World Cup of Beer: Knockout stage
So now we enter the knockout stage of Page 2's 2010 World Cup of Beer. After taking a week to review each of the groups (Group A, Group B + C, Group D + E, Group F, Group G + H) we've cut the field in half and we are left with the following beer bracket.
Note that we followed the same group layout as the one FIFA drew up for the teams competing in South Africa. Some interesting matchups abound so feel free to knock one back as we review the knockout stage below. Also feel free to spout off in our comment area should your fury flow over.
Knockout stage -- 16-beer bracket
MATCH No. 1
Seeding: 1A vs. 2B
Competitors: MEXICO (Dos Equis) vs. ARGENTINA (Quilmes)
The skinny: The "Most Interesting Man in the World" vs. the real-life "Most Interesting Man in the World" (aka Diego Maradona)
Winner: MEXICO (Dos Equis)
MATCH No. 2
Seeding: 1C vs. 2D
Competitors: UNITED STATES (Yuengling) vs. SERBIA (Jelen Pivo)
The skinny: Battle of the "J"-sounding beers
Notes: After finishing runner-up in a similar competition hosted by a German magazine in 2006, the lager-loving Serbs get surprised by the U.S. upstarts in Page 2's beer bracket.
Winner: UNITED STATES (Yuengling)
MATCH No. 3
Seeding: 1E vs. 2F
Competitors: NETHERLANDS (Heineken) vs. SLOVAKIA (Zlaty Bazant)
The skinny: Battle of the Heineken brands
Notes: As it turns out Zlaty Bazant was recently purchased by Heineken International. The Golden Pheasant (translation of Zlaty Bazant) is good but in the end it is no match for Heineken's golden goose.
Winner: NETHERLANDS (Heineken)
MATCH No. 4
Seeding: 1G vs. 2H
Competitors: PORTUGAL (Super Bock) vs. SWITZERLAND (Cardinal)
The skinny: Battle of the Cardinals (Cardinal jersey-wearing country vs. Cardinal beer)
Notes: Disappointing Swiss fans looking for some divine intervention (perhaps they were hoping for their own "Hand of God"), Super Bock stands tall and wins out.
Winner: PORTUGAL (Super Bock)
MATCH No. 5
Seeding: 1D vs. 2C
Competitors: GERMANY (Spaten) vs. ENGLAND (Boddingtons)
The skinny: Battle of the Heavyweights (This could easily be a final ... similar to what we might now see with a possible Brazil/Spain knockout match.)
Winner: ENGLAND (Boddingtons)
MATCH No. 6
Seeding: 1B vs. 2A
Competitors: NIGERIA (Guinness Foreign Extra Stout) vs. FRANCE (Kronenbourg)
The skinny: Ireland's Revenge
Notes: After the huge brouhaha following Thierry Henry's handball, Ireland in a way exacts revenge by way of Nigeria.
Winner: NIGERIA (Guinness Foreign Extra Stout)
MATCH No. 7
Seeding: 1F vs. 2E
Competitors: ITALY (Moretti) vs. DENMARK (Carlsberg Elephant)
The skinny: Battle of the European Peninsulas (OK it is a stretch but who will get the boot?)
Notes: Hats off to Moretti (its logo features a gentleman wearing a cap), which takes out the strong Elephant beer that looked like it had the stuff to make a run in South Africa.
Winner: ITALY (Moretti)
MATCH No. 8
Seeding: 1H vs. 2G
Competitors: CHILE (Kunstmann) vs. BRAZIL (Antartica)
The skinny: Battle of "Chilly" (Chilean beer vs. the Brazilian beer adorned with penguins)
Notes: Kunstmann continues to shake things up as it takes out its South American rivals. Antartica might have better luck next time as Brazil hosts the next World Cup in 2014.
Winner: CHILE (Kunstmann)
Shane Igoe is a sports and entertainment writer based in Los Angeles. He can be reached via his Twitter page.