The Brewtiful Game is dedicated to spreading the love of soccer and craft beer.
I am an American who, like many others, has been fully converted into a soccer fan. My love for the game has grown through following our U.S. Women's National Team with their three World Cup victories, and our Men's National Team with their fight to become a true competitor internationally. Orlando, Florida is where I call home, and it has been amazing to see Orlando City Soccer Club on it's path from winning championships in USL Pro, to now being a very competitive club in MLS. And now we have a second professional team here in the form of the Orlando Pride of the NWSL. The captain for its inaugural year is Alex Morgan! It's a good time to be a fan here in Central Florida.
Another passion of mine is enjoying great beer. I am an avid home-brewer, and enjoy tasting craft brew from all over the world. I feel soccer in the United States is following a path similar to how America embraced craft beer. It's slowly infecting the populace, and those that embrace it do so with a passion that is reminiscent of those that helped create the craft beer revolution in the USA.
I created this podcast and blog to celebrate those that have a passion for soccer and great beer, and who wish to share that love with others.
My name is Michael Ferris but most people just call me Ferris (like the Day Off, or the wheel). I was born and raised in Florida, so I am a Florida boy that is one of those elusive native Floridians. Like every young kid who played soccer, I was great at being in a group and following the ball up and down, and all around the miniature field. My skills soon allowed me to move on to Basketball where I then played completive for years and in high school while mixing in American Football and Roller Hockey. Despite moving on to play different sports, I was always still interested in soccer. Most weekends you would find me going to the pitch and visiting other cities to watch my sister’s traveling club team. I was around the game so much that I said “why not make a couple of bucks while I’m here?” So, my mom and I got our linesman/referee certifications for the club level. I did a few years and learned a lot more about the game before moving on to start high school.
My first real experience attending professional soccer was when the old Tampa Bay Mutiny were in MLS. My favorite memory of those games was wearing a Carlos Valderrama wig to the games over his two stints with the club. Another highlight was seeing the Goo Goo Dolls play after the final game ever played in the old Houlihan Stadium before they demolished it. It wasn’t until the early 2000’s that I started to really follow and become a supporter of one club, Manchester United. I know, I know. They are considered the Yankees or Cowboys of international soccer, but I think I have a pretty solid reason for my affinity of the club. My Aunt used to do a lot of travel for business. She went to England for a trip, and the only thing she brought back was a red Manchester United shirt. It was also about that time that the owners of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (yes I’m a Bucs fan and the rest of the home town area teams including the Lightning and Rays) bought a large share of Manchester United. Received my first Premier League footy shirt from my Aunt around the time my home town sports owners, the Glazers, happens to buy the same team? Done.
Now- a-days, I live in sunny Orlando, FL, where I watch, listen and even started playing soccer again on a daily/weekly basis. My support for Manchester United is even stronger and I am also a big supporter and Season Ticket holder of the current home town teams, Orlando City Soccer Club and the Orlando Pride.
Finally, my favorite beer is Cerveza Pacifico Clara or just Pacifico. It’s a Mexican pilsner of sorts. It has a much better taste than a Corona (pale lager) and is smoother than a Dos Equis (lager). It taste wonderful in a bottle, with or without a lime, and is just as good on draft. Still haven’t had their 24 oz. can yet, but can’t wait to try it. Other than that, my brews of choice are primarily Lagers, Pilsners and Stouts but I am open and willing to try all types.
I am a typical American sports fan who was introduced to soccer about 8 years ago and from that moment on my sports life was forever changed. I was glued to the TV for the USWNT Olympic and World Cup runs. Watching Orlando City Soccer club grow into a great MLS team and the Orlando Pride's first season in the NWSL has really showed me how much soccer is in the sports mind of the national consciousness. Being a part of that national growth is unbelievable.
I also happen to be a craft beer lover and home brewer. There are very few things that can't be solved with a pint and a soccer match. I travel a fair amount for work and one of the things I really enjoy about the travel is getting to hunt down the local craft brewery to see what they are brewing, share ideas and sample beers from all over the world.
My passion for The Brewtiful Game is in helping other fans learn about craft beers and enjoying the beautiful game. When I was first getting into both craft beers and soccer, there weren't many ways to educate yourself. At that time, there were no massive home-brew or craft beer forums, and there was very limited coverage of any of the soccer leagues. I really enjoy learning and then passing my knowledge on to others. For me, that is what The Brewtiful Game is all about!