[queue z-cars intro]
Episode 32 of the Pitch & Pint Podcast being recorded Tuesday March 26, 2019 – It’s a Free For All
INTRODUCTION – Episode 32
Hello and welcome to Episode 32 of the Pitch & Pint Podcast. My name is Stephen, you can find me @6thGoal on Twitter.
In the words of Uncle Ted, “It’s a free-for-all.” It’s just days ahead of the first big double game week of the season and it appears many FPL managers are in meltdown. Not surprising, really.
I’ve been away from Twitter much of last week, as spending hour sitting in front of FPL team and tinkering didn’t sound like fun. I figure I would have plenty of times to do that on the clock, at work. Might as well feel like I am getting paid to play, right?
I didn’t give two shits about the international break, don’t care what teams played or the outcomes of the games. The only highlight I saw was that of Rondon-aldo picking up a goal in Venezuela’s 3-1 victory over the GOAT.
It was also opening week for fantasy AFL or Aussie Rules Football. First year I’ve decided to try my hand after watching the game for a few years. Much like how I got my start play FPL.
While much of the fantasy game feels foreign, I’ve found a few sources that provide statistics and opinions, as well as a few pods to help supplement my research when it comes to my starting 22.
So Round 1 is over, I scored 1958 points with an overall rank of 39k. It looks like 2300 was an upper echelon score, so I have a bit of work cut out for me.
In another non-FPL related topic, I spent the past 2 days learning to SCUBA dive, as I will travel to Monterey, CA next Saturday to make 4 ocean dives.
Talk about a great experience! Now, I know we only spent 8 hours in a pool learning the techniques and skills required to be PADI certified, but I am looking very forward to next weekend.
It also means I will miss all the opening DGW games. Not necessarily a bad thing but will hope not watching will result in a better score. I know there is no correlation between those two things.
Watford vs Wolves – Implications
So, let’s get into it. Wolves are in 7th, on 44 points with Watford in 8th, just a point behind. Both teams feature in the double game week ahead of their FA Cup clash on April 7 at Wembley, no longer home to Spurs.
As Watford Observer contributor Ed Perchard commented, “If we beat Wolves in the semi-final, and return to face Manchester City in the big one, we could go into the final already assured of a place in Europe.
Win and we’re in, of course, but if we lose, then City, who have already taken the Carabao home to their trophy complex, cede their Europa League place to seventh place.”
I don’t think Javi Gracia or Nuno Espirito Santo can afford to play anything less than their starters. Wolves need to keep their place in the standings, while Watford are looking to gain ground.
The same scenario described for Watford holds true for Wolves, they could conceivably beat Watford in the FA Cup game, make the finals, lose to City and still gain the berth to Europe by being in 7th place.
So 7th place is important for both Watford and Wolves. Now it didn’t do much for Burnley this season, who didn’t progress in Europe and have done nothing but struggle all season long in the Premier League.
This will lead us into the start of the player discussion, can we trust Nuno or Javi to start their best players and not rotate?
Wolves v Watford – FA Cup Semis
It seems there is a lot of question marks surrounding Watford and Wolves, both feature in the double game week spotlight. Wolves have been in that spotlight much of the season because of their play, climbing to 7th in the league table after promotion from the Championship.
Now I can only speculate, like many other FPL managers when it comes to how Watford will approach an important DGW, but more importantly a semifinal match against Wolves.
We can assume that Man City will see off Brighton and secure a place in the FA Cup final. No reason to think otherwise, is there?
Brighton have a lot of football with doubles in 32, 34 and 35, much like Wolves and Watford in the coming weeks and it will take everything the Seagulls have to be competitive.
The last 3 times Man City have clashed with Brighton, it’s been 2-0, 3-1 and 2-0. Scoreboard City. Welcome to the FA Cup final.
Initially, I was considering a few Wolves players. My initial draft saw Doherty, Jota and Jimenez, but I’ve since moved off all Wolves players for budgetary reasons.
I do feel they are viable, but FOMO seems to be biting many managers as they are concerned over ANY Wolves player starting both fixtures, at Burnley and home to United.
I can’t see considering any defensive assets from Wolves, just 1 clean sheet in 13 games. Since many FPL managers would rather look at the attacking potential, Boly (4.6) is the cheaper option, while some might be hesitant drafting Doherty (5.4). The Twitter mindset is Doherty will miss a game.
