PITCH & PINT – EPISODE 8: Back in the Saddle
(0.0)Episode 8 of Pitch & Pint Podcast, being recorded on Tuesday September 11, 2018. Back in the Saddle
(7.6) Hello and welcome to episode 8 of Pitch & Pint. My name is Stephen, your host, you can find me @6thGoal on Twitter. Today we look ahead to Gameweek 5 of the Premier League, fill our pint glass with some craft beer as we come out the international break and some time away, well sort of…from all things FPL.
(24.97) The last 10 days or so have been spent away from things FPL. I have written a few articles, posted at 6thgoal.com. You can read The Great Kane Robbery, discussing a strategy to introduce Kane. Meant for those on wild card, but also meant for those who might put together a multi-week plan to get him in.
The other article, International Break: Wild Card? goes through each position, looking at players with potential and those who should be avoided. Good response to both articles, then again, it was the international break, a time many managers were wanting anything to grasp on to.
As for today, here’s what we have on top.
WHAT’S ON TAP?
(57.38) We will go through each of the 20 teams, look at their upcoming four fixtures and provide opinions on the viable FPL assets. I’ll pour and review another craft beer from the mini-fridge and give you the xSS and xH, think of these like the xG and xA of craft beer. A new feature debuting this week will be the 4-pack of the week, one player from each position, who is low owned, affordable and a good punt or the week. Finally, I’ll give you my CPT (Captain/Punt/Transfer) selections and look over my GW5 squad.
To kick things off, let’s review of our first, beer of the week for GW5.
FPL GAMEWEEK 5 BEER OF THE WEEK
(1:31) Today from Michigan, land of 1000 lakes, comes Bells Brewery and their Two-Heart Ale, touted as the “best beer in America” for the second straight year by Zymurgy Magazine, the official magazine of the Brewers Association for small and independent craft brewers.
Larry Bell incorporated The Kalamazoo Brewing Company, Inc., in 1983 as a home-brewing supply shop. In 1985, it began to sell its own beer, producing 135 barrels in its first year. These first batches of beer were brewed in a 15-US-gallon (57 L) soup kettle and fermented in open fermenters covered with plastic wrap.
The brewery today consists of two separate brewing facilities, the original Kalamazoo Avenue facility, and the state-of-the-art Krum Avenue brewery, in Comstock, Michigan, which opened in 2003. The Kalamazoo Avenue brewery is adjacent to its pub—Bell’s Eccentric Cafe—and a General Store which sells Bell’s beer and apparel, as well as homebrewing supplies.
Ground was broken in April 2011 as construction began for a new production facility in Comstock, Michigan. The facility opened in May 2012 and increased the company’s brewing capacity from 180,000 barrels to 500,000 barrels per year. The new facility is equipped with state of the art brewing technology, including an expanded grain-handling system and a 200-barrel brewing system. The grain system allows brewers to mill 2,000 lbs of grain in approximately 4 minutes, versus the old system which took an hour to mill the same amount.
In 2013 Bell’s Brewery officially announced their sister brewery, Upper Hand Brewery. Larry Bell had always dreamed of opening a brewery in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan, which pay tribute to the U.P. in their names and label artwork.
As of September 13, 2015, Bell’s celebrated 30 year of inspired brewing. To commemorate the occasion, Bell’s brewed their 30th Anniversary Ale, an American Imperial Stout.
Truly one of the best craft brewers in American
Now let’s pop the top on this 12-ounce bottle of Two-Hearted Ale
[BEER TOP OPENING SOUNDS]
(3:25) From the brewery’s commercial notes. Two Hearted is brewed with 100% Centennial hops from the Pacific Northwest and named after the Two Hearted River in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, this IPA is bursting with hop aromas ranging from pine to grapefruit from massive hop additions in both the kettle and the fermenter.
Perfectly balanced with a malt backbone and combined with the signature fruity aromas of Bell’s house yeast, this beer is remarkably drinkable and well suited for adventures everywhere.
(3:52) POUR: Two Hearted pours a slightly cloudy golden orange with a nice complex and silky 2-finger white head that deposits some excellent creamy lacing.
SMELL: The aroma is an inviting a mix of citrus including grapefruit and orange with a potpourri of florals and a bitter pine sap.
TASTE: The first sip starts off with toasted cookie malt followed by the floral and fruity hops including grapefruit, finishing with caramel and earthy grass notes. Bitterness is well balanced, finishing with a lingering caramel and floral note. Clean with a long oily, bitter finish.
