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Originally published March 21, 2012 at 8:34 PM | Page modified March 22, 2012 at 8:04 AM

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Now beer this: New brew has Sounders FC fan flavor

The Emerald City Supporters, Sounders FC's largest fan group, and Redhook Brewery have partnered to create a new beer called No Equal Amber Lager.

Seattle Times staff reporter


Houston @ Sounders FC,

7 p.m., NBC Sports

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Haters gonna hate. Up to the ECS, up to the Sounders and up to craft beer and Redhook! MORE
MuteTheMasses- Brougham Bitter was, and still is, made by Big Al Brewing, not Redhook. MORE
I don't especially like paying $9+ bucks for it at the stadium, but this beer tastes... MORE


Scarves. Chants. Beer.

Sounders FC's largest fan group, the Emerald City Supporters, is known for being the boisterous bunch with proud chants that echo throughout CenturyLink Field, and for eye-catching tifo displays. Now they might be known for something else — craft beer.

In a unique partnership, the ECS recently paired with Redhook Brewery to design the No Equal Amber Lager, named after the original ECS motto, "No Equal." The process — from style of beer to the logo — was a complete collaboration and the final product is now available at the stadium, ECS-sponsored bars and retail locations statewide.

"It was a lot of fun," said Jen Talley, Redhook's brewing operations manager. "The ECS were with us every step of the way."

Talley, who's been in the industry 22 years, was impressed the ECS' organization and knowledge of beer. Many members involved are home brewers.

In turn, the ECS was impressed with Redhook's willingness to listen and take a back seat at times. The evidence is right on the bottle.

"Our logo is bigger than their logo," said ECS co-president Greg Mockos. "Ours even overlaps theirs."

For many Sounders fans, not much goes together better than soccer and beer. So when Redhook first approached the ECS at the Fuel sports bar in Pioneer Square, it was a natural fit.

The ECS wanted a craft beer its members could drink throughout the day — something not too heavy, hoppy or bitter. Both sides agreed that it sounded like a Vienna-style lager, but the ECS had no idea how much that meant to Talley. Not only was that her favorite style of beer, but so deep was her love for it that her daughter's name is Vienna.

"When I told the ECS this, they pretty much freakin' died," said Talley, who then put together the final recipe.

The local connection with Redhook, founded in Seattle in 1981, was comforting for the ECS. Talley said the brewery, an official sponsor of the Sounders, is less concerned with turning a profit and hopes to integrate into the community.

"I think you're going to see a lot more of this going forward," Talley said.

But the fan flavor at Sounders games will be same.

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