So, Wolves play on Saturday, next Tuesday and then Sunday, April 7. Five days between games.
Not high on midfielders, Jota (6.1) was in my squad for a blink of an eye, but I have since moved off him, going a different direction.
You could do worse, he’s posted 3 attacking returns in the last 2 games against Cardiff City and Chelsea.
Up front, many FPL managers don’t want to move off Raul Jimenez (6.8), as he’s been a cash cow this season!
Not sure Wolves have another impact type forward. Cavaleiro (5.2) doesn’t impress, nor does Traore (5.1). The guy has speed but can’t finish to save his life.
I still think Jimenez starts both games, possibly playing 60-75 minutes, even though there is not much history of him coming off that early in a game this season (3 games 30, 45 & 59 mins). Wolves need him on the pitch, as he’s been their top scorer this season. Jota has played better, but Jimenez means goals.
Wolves have just one win in their last 5 and can’t let up on the gas now with Watford a point behind.
Watford have been very consistent all season long, from their starting XI to their play.
However, doubt has started to creep into FPL managers when Gracia made 7 changes ahead of the Man City game, which the Hornets lost 3-1, but more importantly gave rest to some of those starters who featured 7 days later in the FA Cup semifinal that saw off Crystal Palace, 2-1.
Like Wolves, Watford will have 5 days rest between their second fixture in DGW32 ahead of the trip to Wembley and the FA Cup semifinal.
Gracia was criticized earlier in the season by pundit and former footballer, Chris Sutton, when he made 11 changes ahead of FA Cup game against Newcastle.
Those incidents have been the exceptions this season. Could Javi play his full starting squad in against United and Fulham, before their trip to Wembley?
As he said, after the 3-1 loss to City, “In this moment, we have 26 players available and all of them deserve to play.
All of them have competed well. It’s good for us to compete like today because for the next games, there are eight games left and the FA Cup competition.
It’s the best news for us to have 26 players ready to compete and training all of them, to help the team.”
They can’t afford to drop points this late in the season, as they continue to eye that 7th spot in the league table.
Options for Watford feel a bit stronger than they do for Wolves, not because I am a supporter.
Let’s start in goal, Ben Foster (4.6) is assured to get both Premier League games, as Heurelho Gomes will remain the #1 for the FA Cup.
It’s been 4 games without a CS, but that could change with Fulham upcoming and against United could pick up save points.
Defensively, I’ve seen Kiko Femenia (4.2) as an option, but not confident he plays both, just returning from injury. I can see Daryl Janmaat (4.9) picking up one of those two games. Both have played very well this season.
My option, if I were to run out a Hornets defender, Adrian Mariappa (4.2). The journeyman has taken away the starting spot from Christian Kabasele, who picked up the odd game against City in GW30.
Gerard Deulofeu (5.6) is probably the strongest Watford option. The Spaniard has played all season long OOP as a forward picking up 7 goals and 5 assists on the season, with 6 attacking returns in the last 4 games.
Typically, Gracia doesn’t play him the full 90, finishing just 5 games on the season since returning in GW8.
You can except 60-75 minutes before the likes of Andre Gray spell him.
Troy Deeney (5.9) has posted some of his best statistics this season, partnering with Deulofeu. Not since the partnership with Odien Ighalo has Deeney been so productive. He’s featured in the squad, as the captain and inspirational leader of the Hornets. Coming on just 24 minutes against City in GW30, he surely plays 90 minutes against United and gets the start against Fulham.
Just think both competitions are important for both teams, Wolves currently in the driver’s seat, but any stumble by either team could have repercussions headed into the semifinal game.
Before I get into the free for all, I must pour myself the Double Gameweek 32 Beer of the Week.
Beer of the Week – Gameweek 32
Maine beer. It’s good. Really good. In the past I’ve sampled and reviewed beers from Austin Street, Battery Steele, Bissell Brothers, Definitive Brewing, Foundation, Liquid Riot, Lone Pine, Maine Beer Company and Orono.
Now add Goodfire Brewing to that exalted list.
In 2016, there were 76 breweries that accounted for 316,000 barrels of production. Those numbers have only increased the last in 2017 and 2018.
In 2018, Goodfire was one of 65 breweries that was included in a Maine Beer Box, a project of the Maine Brewers’ Guild that made an appearance at the Leeds International Beer Festival in Yorkshire, which draws over 12,000 people in September.