This is a quintessential IPA brewed by Bell’s a must have for those beer fans who enjoy a solid IPA. While not as big as some we see in California, there is a lot to be said about Two Hearted. Beer Advocate have 14k reviews and an overall score of 4.27, while Untapped has 454k check ins, with a rating of 3.98
Now, with our beer of the week poured, it’s time to run down each Premier League team
20 TEAM REVIEWS
(4:21) Now let’s run down each of the teams for the upcoming block of games. That equates to 4 games, before we get to the second international break.
Instead of running down in alphabetical order, I will cover each team based on their current standing in the Premier League table.
- (5:02) Liverpool 4-0-0: Perfect on the season, Liverpool have been excellent to date. The addition of Alisson in goal, minus his foot folly in the last game to concede their first goal, Pool have been excellent. A league leading 3 clean sheets, but they have tough games ahead of them due to Champions League and League Cup action. Arguably the toughest run for the Reds all season MUN/wol/ARS/mci, with PSG and Chelsea. Still like the Liverpool assets going forward, even with 172k managers moving off Salah, while 183k have transferred Mane in. FPL managers worried about the upcoming run for Liverpool feeling assets at Chelsea are more preferred. Andrew Roberts (6.0) is still a viable option, as are the midfieldders; Salah, Mane and my pick, James Milner. Firmino might be hitting stride as he scored his first goal in GW4, as well as one during the friendly, 3 returns in 4 at 9.5, does give managers something else to think about.
- (5:15) Chelsea 4-0-0: They haven’t won pretty under Sarri, but they are perfect on the season with 10 goals scored. Hazard (10.7) has returned in all four games and many managers jumping off Salah are moving to Hazard, who’s seen 199k transfers in. Personally, if you can’t afford Hazard, Pedro (6.7) is still a viable option, 3 goals scored in 4. Some are still concerned the Spaniard might not get all the starts with Willian around. Defensively, Marcos Alonso (6.7) is a must, not for just the the next 4, but for the season, 1 goal and 5 assists, he’s been excellent on the season. I don’t buy Kante (5.0), his cheap for a reason, because he isn’t a threat at scoring, even if he is a strong passer of the ball. He will play off 90, on a regular basis, but there are better offensive options out there. Chelsea aren’t in Champions League, but face PAOK in Europa League and have CAR/whu/LIV/sou in their next 4.
- (7:09) Watford 4-0-0: The Hornets have been the surprise team early on, defying the bookies and pundits, they came into the break defeating Spurs but face MUN/ful/ars/BOU out of the break. I favor them in all those fixtures too! Many mangers buying into Jose Holebas, bought by 227k on the back of 4 assists and a goal. He is a budget buy that could continue to see some excellent returns on dead balls and corners. In the midfield, keep an eye on the return of Gerard Deulofeu, now down to 5.4 could be golden with the success Watford is having. Roberto Pereyra (6.3) is still viable, at least at home, even though he didn’t return against Spurs. Watch Will Hughes (5.0), as he should move back into a central role and step up his involvement in the offense with the return of Deulofeu. I love the spirit and team unity, and the center pairing of Cathcart and Kabasele are 4.5 options, just don’t expect many goals from either.
- (7:59) Manchester City 3-1-0: Not perfect on the season but leading the league with 11 goals. It’s been disappointing, defensively to see City giving up 1 goal to teams like Huddersfield, Wolves and Newcastle. Ederson is no longer looking like a sure thing at 5.5 if City keeps letting a goal in. Ben Mendy (6.2) on the other hand is another must own. Like Alonso, the Frenchman is having an amazing start to the season with 5 assists in a very advanced position. Laporte (5.5) is the easy way into the defense, if you can’t afford Mendy. The midfield is still a big question mark. Until KDB returns, I am favoring David Silva (8.5) to pull the strings and get the majority of the starts. Sterling is still too expensive at 11.0 as is Mahrez at 8.8. Bernardo Silva (7.6), the budget darling has a groin injury. Up front Aguero boasts a 51.5% ownership. Another must own at this point, IF he hits and you don’t have him, could see a red on that fact alone. City have FUL/car/BHA/liv in the next 4, Lyon in the Champions League and Oxford United in the League Cup.
