World Cup: Group D Breakdown

There’s a big hubbub about Bud going on in (Welcome back) Qatar, so for Group D, let’s talk about booze, baby!

Before we get into the Group D teams, let’s discuss the booze situation.

Marie Antoinette famously said “Let them eat cake,” but Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani of Qatar has no intention of reciprocating with “Let them sip suds.” No beer sales will be allowed inside the soccer stadiums, and beer tents previously set up outside of them have already been moved to out-of-the-way locations. The Sheikh has 3 wives, 13 children, billions of dollars, and 0% ABV.

The 2019 Doha “dry run” of suds

 At a World Cup warmup event in 2019, Qatari Party People (QPP) set up a facility 45 minutes outside of Doha where fans could drink their faces off before being ferried by buses to the stadium. 

…reminds me of a bus trip through the Dominican jungle

Many years ago, on a trip to the Dominican Republic, we were escorted from the airport to the resort in the middle of the night. It was pitch black and through the jungle. A bunch of drunks at the back of the bus had a guitar.

None of them were sober enough to play it, so they regaled us all with “Who let the dogs out”.  At one point, they pulled the bus over. An official said, “Sir, this bus isn’t moving again until you put your pants back on.”

“Sir, this bus isn’t moving again until you put your pants back on.”

– somewhere IN THE DOMINICAN JUNGLE

Everyone on the bus was Canadian, aside from the officials. Let me tell you, Americans do NOT have a monopoly on being “Ugly Americans.”

Qatari Party People seem to be inviting similar events with their “satellite of Buds” nonsense1. Rookies!

Budweiser must be feeling hungover

All of this has Budweiser, the King of Beers, feeling flat. Budweiser pours $75 million into FIFA into every World Cup, a significant part of their advertising budget of $327 million annually. Budweiser spends a lot on Super Bowl advertising. They have been a proud sponsor of the event since it began in 1967 and hurled up $52 million to have their name attached to the 2021 Super Bowl.

I’m no advertising guru, but I suspect that Budweiser is NOT spending that money to sway public opinion on climate change.

Let’s talk about booze, baby

France, Australia, Denmark, and Tunisia make up Group D. The first three will be familiar to people in the Western World. Here’s where Tunisia is located:

Geographically speaking, Tunisia is sandwiched between Libya and Algeria. It is about 200 miles across the Mediterranean from Sicily, which is interesting. I recall reading a book about the history of Libya. One of the key takeaways was that Italy used to refer to Libya as the “4th Italian coast”. When I think of Libya I think of crazy people like Muammar Gaddafi and Hilary Clinton. I’m North American, I can’t help it.

“I feel sorry for people that don’t drink, because when they wake up in the morning, that is the best they are going to feel all day”

-The Chairman of the board

On to the good stuff, you’ve earned it

France is the #2 producer of wine in terms of volume at 37.6 million hectoliters. Surprisingly, Australia is the #5 producer of wine at 14.2 million hectoliters.

In terms of consumption, France drops a spot to #3 at 45 liters of wine per person annually, while Australia holds their own at 30 liters per person. That’s a lot of drunken roos!

Their national drinks of Group D countries are as follows:

France: Pastis an anise-flavoured spirit (40-45% ABV)

Australia: Lemon, lime, and bitters, according to the internet. Gotta be fake news.

Denmark: Akvavit a distilled spirit similar to schnapps. “the dominant flavour must
(according to the European Union) come from a distillate of caraway and/or dill seed.” 40% ABV

Tunisia: Boukha, a fig liquor, also known as “water of life”. Apparently it has complex raisin and spice flavours, and is sometimes used as a salad dressing. BOOZE FOOD!

(The only thing I recall making with booze as an ingredient is French onion soup. The ingredients I used were dark beer, onions, and cheese, so most of the main food groups are covered. Now that winter is upon us and The Boys of Summer have flown home to the Dominican Republic or wherever, maybe I will cook down a batch.)

Prediction: I’ll have a boukah followed up with an akvavit chaser!

1 You might know the Lou Reed song Satellite of Love. Here’s Eurythmics covering it in full 80s splendour.

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