So, from Goodfire Brewing Company out of Portland, Maine comes Super Prime, an 8% double Citra IPA brewed with Citra hops.
As described on the website, “Prime has powered up! The flavors you know and love, amplified.
This time in a dangerously easy to drink double IPA. Super Prime is a soft, fluffy, full bodied concoction absolutely bursting with Citra. Citrus, resin and a little bit of pine, Super Prime FTW!”
Without further delay, let’s crack the top on this 16 oz can.
Super Prime pours a turbid golden orange color with a healthy and dense, off-white 2 finger head that deposits rings of lacing.
The smell…is juicy, big orange and tangerine on the nose with pineapple, mango and grapefruit with a slight hint of hop resins.
Let’s see how it goes down…there is a bit of hop bite up front with a mild sweetness, as it subsides, giving way to a sweet tropical and citrus flavor including orange and tangerine with a bit of pith, adding some zing.
Super Prime has a soft and fluffy mouthfeel, medium carbonation, a slight boozy burn, but finishes dry.
Maine beer. A double game week winner!
Now with the beer poured, let’s talk some double game week goodness.
Double Game week Opinions
Now, I am approaching this game week with my Free Hit chip activated. Earlier in the season, I rolled out my strategy, which initially had me activating the wild card for GW32 and the FH in GW34.
That strategy changed a few weeks back, as I swapped the two chips, feeling I would get more mileage out of the wild card to end the season.
Hopefully there is something for everyone who listens, either on the FH or WC, or even out of chips.
Looking at the season ticker and FDR, it’s no surprise to see Man City and Chelsea topping the rankings.
Rounding out the top 5 for DGW32 only, it’s Watford, Wolves and Man United.
Being a free hitter, I am not looking past this week, as my squad will revert to a BGW31 squad that will feature in BGW33.
However, if I bump the FDR slider out for DGW32 and BGW33, the teams change.
Chelsea is still a great option, followed by Crystal Palace, Leicester, Bournemouth and Arsenal. Some of those team that previously featured in BWG31.
Many FPL managers were burned by the likes of Leicester and Bournemouth.
So as a no chipper, I would be looking at Chelesa, Crystal Palace, with an eye on Arsenal and Southampton.
These are teams that won’t miss a game in 33, where tripling up on the likes of City or United could come back to bite you in the ass.
For me, as I mentioned, I am not looking past the double this week. Plans are already in the works to triple up on Chelsea, City and United, as I turn to Palace to round out my starting XI.
For those quickly doing the math, it probably doesn’t add up. It does through, when I am considering heading into the double, as I did the start of the season, leaning heavily on defense.
No surprise up front to see Sergio Aguero in my and many other teams. While Harry Kane could be an excellent differential, owned by 3.3% across FPL (active teams) and unowned in the top 1000.
Now as I have done for much of the season, I continually refer to the top 1k, as this group is more closely linked with picking up a red or green arrow when my weekly score is just over the average.
Harry Kane? Probably can’t hurt me with such low ownership. Currently with Spurs away to Liverpool and home to Palace, to open the new Spurs stadium, I am not planning on the Spurs hitman.
In the midfield, much like the forwards, it’s not uncommon to have Sterling, Hazard and Pogba. Some FPL managers might be avoiding the Chelsea offense or opting to go a different direction with the attack. There have been others, who, to be different are rolling out a treble Chelsea defense.
I was in that camp with an early version of my starting XI, but have since moved off, which I will talk about shortly.
Defensively, it seems to be a real crapshoot when approaching the double. I’ve seen it set up many ways and it could pay off to start three cheap defenders who feature in both games. But, I’ve also heard and seen a healthy defense, providing a good balance for DGW32.
Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Is there really truth to this swords vs shields bullshit? Honestly, I’ve not read a thing about this new FPL saying.
What I plan on doing is putting the best XI players who double in my squad and hope for the best.
Is that any different than what we’ve done the previous 31 game weeks? Probably not.
While my focus are the four teams, there could be a few one offs I do consider. Brighton is one of those teams with cheap defensive assets, who’ve played well this season.
Watford is another team, now I’ve already talked about the Hornets and won’t hit on them again. The same can be said for Palace, while a trip to the new Spurs stadium is going to be very difficult, we have no idea how Spurs will come out.
Flat or flying? Obviously, they want to win the first game in their new home, hopefully they will be firing on all cylinders. Yet history shows us recent games have finished by 1-0.