- (9:20) Spurs 3-0-1: In the absence of Son, Lucas Moura has burst on the scene at 7.3 as a player many managers are after. On the back of 256k transfers in, there could be some question as to his playing time when Son returns. 3 goals, 1 assist and his position has been a big ahead of Harry Kane. Speaking of the 12.5 center man, I made an argument to get him in, as I feel the upcoming run of games featuring LIV/bha/hud/CAR are primed for Kane to do what he does best. SCORE. The numbers, say otherwise. Could take surgery to get him into a team that has Salah. Still not hot on Eriksen 9.4 or Alli 9.1 as both haven’t lived up their prices. Defensively, it’s big money to buy into their backs, with Trippier leading the way at the attacking end. But with just 1 CS, there are some better options out there, but the upcoming run after LIV could signal a change and emphasis to bring in a defender. Alderweireld is down to 5.9 and could be viable as well.
- (10:24) Bournemouth 2-1-1: Another surprise team at the top of the table, more for the offense generated rather than a defense. Steve Cook (4.6) has been the big defender, but most of his points came in one game. Not high on their defensive assets, even if they look good on paper. Ake at 5.0? Nope, don’t buy into the Cherries rearguard. Ryan Fraser (5.6) is another one that is a head scratcher. He gets 90 minutes per game and has returned a 1 goal and assist but nothing in the last 2 games. The fixtures say the Cherries could keep up the winning ways facing LEI/bur/CRY/wat in the next 4. Why not make it a trifecta, Callum Wilson, returns in 3 of 4 games, but no return headed into the break. Nearly 140k new managers have bought into him during the break, at 6.2 I just don’t have the confidence to keep up this scoring threat. He currently represents value, if you believe he will continue to overperform.
- (11:18) Everton 1-3-0: Perfect with not a loss on the season, minus that of their 44 million wonderkid, Richarlison (6.6) , who’s served his 3-game ban. I’ll be curious to see how his mentality is in GW6, as the Toffees face ARS. Theo Walcott (6.8) screwed many managers who brought him in as a Rich replacement, only to leave ahead of 60 minutes injured. While he still carries a caution sign, he could be set for the home game against WHU, a team at the bottom of the table, unable to stop anyone. Up front Cenk Tosun (7.0) has been very quiet, 2 assists, not worth the investment to date. Defensively, Pickford at 5.0 is too expensive for a team in a run of good fixtures with no clean sheets. An injury to Michael Keane (4.9) doesn’t help, but Digne (4.8) could be good value if he gets more playing time. Everton have WHU/ars/FUL/lei out of the break
- (12:16) Leicester City 2-0-2: It’s a Foxes side that have put together a respectable start and look to get off to the best run of the year through GW15, facing only ARS away in GW9. I am backing Leicester to put some wins on the board on the back of good defensive playing with Jamie Vardy (8.9) returning up front. The midfield of James Maddison (6.5) and and Demarai Gray (5.5) have managers considering. Rachid Ghezzal (5.3) netted in GW4 for his first on the season, he looks to be the real deal, but will he get the playing time, as a Mahrez replacement. Defensively, depending on what you have to spend, both Ricardo Pereira (5.1) and Ben Chilwell (5.0) are strong options to consider, I tap Chilwell as a slightly better option.
- (13:00) Arsenal 2-0-2: Great talent, 2 wins, but not sure I really like what Emery is bringing to the table for fantasy managers. Lots of question marks surrounding Ramesey (7.4), Mkhitaryan (7.1) and Ozil (8.3) in the midfield. Up front, we know Aubameyang will be a regular starter at 11.0, but his got just one goal from GW4. Does he pair better with Lacazette starting? 9.4 is a lot of budget to splash if he isn’t going to get regular playing time. But to date, he’s been the best attacking option for Arsenal. Guenzouzi has been a solid option at 4.5, as a playing midfielder. Defensively, this team is a mess. No clean sheets an old man in goal, who has no feet skills and Bernd Leno (4.8) on the bench waiting for his time. It’s been Monreal (5.5) and Bellerin (5.4) on the offensive end, but again, the Gunners haven’t stopped any team from scoring, conceding 8 goals, an average of 2 a goal through 4.
