is developing a cult following, along with the hashtag #awaydaybeerchallenge.

    It’s not only about the international beers, a few real ale pubs are visited upon arrival at their destination. The Unicorn Inn in Hanley, No Sign Bar in Swansea, Huddersfield’s The Sportsman and The Scarborough Hotel opposite Leeds Station have all received high acclaim.

    Wherever the destination you are guaranteed to find these guys supping beer en-route to watch their football team, and keeping their twitter following greatly entertained.

    “Graham is better known as @graham_large and started enjoying beer about 11 years ago. His fascination with Beers Of The World has only strengthened since working in conjunction with a bottle label manufacturer. When not drinking beer, Graham is found writing various football features for his website It’s Round and It’s White
    and is currently writing his first book.”

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