DGW32 Starting XI
I started building my double game week team with City. The potential their attack offers is unparalleled, with 79 goals scored, top in the Premier League. While no one knows how Pep will approach this, City are still involved in FA Cup and Champions League, as they look at winning four trophies this season.
Their double opposition, away to Fulham and home to Cardiff City. It doesn’t get any easier then this in the Premier League.
Rest assured it will be a walk in the park for City. Over the 17 days, City plays 4 games. This Saturday at Fulham, next Wednesday, hosting Cardiff, followed by FA Cup semifinal against Brighton, a week from this Saturday and finally Champions League on the Tuesday following.
Aguero and Raheem Sterling are both set and forget in my starting XI. A big chunk of my budget but feel both will miss minutes during the double.
Aguero hasn’t played 90 in the last 6 games, while Sterling has finished just 3 games over the same period.
Defensively, I feel more comfortable starting Ederson, then I do with any defenders, as 5 of them are flagged!
Stones, Kompany, Otamendi, Mendy and Delph are all given a 75% chance of playing. To avoid that confusion spending 5.6 on Ederson seems to be the smart move.
From City I move to Chelsea, as the Blues are away to Cardiff City and home to Brighton, two teams they beat earlier in the season, 4-1 and 2-1 and wouldn’t you know it Eden Hazard returned double digits in both games.
Now, I don’t think Chelsea are any better defensively now then they were back in GW5 or GW17 when they played the reverse fixtures.
Chelsea has no clean sheets in their last five, but I am banking more on their potential, given their competition.
Both teams are low in the table, with a combined 57 goals scored over 59 games, as they’ve conceded 99 goals.
While I would love to spend the extra money on Alonso, I don’t think its money well spent. Will he feature in both? Should. But with Emerson lurking anything is possible with Sarri, even though the Italian doesn’t like to rotate.
Doubling down on Chelsea, I am starting Azpilicueta and Rudiger. On the season Dave has 5 assists, while Rudiger has a goal and assist, feel they represent the safest options.
There was some thought of drafting Kepa, 0.2 cheaper than Ederson at 5.6, but the initial thinking here was treble attack with City is how many managers would probably play it.
Currently, I have no budget restrictions, so I went back to Ederson instead of Kepa, who hasn’t been all that impressive this season.
Now, I do think Pedro could be a great differential, especially if you are not going to buy in on Hazard.
He’s playing 60 and 90 minutes in the last two and will most likely start one of the two games and come off the bench in the other. He picked up a goal against BHA earlier in the season. At 6.4, he’s a great differential, owned by 4.7 across FPL.
Now, I’ve become quite anti-United this season, as Twitter has been nothing but a fucking lovefest for the Red Devils. Guess Old Gunner can do no wrong. Their savior.
However, I think this was a group of lazy professionals were being unprofessional and quit on Jose Mourinho. Now I am not going to say Jose was right in his approach, which wasn’t successful.
What I am saying, this team is and was loaded with talent from Dave Saves in goal to the flat track bully leading the attack.
Rowan Atkinson could have managed this team and they would have performed better then under Jose.
So, talent already on the pitch, with a different philosophy and United have been the talk of the Premier League, even after their 2-0 loss at home to Arsenal.
But to see professionals quit, only to decide to play again, with as much money as they make. That’s fucked, it’s reality but fucked.
Off my soapbox, I have also gone treble United. It pains me to say, Paul Pogba is in my starting XI. His attitude and performance were piss poor against Arsenal, to go along with the loss, he missed a penalty and picked up a yellow card.
Way to go Paul! The consummate professional!
There really seems to be a lack of a good, strong fourth midfielder for the double. I looked at Son (8.6) but feel he’s a bit fatigued. Alli (8.8) and Eriksen (9.2) are too expensive to shoehorn in.
Could a non-DGW player be the way to go? Are there are any potential standouts?
Fifth Midfielder & Possible Options
Now, to answer that question, I find this next piece a bit hard to swallow, but Richarlison (6.5) could be an option at West Ham. He’s been all the talk with me this season, since being sold to Everton.
He burned me back in GW3 with his red card, which only got worse when I brought in Troll Walcott.
Richarlison is not consistent, as we’ve seen this season. Sure, he’s scored 7 more goals then he did last season, but he went missing much of the second half of the season, just like he did at Watford.