- (13:54) Manchester United 2-0-2: Maybe I should have left it misspelled, Manchester Untied, as this team is still in turmoil. Jose appears to be doing everything right to keep his job, but I feel the problems are deeply rooted. I like watching his brand of football, but it doesn’t appear to be winning many games to start this season. Start with the defense, a defense that posted 18 CS last season, has just 1 to start the season, a CS away to Burnley in GW4. Luke Shaw had been a hit with many managers, dunno why, as I thought he was overpriced and not really looking like a strong asset on the back of a single goal, given the chance and vote of confidence from Jose. Now his injured with a concussion, which means Ashley Young (5.8) should get his left wing spot back. I feel that will help, coupled with Valencia (6.5) on right. But the center pairing is a nightmare! Just can’t back any defensive assets, even in favorable fixtures out of the break; wat/WOL/whu/NEW. Up front, Lukaku (11.) is still a flat track bully and overpriced. Recorded his first and probably only brace of the season against Burnley. It’s 3 goals on the season, but until this team is sorted out, I would rather go with a higher ceiling in Aubameyang at the same price. The midfield, not for me. Pogba, Lingard and Sanchez look elsewhere.
- (15:14) Wolves 1-2-1: Got to give them a pure watch in GW4 and they are impressive, now I see what many who followed them in the Championship saw. They are exciting and coming into a good run with BUR/mun/SOU/cry out of the break and good fixtures through GW10. Rui Patricio, didn’t start well, but looked world class against WHU, I feel he is the best 4.5 to own and could mix saves with some clean sheets. Defensively, Ryan Bennett is the most highly owned, but there is question he could be losing his job to Dendoncker. I believe I heard or read that correctly. Boly (4.5) with his Hand of God audition, is the highest score defender, could be worth a shout as a 5th. The midfield is a good group, but none that have been overly impressive. I have liked watching Mouthino (5.4) and Costa (4.9) but they haven’t represented much in attacking returns, 1 assist combined. Many managers still unhappy with Jota (6.2), while Neves (5.2) is the preferred option at 24.8% owned. If you need a sub 6 million forward, Raul Jimenez at 5.5 could be an option. Looked good vs WHU but couldn’t get the ball from under his feet.
- (16:26) Southampton 1-1-2: Southampton’s problem, they haven’t been scoring, but many are quickly taking to Danny Ings (5.6) who’s score 2 goals and has some sounds stats to back his play. Fixtures are mixed over the next 4; BHA/liv/wol/CHE and feel the Saints will continue to struggle on the pitch. I like the look of Vestergaard and So’ton have 2 CS on the season. McCarthy has 20 saves on the season and 3 BPS. Defensively, I am still avoiding this bunch, including Cedric (4.4), who picked his first assist in GW4. Not a very attractive team none of the midfielders have me looking their direction.
- (17:06) Fulham 1-1-2: Here’s another team I feel will be relegated this season, but not based on their currently form, which is actually pretty good. At the moment, it’s really down to just two attacking players in Mitrovic (6.7) and Schurrle (5.9). Some also point to the fact that Seri (5.4) is the current budget option in midfield, while Cairney (4.9) is still sidelined with an ankle injury. Mitrovic has 4 goals in 4 games and has been transferred in my 300k managers. Hopefully they do understand Fulham travel to the Etihad to play City in GW5. Not sure that’s a transfer I make ahead of City. Seessegnon still doesn’t appeal at 6.3, nor do any of the defenders. Mawson at 5.0, might be one to keep an eye. Next 4 for the Cottagers mci/WAT/eve/ARS.
- (17:56) Brighton 1-1-2: As little faith that I have in Fulham, I have more with the Seagulls on 4 points over 4 games. Gotta look up top at Father Time, Glenn Murray, he continues to net for Brighton, coming off a brace in GW4 with 3 goals on the season. What makes this even more impressive, the fact that Pascal Gross (6.9) has seen limited minutes with just 1 goal on the season and fighting fitness with an ankle injury. It’s a team full of players to round out your 15-man squad. Defensively, there is always Duffy (4.5) and Dunk (4.4), as Schelotto is now down to 3.9, that saves you a 0.1 if you need it. Next 4 games sou/TOT/mci/WHU aren’t easy, could see some more struggles for the Seasgulls.
- (18:40) Crystal Palace 0-2-2: Palace fan still bitter than Etienne Capoue did Zaha wrong and wasn’t given a red. Since that GW3 game, they lost 2-0 to So’ton. Ouch! Part of their problem stems from the fact that Zaha missed GW4 as a late scratch. If you believe his brother on Instagram, he plays in GW5. Uh huh. More importantly is the fitness of James Tomkins (4.4) who looks like he will continue to miss start with a calf injury. That could impact the defense. They haven’t looked good with Tomkins missing, could mean start PVA (5.5) and Aaron Wan-Bissaka (4.1) might not be the best options. Jeffery Schlupp (4.5) is still playing OOP on the left ahead of PVA. Up front Benteke picked up a knock, which means it could come down to Sorloth (5.0) or Jordan Ayew (5.9) to fill in and provide some goals. Palace still in a good run of fixtures; hud/NEW/bou/WOL.
