When Reuben's Brews founder Adam Robbings came to Seattle in 2004, it was easier to watch his beloved Tottenham Hotspur than it was back at home.
"In England there's no games on TV on a Saturday, because they want you to pay to go watch them," Robbings said. "I had a season ticket so I went to most of the games at home, but when I first came over here I could see every game they played on TV."
But Robbings loves more than just the television offerings in his new home. The hoppy, IPA-centric, but extremely diverse beerconomy of the Northwest quickly drew him in and has yet to release its grip. In 2012 the London native opened Reuben's Brews, going pro after years of home brewing and quickly becoming one of the highlights of Ballard's burgeoning beer scene.
Now, Robbings has a rare opportunity to combine his newfound love of beer with his longstanding affection for his football team. Tottenham Hotspur will play the Sounders in Seattle on July 19; today Robbings and his crew begin brewing their first-ever British Pale Ale to welcome the team to town.
This style, known as a British Bitter back on the Isles, is brewed with water of a flavor profile much different than the typical Northwest variety, giving it a crisp taste that falls just shy of IPA-level bitterness.
Robbings has been tinkering with the mineral makeup of his brewing water to recreate the flavor of water from London; he's also using British crystal malt, Maris Otter malt, Golding hops, and a fruity yeast strain from England. His plan—have casks ready a week before the game.
On July 11 (yes, that is the weekend of the World Cup Final), Sounders fan club Gorilla FC and the Seattle Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Club will join the Robbings family and any other interested drinkers to tap the first cask of London Calling, with all proceeds going to local nonprofit Street Soccer Seattle.
London Calling will also be available in the taproom and in other bars (TBD—check Twitter for updates) around the city following its initial unveiling on the 11th, while supplies last. And if it's as successful as Robbings's other creations, that won't be long.