Over the last 2 games, he’s poached two goals, returning 16 points. West Ham conceded 3 goals to Huddersfield last game week, only to pick up a late goal to come from behind and win, 4-3. So, it’s not as crazy as it sounds.
West Ham have conceded 6 goals in their last 4 games, conceding 68 shots worst over that stretch and 20 shots on target, second worst only to Fulham.
Everton haven’t been great offensively, but the Toffees have picked up 7 goals from 41 attempts, with 33 from inside the box, fourth best over that period.
This is where Richarlison COULD and I emphasis could excel, if he’s given that chance.
Comparing him to other similarly priced midfielders, either double of single game week, he’s second only to teammate Glyfi Sigurdsson with 2 goals.
The other option, who I currently have in my starting XI, Luca Milivojevic. The Palace midfielder has quietly put together another solid year, currently on 9 goals and 1 assist. The addition of Batshuayi, could only improve as he becomes another target, while also providing more opportunity to hit from the spot.
At 6.3, he might fall under the “best of the rest” as it relates to the midfielders. However, his goal threat numbers pale in comparison to that of other like priced double game week midfielders.
There was some thought at adding one of the Silva boys to the mix, as Bernado (7.5) was short lived in a former draft. David (8.5) though, wasn’t in my thoughts, but he’s posted assists in his last 2 games.
Both highly involved in the City offense, but don’t offer good value I am looking for at their prices.
Now, I currently have both Chris Smalling (5.6) and Viktor Lindelof (5.1) in my starting XI, a team that has just 7 CS, none in the last 3 games, but did have a stretch when OGS took over, picking up 5 CS over a 7-game stretch.
Their opposition is worrying, home to Watford and away to Wolves, two teams that can and have scored, as both picked up a goal in the reverse fixtures. Can we trust the Red Devils defense?
Watford and Wolves have been held scoreless 8 times this season, with the Hornets scoring 42 goals and Wolves 38.
I also looked at Palace, but not the current bandwagon that is Jeffrey Schlupp, his numbers aren’t that impressive, but he’s picked up 3 assists in his last 4 games and he’s playing OOP as a midfielder, getting forward.
A quick comparison of Schlupp and van Aanholt indicates PVA is still the better player to have, owning the overalls stats and the key stats. The only stat in Schlupp’s favor mins per chance created, 50 compared to PVA’s 86.
If PVA (5.4) is price restrictive, then Schlupp is an option at 4.5. Priced the same as AWB, the youngster is carrying a knock and a flag. We’ve seen in the past, he’s been durable and if fit, could still represent excellent value if you bring him in for DGW32.
If you’ve been following at home, I am currently lining up in a 5-4-1 formation. Am I comfortable?
Eh…maybe. I do feel I cover the highly owned assets who can move the points and feel I have some key differentials.
Who are the other players to consider?
Players to watch
There aren’t many players not featuring in the DGW that bring much excitement to the table. I think I already highlighted one of the few in Richarlison, as fucked as that sounds.
There is some thinking Arsenal might be a worthwhile shout, as they host Newcastle, who’ve conceded 6 goals in their last 3 games.
With the big guns on the forward line, adding a Lacazette or Aubameyang might not happen, but Kolasinac (5.0) could be a strong punt.
Over the last 6 home fixtures, the Gunners have conceded just 3 goals, a far cry from where they were earlier in the season, but they face a very in form Salomon Rondon. Not that I am pushing for any FPL manager to add the Venezuelan, who’s been in excellent form.
The numbers are a bit misleading, as they have conceded the second most shots (78), behind Fulham. They have also given up 11 big chances, fourth worst over that period.
That said, they posted 17 goals and 12 assists in their last 6 games at the Emirates, which are both best in the league.
Since many FPL managers will only look for attacking returns, I justified bringing in Kolasinac for you.
I don’t plan on doing it, as I want the double CS potential.
If you are looking for that second or third forward, I think Batshuayi makes a compelling case. Unowned in the top 1k, he’s just 1.8% owned across FPL. With Zaha still nursing a hamstring and flagged, Batman is priced at 6.5, 0.4 cheaper than his strike mate.
Three returns in 6 games, he’s looked good and could provide at home against Huddersfield. I also see Spurs conceding at home, while I’d put my money on Milivojevic, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Batshuayi score.