- (19:38) Cardiff City 0-2-2: Of the teams I feel will be relegated, Cardiff plays an exciting brand of football. They tested Arsenal in GW4 in a 3-2 loss. Neil Etheridge (4.6) put them on the fantasy scene with 2 CS and 2 PKs in the first two weeks, coupled with 17 saves. Feel there are strongER options out there, but he could face many shots. Defensively, many have looked at Joe Bennett (4.0), another player who’s featured in all 4 games and picked up an assist in GW4. Don’t expecting much from this defense, but it’s a playing 4.0. Sean Morrison (5.0) is the bigger name was a big performer in GW4, but at 5.0 he’s priced too high for many owners. In the midfield, I am still a big Joe Ralls fan. Of the 5.0 midfielders in FPL, Ralls has 21 crosses, creating 6 chances and 3 big chances! Pretty impressive. He’s also on dead balls. Good numbers at 4.9. None of the other midfield options are worthwhile, sure Danny Ward and Victor Camarosa scored, but I look elsewhere for a 4.5 starter. Cardiff have a tough call; che/MCI/BUR/tot.
- (20:48) Huddersfield Town 0-2-2: The injury to Hamer (4.0) means Lossl (4.5) has established himself as the starter again, a worthwhile starter. Defensively, it’s a group of defenders who you use to fill in your squad. Philip Billing (4.5) has played 360 minutes and picked up his first goal, but Aaron Mooy (5.4) is still the main man the ball goes through. Not that I really plan on watching him or any Terrier, but Rajiv van La Parra (4.9) might be another to watch, as a fifth midfielder. Just nothing to get excited over. Next 4 games; CRY/lei/TOT/bur
- (21:25) Newcastle 0-1-3: Trying to find something redeeming to say about the Magpies. Honestly, there isn’t much. The next 4 out of the break ARS/cry/LEI/mun. Not good fixtures for a team struggling to score. None of their players excite me. Always been a Rondon (5.9) but on the back of a single assist, he’s not worth a look at this point. Kenedy at 5.0 could offer something, at least he did ahead of the season. Bottom line, look elsewhere.
- (21:53) Burnley 0-1-3: When do we see Tom Heaton (4.9) in goal? Not sure it’s all a problem of Joe Hart (4.5), as he’s made 21 saves and 34k have brought the GK in. Not sure why, but they did. As for the defense that was resolute last season, I am of the mind they will turn around the woes we have seen in the first 4 weeks. While I did own Tarkowski (5.0) to start the season, I couldn’t go back in on a 5.0 defender from Burnley until we see improvement. More importantly, where are they going to get goals from? Gundmundsson and Brady are still injured, Wood (6.4) is their primary forward with very little from Vokes, Barnes or Vydra. Aaron Lennon (5.0) has looked sharp with some strong underlying numbers. He’s played 360 minutes. The other option is Jeff Hendrick (5.5), who picked up a goal in GW3, but has played 90, just once. Fixtures favor Dyche to get the ship righted; wol/BOU/car/HUD
- (22:49) West Ham 0-0-4: It’s been tough going for the Hammers, the London Stadium, bad ownership and a team that hasn’t caught that new manager bump with Pellegrini coming in. Just 2 goals scored on the season, both belonging to Arnautovic (7.0) but outside of him, it’s been bad news. The good news, there isn’t any as they face eve/CHE/MUN/bha in their next 4 and have Spurs after that. They have the talent. Fabianski (4.5) in goal with 21 saves. Defensively, I like the return of Aaron Cresswell (5.3) not sure he will be the answer to fix the woes they face defensively. In the midfield there’s Yarmolenko, Snodgrass, Antonio, Felipe Anderson, Jack Wilshere but none of them are doing much of anything to occupy a space on our fantasy squads. If you got Arnie, you might look elsewhere, but if West Ham score, chances are it will be him.
(24:14) BEER OPINION – CRAFT vs CRAFTY
Read an interesting article the other day as it relates to craft brewers and the term “selling out.” For me, I love hears success stories or home brew stores and individuals who have made it in the craft brewing industry. It seems to be more challenging every day, as new breweries seemingly come online, daily. California alone, I believe I quoted over 900 craft brewers in the state alone and some 6500 in the United States. That’s a lot of beer, which allows us as beer drinkers or connoisseurs choice.
