While I aspire to be cultured gent, give me a beer festival and football and I’m happy as the proverbial swine in its own feculence. So this weekend we headed over to deepest darkest Kőbánya (that’s Budapest’s notorious District X) to visit the Mad Scientist Brewery Party.
The brewery scene in Budapest has – like everywhere else – exploded into a hoppy mess over the last few years, with First, Monyo, Fehér Nyúl, and the aforementioned Mad Scientist. Now I like the latter, but they are probably my least favourite of the four. They’ve got some lovely beers but seemingly no quality control, meaning that for every great IPA or stout (even a decent mead), there are some barrel projects which really shouldn’t see the light of day (the Somlói Nodler – a rum stout which should be delicious – is practically undrinkable, and the Waterfall “micromel” is a bland, watery nothingness that most breweries wisely keep behind closed doors). Still, their Madhouse and Jam 72 beers are top notch, and we had a fine time seeing such an enthusuastic and unpretentious group of brewers. Amazingly, some were women and not all of them had beards. A nice contrast with the tiresome, hyper-masculine nonsense that craft brewers often mistake for marketing.
So, because of our beer sampling, it’s a slightly delicate pair of Englishmen who make it to District XIII for Vasas vs. the ridiculously named Duna Aszfalt (who should be good on the road). Vasas managed a tight away win last week to boost their promotion chances, and other results have fallen kindly today. This means victory will put them up to fourth place in the table. Still 9 points from promotion, but in the topsy-turvy realm of the Hungarian Second Division, that’s not out of the question.
Vasas start badly (which should really be the name of this blog, given the amount of times I have to write it). Within 15 minutes they’re behind after yet another defensive mix up. Lakatos on the left side is looking lost; beaten for pace with every Duna attack and offering little going forward. He’s often been the weak link in an already shaky Vasas defence this season, and it seems like it may be another one of those days.
But cometh the hour, cometh new star signing Róbert Feczesin. The top tier’s top scorer is only here due to the financial implosion of Újpest and has struggled to find his feet in NBii. But today find them he does, and he simply steamrolls Duna Aszfalt in the second half (sorry).
The road to recovery begins in the 49th minute, when a clumsy tackle brings the hulking striker down in the box. Usual penalty taker Balajti (who scored two last game) hands the ball to Feczesin, who slams home the spot kick for 1-1. I’m going to miss Balajti’s penalties, but kudos to him for being unselfish.
And it’s soon 2-1. Great work by captain Szatmari in chasing down a lost cause on the left leads to a parried Balajti shot which Feczesin gobbles up from 2 yards out on the hour mark.
You can feel the third coming, and 5 minutes later it arrives. More tenacious tackling from Szatmari and he again finds Balajti on the run. The shinpad-less wonder plays a beautiful slide rule pass to a grateful Feczesin, who strokes it home to collect the match ball and three points. There’ll be no dancing in the streets of Duna Aszfalt tonight.
Vasas 3 – 1 Duna Aszfalt (Feczesin 3. Attendance 2400)
Three games unbeaten for Vasas sees them up to fourth. Perhaps a sniff of a chance for promotion? No, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. But maybe? No! But…