Other budget options reside at Brighton. While their match up against Chelsea isn’t great, I see Mat Ryan (4.4), Shane Duffy, now flagged with an ankle (4.7) and Lewis Dunk (4.4) all viable options.
Going Ryan gives you Southampton at home and Chelsea away, games in which Ryan could rack up save points, with an outside chance of a CS against the Saints.
Dunk is more price friendly, but both provide equal potential if you are looking for attacking returns. Duffy has scored 5 goals on the season.
Just keep an eye to Premier Injuries and Ben Dinnery’s updates, as the flagon Duffy gives him a 75% chance of playing. At this point, if he were in my squad, I would be looking a different direction.
Leicester City assets…okay, if I must. Harvey Barnes continues to look good on paper. 31 penalty touches over the last 4 games is third best in the league.
While his 15 shots are second to Salah, just one shot has been on target. At 5.5 he’s nicely priced, but not where I would looke. Maddison is a bit pricey at 6.8 and inconsistent, picking up just 1 goal in the last 4 off just 5 attempts, but is on set pieces.
I would look at Youri Tielemans, at 6.0 he’s between Barnes and Maddison and looks to be returning better then the both of them combined with a goal and 3 assists.
Leicester face a porous Bournemouth defense that isn’t good. Don’t care what the stats reflect they aren’t a team we look at when considering defenders or a 39-year-old goalkeeper.
As bad as West Ham is defensively, they have Chicharito, 51 poacher goals in the Premier League. He’s got a nose for goal and how the Hammers are 9th in the league table, beats the fuck out of me.
That’s 4 goals in the last 4 he’s played for Hernandez. Carroll out and Arnie unreliable. “The Little Pea” might be worth a punt, but at 6.1 he’s on par with the likes of Deeney (5.9) or Murray (6.3).
Let’s step away from the FPL whirlpool and get into some beer.
Now before we get into some beer style talk, I must apologize to listeners. I understand that many of the beers I drink, and review are never going to be had by many of you.
For that I apologize. I’ve looked at the local beer shops and honestly, much of the UK beer I can get is shit and poorly rated. It’s not like me to drink that sort of beer.
Now, I am not talking the craft stuff like Deya, Cloudwater, Verdant, Northern Monk, Wander Beyond and the likes, none of it available locally.
So, I am stuck with Newcastle, Boddington’s, Bass, Robinson’s, Wells, Fullers and Samuel Smith. None of it really exciting.
Depending on where you live in the US, some of these beers might not be available in your local beer store. Sadly, much of what I drink is bought off the internet.
All the Tree House beer I drink is because of a contact on Twitter I made, he makes a bit of money and I get 12 excellent cans every few weeks.
My co-worker is constantly buying off eBay and much of that is Northeast and East Coast beer that we will never see in Northern California.
Now some might question, “why buy beer from out of state when California has so much good craft?” Good question.
There excellent craft beer up and down the coast of California. San Diego is still the craft beer mecca, sorry Portland. However, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento areas all have their craft beer scenes.
I can’t go wrong buying local, from small, family owned farmhouse breweries like Blaker Brewing in Ceres to legendary brewers like Vinnie Cilurzo at Russian River.
There is something for everyone in all points in between. But when you find a source for regional beer outside your local area, it gets exciting. So much good beer to be had across the US, its mind boggling.
I am always will to take suggestions on beer reviews for the show or if you want to send me a bottle I am more than happy to homage to your craft beer.
As I record I am enjoying a double IPA from Goodfire Brewing out of Portland, Maine, but I’ve recently acquired a taste for sours.
Now, when I think of the term sour, I think milk and a putrid taste that makes your spit and sputter, rinsing your mouth out to drop that sour taste.
Two weeks ago, a co-worker gave me a 4-pack of Tayberry, a kettled sour from Alvarado Street out of Salinas, CA.
Now I was a bit hesitant to accept this gift, but graciously took it home and was curious.
But my first experience was last October, I was given a can of Raspberry Parfait from Fieldwork Brewing.
It was eye opening! It was a pomegranate color, tart, but vanilla sweet and outstanding! The Tayberry was more on the tart side, as it had a big red wine component on the nose and palette, upon first taste, but a hint of sweetness about midway through.
Both ended up being very good sours, but very different examples of the style.
Last Friday, I went to a Fieldworks tap room after work with friends and didn’t want a hoppy IPA or a dark beer, so I opted for their Vanilla Berry, another sour ale.