Choice is a great thing. Like a famous tagline from Burger King in the 1970s, “have it your way.” This is true about craft beer. If you don’t like what one brewer offers, you can find another. In the past few years, as I have gained a further appreciation for craft brewers, I have become a bit of a beer snob.
Not in the fact that I don’t like to chase good craft beer. I don’t drink crap beer, had too much of that in my younger days, drink the mass-produced piss water that big beer sells many consumers on. Sam Adams was one of the first craft beers I drank, followed by Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
Back to the snobbery. More recently, as I read more and learn about independent brewers, I make every attempt to avoid brewers who, like many others in the industry are trying to make it big time and be financially successful.
In a recent article on Full Pint, Dan of Dan’s Blog says, “there is a hierarchy of selling out if you are a craft brewery, not just cut and dry selling out.” You can find a link to his article in the show notes.
Ordered from worst to least the list goes something like this:
Selling out to Anheuser Busch / InBev
ABI is the largest brewer in the world. Last year, they gobbled up SAB Miller (the second most evil sellout option) to own most of the beer sold and poured in the entire world. They have a history of employing some very strong predatory practices designed to keep them not only at the top of the food chain, but also to make them the only game in town.
Selling out to MillerCoors
SAB Miller was purchased by ABI last year, but there was a catch. In order for the US government to “bless” this merger, ABI had to spin off the US MillerCoors operations and brands to keep the market “competitive.” Today, we have MillerCoors, the second largest brewery corporation from the perspective of US beer, who pedals the likes of Miller Lite, Keystone Light, Coors Light.
Selling out to Heineken
They have gobbled up other international industrial lager producers for decades as they ascend to one of the biggest, most powerful beer producers in the world. In the last few years, they have recognized that craft beer is here to stay and have taken quite an interest.
Selling out to Constellation Brands
Constellation Brands wasn’t in the craft beer drinker’s vocabulary. That all changed when Ballast Point Brewing announced they were acquired for $1B. While I can’t speak for the entire country, San Diego beer was torn on this one. Ballast Point helped put San Diego beer on the map, everyone is friends with the owners, and up to that point, their beer was some of the best in the west.
Selling out to Mahou San Miguel
Like many other breweries and labels around the globe, San Miguel is just a middle-of-the-road industrial adjunct lager that relies on the feels of drinking something international. Fast forward to 2014, and news broke that Spanish parent company Mahou San Miguel invested 30% into Founders Brewing Co. out of Michigan.
Selling out to CanArchy
Oskar Blues kept their craft beer card intact by being acquired by Fireman’s Capital, a private equity firm in Massachusetts. While expanding to 50 states quicker than nearly every other craft brewery in the market, Oskar Blues began strategically acquiring other popular craft breweries looking to gain traction in the U.S. craft beer marketplace.
Selling out to another private equity firm not named Can Archy
Many breweries who projected that the sky was the limit in terms of growth and market opportunities were met with reality. Not everyone in the market was going to grow exponentially and be the hottest selling beer in all 50 states. The problem is, some breweries small to large convinced the bank they were the past few years and are now stuck with incredible debt. These breweries had to tap on the shoulders of private equity. Some sold a minority stake, some a little more than that. In either scenario, the PE firm not only wants their money back, they want to make some money.
Selling out to Duvel Moortgat
The structure of Duvel Moortgat, they are viewed as a family-owned brewery that has acquired other regional breweries, and their total combined barrelage in the United States is under six Million BBLs per year, letting Ommegang, Firestone Waker and Boulevard Brewing keep the craft beer designation, defined by the Brewers Association.
I will support those brewers who are independent. I remember the shot fired when I found out Ballast Point was sold. It was shocking, a great beer that I no longer even consider. That is how I feel when it comes to ANY brewer, out to make a buck, who takes any money from a private equity firm to the behemoth that is AB/InBev.
By no means do I consider my opinion the right one. There are many other friends who favor brewers that have taken money in some form, from Ballast Point to FireStone Walker and Founders. In fact, I was surprised when I read the piece on Founders, as they produce some excellent beer. However, now that its apparent to me, I will no longer support them.
The decision is yours, I am in the position to tell you what is right or wrong, it’s just how I chose to enjoy my craft beer. Last, I checked, the mini fridge wasn’t short on good, independent craft beer. Cheers!
(29:31) GW4 BEER OF THE WEEK
Let’s move onto our second beer review of the week. I enjoyed the Two Hearted so much, I figured let’s keep it Midwest based and review The Oracle, a 10% Imperial India Pale Ale from Bell’s Brewery. It had been a year or so since I last had this beer but received a body from a co-worker.
