Basel:Euro 2008 has certainly provided some heady moments for all fans. Those of victorious sides have been high on their team's triumph. While those from losing teams have also more often than not, felt light-headed. How, you may wonder? The answer lies in this amazing fact - Beer has flowed more freely than even Coca-Cola, at these championships.
Start with montage of beer-drinking fans everywhere and of the bottles etc in the Beer-factory, ending with Spanish Fans in open cafe raising a toast with their beer-glasses
For the fans at Euro 2008, no matter who wins on the field, beer has always been the clear winner in the beverage race.
"Well we see a 2-digit specific increase in volume, when it comes to a major event like the European Championships. We had big numbers last time, which was like 25 percent, and we hope to reach the same numbers next time and that is certainly one of our big ambitions. So it really has a big impact in events like the European Championships," Keld Strudahl, Sponsorship Director, Carlsberg said.
Drinking in Fan Zones, people buying Beer, Carlsberg poster saying 'Part of the Game'
Amazingly, there have hardly been any incidents of rowdy behaviour, even when 60,000 people have drunk copious amounts of Beer at a time, in packed stadia and Fanzones. In fact, a staggering 2 lakh 45 thousand litres of Beer were drunk in the city of Basel when it hosted the first semi-final on Wednesday night, without provoking any untoward incident
"There's been lots of talk about people or fans getting out of hand when they have a drink. I think on the contrary, it's sometimes acts as the opposite - people get upset when they can't get a drink. So then they'll start drinking someplace else, or at home etc. Here, when they're all together, in a big party, we see a very, very positive attitude. For example, last week we had 60,000 Dutch people in a fan zone, and there were no untoward incidents. No more than anything you'd expect when you've got so many fans out there, drinking beer," Keld Strudahl added.
For the fans, the beer is as integral a part of Euro 2008 as the football. Feldschlosschen brewery, a 130-year-old institution that's the biggest and the best in the whole region, has made special arrangements to provide the beer for all the fans across all stadia in Switzerland and Austria.
It literally means a castle in the field, and catered to the needs of millions of thirsty fans by increasing production many times over, in order to meet the challenging demand.
"Yes, we have started February 08, to start the Beer for Euro 08 for Switzerland as well as for Austria. We didn't have to increase. We just had to produce more, and we always can adjust according to the demand. We hope, and we are sure that the demand's increased. But it's also a question of the weather." Carole Weil of Feldschlosschen Brewery said.
"It's not only a challenge, we are very proud that Switzerland is one of the organising countries next to Austria, and therefore we can make our part for the successful games. We are using the best ingredients you can get. Malt and of course our famous water, which has real mineral quality. And our brewers have recipes for brewing the best beer in the world, which is brewed here in Switzerland," Weil added.
Their best marketing strategy has been to introduce special light beers as well as non-alcoholic ones at this tournament, which have been huge hits with the female fans. So if you, like David Boon, can drink 52 cans at a time while enjoying your game, there's no better place to be in right now, than Austria and Switzerland.