It was a beautiful purplish, berry color with no head and an excellent nose that was vanilla sweet very berry with a tartness.
The flavor was very similar to the parfait I had last October, but it was very drinkable. So, sours, are they for you?
Traditional sour beers come around by way of a misunderstanding of the world and sheer accidental luck.
Way back when, beers were stored in wooden barrels or open-air vessels known as cool ships while fermenting.
The staves of the barrels and the air around them, unbeknownst to the pre-Pasteur brewers of the day, were home to a host of microorganisms, wild yeast, and bacteria that would play their own part in the chemical reactions taking place as the beer aged for months (or years).
Here’s where things get a little tricky. Sour beers come about by different microflora that are responsible for different sets of resulting tastes: lactobacillus bacteria (lovingly referred to as “lacto” in the beer world) creates lactic acid, which results in the relatively clean lemony-tart puckering sour you recognize in beers;
pediococcus bacteria (which also gets a cute nickname: pedio), which also creates tart lactic acid but also brings funkier side notes;
acetobacter, the same bacteria that turns wine into vinegar and creates acetic acid, giving sour vinegar flavors;
and brettanomyces, a wild yeast known as “brett” for short that creates a drier, funkier set of flavors.
These kettle sours forego the wooden barrels of their ancestors for sleek, inert, and sanitized stainless steel and a tweak on the process.
Brewers create a “sour mash” by allowing the beer to cool after the boil, adding lactobacillus, allowing it to sour, and then pitching yeast and going forward as normal.
This takes the process down from months to days to complete, which has been huge for producers during the sour craze of the past few years.
In fact, there’s a very good chance this process is responsible for the can of Berliner Weisse or gose that you drank from your small local brewer last weekend.
So next time you see a kettled sour or gose on the beer menu or shelf, give it a go. Never thought I would favor this as different style of beer from the hop flavors of my DIPAs to the big coffee and chocolate flavors in stouts.
However, the sour style is a mild refreshing change and so far, haven’t had a bad sour.
Let’s look at my squad for DGW32
On the season I’ve scored 1833 points, which is a 59.1 PPG, which is 27 points off my 60 PPG goal I set prior to the season. Had it not been for such a poor BGW31 showing, 39 points I would have closer.
Unfortunately, Liverpool did not perform and hurt nearly every FPL manager. The good news is, 39 points was above the season low weekly average of 26, resulting in my seconds green arrow in a row and four out of five.
It appears my squad is peaking at the right time. It’s been GW13 that I had a run as good as I am experiencing now.
Going forward this week, my starting XI is still up in the air. As it stands now, I have XI starting double game week players, but that could change.
My current formation is 5-4-1, as I feel there is more chance of defenders playing all 90 in both games, as opposed to the midfielders and forwards.
We don’t need to look any further then Man City and what Pep has done all season long. Some believe Javi Gracia will do them dirty this week as well.
In all honesty I would feel more comfortable setting up in a 3-5-2, a formation that has averaged 77 points this season. It’s a quite a way off the 3-4-3, which is my most favored formation.
I do have the luxury of moving to a 3-5-2 in order to capitalize on the midfielders, but not to the point I could squeeze Kane and Aguero into the starting XI together without making further sacrifices in the midfield.
Not sure 5-4-1 is how I will end up, but it’s something I will monitor up until Friday.
Currently I’ve gone Ederson in goal with Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Smalling, Lindelof and van Aanholt on defense.
The midfield features Sterling, Hazard, Pogba, Milivojevic with Aguero up front.
I have Peter Crouch and Oriol Romeu as my only playing subs, first and second on the bench with Quaner.
That leaves me with 1.7 ITB, which could lead me to think I need to maximize more of my budget into the starting XI. We will see.
Currently Aguero has the armband, as Hazard is the vice-captain. I’ll continue to monitor different captain polls but will go with the majority. At this point of the season, I am not sure I want to tempt fate, by going a different direction to try and get an advantage.
Conclusion [queue outro music]
That’s it for Episode 32, thanks for listening.
Lots of football to look forward to, as there could be some big movement in the overall rank. You hit triple digits this week, you should pick up that green. Lots of action, hopefully you find yourself on the couch and not behind it.
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Good luck this weekend, may your arrows be green!
Thanks for listening to The Pitch & Pint Podcast, FPL from inside the six.