The commercial description reads, “Our take on the West Coast-style Double India Pale Ale, The Oracle places hop intensity first and foremost, making only the slightest concession to malt and balance.
The fireworks start with the aromatic punch of dry-hop sessions with hop varieties from the Pacific Northwest. Resinous, citrusy hop flavors mixed with aggressive bitterness from a massive kettle addition deliver on that aromatic promise.”
(29:41) POUR: Oracles pours a dark, rustic hazy orange color, with a dense, off-white ½ finger head that coats the glass with some well-formed lacing.
SMELL: The aroma is light citrus with an earthy and herbal. floral characteristic on the nose, but a deep, bitter resin from the hops and a hint of malt sweetness.
TASTE: The taste is in your face bitterness, as a West Coast double should be! There is an ever-present malt characteristic that helps to balance out the bitterness, but it can be felt all the way through.
OVERALL: For a West Coast guy, I love it! Then again, there are some BIG IPAs that have come out of the state. That’s saying a lot, as Bell’s does craft beer right. If you have a chance to try Oracle, don’t pass it up. Then again that goes for anything from Comstock, Michigan.
Now, let’s look ahead to the Gameweek 5 matches and preview each game.
(30:24) GAMEWEEK 5 PREVIEWS
TOT | LIV: This is the match of the week, to see how Spurs rebound after a 2-1 loss at Watford. Liverpool start a challenging run of fixtures as they visit Wembley. With just 1 CS on the season, I look for Liverpool to continue their free scoring, as they have 9 on the season. Michel Vorm didn’t look strong vs Watford and suspect the Reds net at least twice. Could this be the game in which Harry Kane returns to form? The statistics say no, but Kane loves the big game, which is what this is. Lucas Moura has been in form, partnering with Kane up but Liverpool should have 4 CS on the season, yet they have conceded just once. Could be a long day for Spurs. Big game Spurs to show what they are made of and bigger for Liverpool to keep pace with Chelsea, City and Watford.
BOU | LEI: This has the potential to be a high scoring game, as Jamie Vardy returns for the Foxes. Not really sure what to expect from the front man, as we just saw him for a total of 92 minutes in parts of 2 games with 1 goal on the season. To me, the Bournemouth defense is still suspect, and we know how quickly Leicester counter attack. With the likes of Maddison and Gary playing well in the midfield, I like Leicester in this fixture. Bournemouth has an injury concern with Ryan Fraser, who picked up an unknown knock. No further details on his situation. Both teams are coming off GW4 loses, so something must give.
CHE | CAR: This has 5-0 written all over it. Even though I said Cardiff was exciting to watch, Chelsea will get it done at both ends of the pitch. No reason to shy away from putting the captain’s armband on Hazard or take a punt on Alonso. Could be a very big offensive showing for the Blues assets. I do like Pedro to start and pick up another goal, as he’s been very productive in front of goal.
HUD | CRY: This game hinges on the inclusion of Wilfried Zaha, he starts, I favor Palace on the road. However, if he isn’t starting, I tab Huddersfield or at least a 0-0 draw. Just don’t see much in this match. The big question is, can Palace keep it clean without Tomkins? With a weak Terriers attack, chances are high the Eagles make good on a CS.
MCI | FUL: This game appears to be one way traffic as City take on Fulham. Maybe 300k managers can’t be wrong bringing in Mitrovic, as City haven’t been all that tight at home. Still I would favor the Sky Blues over the newly promoted Cottagers. This could be 3-0 score line favoring the home team, as I look for Mendy to continue his attacking returns and Aguero gets back on the board. Will be very curious to see if David Silva picks up the full 90 minutes as well. Sorry Fulham supports not much love for your team this weekend, even if I do like Mitrovic, but couldn’t see adding him this weekend.
NEW | ARS: This could be an interesting game, as Arsenal still haven’t looked right all season, but face a Newcastle team that is struggling. It could be a game in which the Gunners step up their defensive performance and put their first CS on the board. I do like both Bellerin and Monreal in this game, as the midfield is still dotted with question marks. Will it Ozil, Mkhi or Ramsey taking the lead? Maybe we forget them all and consider Lacazette, the most consistent offensive asset to date. Regardless, Aubameyang could turn more heads, should be hit for a brace or better. Newcastle, not much redeeming here. I don’t see it any other way this week, Arsenal to win.
WAT | MUN: One of the more interesting contests of the weekend, as Watford host United, who bounced back with a 2-0 win over Burnley. With turmoil being what it is at United and Watford making Vicarage Road a fortress, Jose could be in for a long afternoon. Lukaku is the flat track bully, who needs to be contained if the Hornets are to have a chance. Playing very well as a TEAM, I do favor Watford to pick up a win, in a tight contest. This could be the return of Gerard Deulofeu down the right flank. I look for Watford to keep their impressive start perfect and Jose further problems
WOL | BUR: With Burnley struggling, Wolves at home could pick up a much needed 3 points. They played very well into the break and I look for that success to continue, backed by Patricio between the sticks. It’s not asking much defensively, as Burnley has been terrible at the offensive end. The midfield play of Wolves has been strong and look for Neves and Costa to lead the attack, with an improved performance from their front man, Jiminez. Burley, their woes will continue, but do look for the defense to put forth a better effort in GW5.
EVE | WHU: This is a game that could go either way. Everton with a suspended Richarlison and injury to Walcott are struggling for offense. However got a lift last weekend from DCL, the forgotten forward for the Toffees. Unfortunately, as the defense end, Everon have been leaky and I think with the talent that West Ham has on the pitch, they could give Everton a tough game. It could be a 3-2 game or a 0-0 contest. I almost favor West Ham in this game, maybe it’s because I am an Arnie owner and hoping for one more hoorah before a tough run.
SOU | BHA It’s a tough watch, as So’ton host a weak Brighton side, but boast two forwards that like to score in Murray and Ings. This will be anything but 0-0, as offense could take center stage.
GW5 TEAM PREVIEW (6THGOAL)
It’s time to take a look at my GW5 team
As of this recording, I am looking at an unchanged side, unfortunately, I hear on Twitter than Ederson might not be available due to his pregnant wife. It we can believe Reddit, there is a rumor that the child is due on Wednesday, which might make him available Sunday. No way I blow a FT on a GK. With Hamer as my backup, injured and not a starter, I would start 10 this week.
In front of him, it’s the defensive triad, Mendy, Alonso and Robertson to do their thing in GW5. Not looking to move off any of them in the near future, even with Liverpools tough run. That’s why we have a playing bench, right? Wan-Bissaka will get another chance at glory this weekend, as Palace facs a poor Huddersfield club that have scored just 2 goals and conceded 10. An attacking return would be choice this gameweek.
It’s 4 across the midfield, as I roll out Salah and Pedro, stick with Mkhitaryan, against a shitty Newcastle team and give Milner another start for a triple Liverpool attack away to Spurs. Not what I wanted, but it’s what I get. Milner, still on pens.
Up front, I have the pairing of Arnautovic and Aguero and believe there could be goals from both this weekend. Zaha is currently on the bubble, pending further news. IF he is available, then I would put Milner on the bench for Zaha and start a 4-3-3.
With no transfer currently planned, Aguero has the armband.
Time to look at the GW5 4-Pack of the Week, where I give you one player at each position that is low owned, affordable and could return
GK: Wayne Hennessey (4.5) at Palace has a CS and 18 saves on the season. I don’t expect him to be busy against the Terriers, who’ve scored just 2 goals this season. Even without James Tomkins, I feel the worst Palace could do without Zaha would be a 0-0 draw.
DEF: Matt Doherty (4.4) of Wolves, on the back of a CS last week vs WHU looks at a home game against a struggling Burnley, who’ve scored just 3 goals. Patricio looking strong in goal, good time for Wolves to record back to back CS. Also look for Doherty to get forward in attack.
MID: Demarai Gray (5.5) of Leicester. It’s been an ongoing debate, Gray or Maddision. I back the cheaper option, who’s stats are on par with Maddison, at 1.0 more. Played OOP last week, looked like dogshit, but Vardy is back and feel Leicester will get it done at Bournemouth this weekend.
FWD: Glenn Murray (6.5) of Brighton. Gotta back Father Time, coming off a brace in GW4 and has a favorable fixtures against So’ton. Not at all sold on their defense and feel Brighton will do just enough to net a few goals.
That’s it for episode 8, thanks for listening. Hope you have a good GW5 that scores you many points and brings you a green arrow.
One new feature I didn’t get to the xSS and xH of craft beer, I will save that for a future episode.
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Now it’s time to get ready as Premier League action is back
Gameweek 5 is coming, be prepared or be left behind.
Thanks for listening.