Your Super Bowl Beer Showdown
Everyone’s talking about it. Yes, there’s “DeflateGate,” but more to the point, it’s all about Super Bowl XLIX (Sunday, 6:30pm EST, NBC), as the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks battle for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
As if there isn’t already enough drama surrounding the game, create your own showdown by serving craft suds from New England and the Pacific Northwest at your Super Bowl party. After all, the real winner (well, at least here) is the region that producers the best brews.
Here’s your playbook, quarter-by-quarter.
Start off with a couple of regional icons: Boston’s Samuel Adams and Seattle’s Redhook Brewery. Samuel Adams’ Boston Lager is a local classic, bold and flavorful, yet refreshing. It’s the beer of choice at Gillette Stadium, home of the Patriots. If you’re in Massachusetts, other options include Jack’s Abby Brewing’s Hoponius Union, a deliciously hopped lager, or Pretty Things’ Jack d’Or, a sessionable saison-style selection. From the West Coast, look no further than Redhook’s Audible Ale. The smooth, easy-drinking Pale Ale was created in collaboration with famed sportscaster Dan Patrick, so you know it’s right for the occasion.
Kick things up a notch with an IPA showdown between Fremont Brewing’s Interurban India Pale Ale and New Hampshire-based Smuttynose Brewing’s Finestkind IPA. Both offer assertive hop aromas and flavors, but with different types and quantities used, they have unique overall profiles and final bitterness. If you’re a hophead, consider some double/imperial IPA options like Fremont’s The Brother, a classic Northwest Imperial IPA, and the Vermont-based The Alchemist’s Heady Topper, the New England cult classic.
Halftime is meant to regroup and bring everyone together (theoretically), so pour a neutral selection like a beer cocktail. Try a Chocolate-Covered Cherry (cherry beer topped with chocolate stout) or a cider-based Black Velvet (substituting hard cider for Champagne, topped with a dry Irish stout). Other palate-pleasing options can include the White Peach (wheat beer mixed with a peach lambic) or a Snakebite (dry cider and lager).
Time to introduce some more malt-driven, caramel-toned styles. American amber ales offer solid malt backbones and rich toasted-grain tones alongside ample hop characteristics like bitter citrus. Compare Two Beers Brewing Co.’s Amber Ale to Maine Beer Company’s Zoe. Both are robust and flavorful, but the varying malt bills and hop additions represent local influences. For those outside of Two Beers’ local distribution area, seek out Oregon’s Full Sail Brewing, whose selections are available nationwide, including its own Pacific Northwest-style Amber Ale.
It’s time to go big or go home. A bit of decadence is in order, and that can only mean a big, bold, roasty and flavorful stout. Representing New England is Maine’s Allagash Black, while Washington offers Elysian Brewing’s Dragonstooth Stout. Both are incredibly rich, with creamy, mouth-filling textures and notes of chocolate, roasted coffee, cigar and dried dark fruits, but they’re different in intensity and flavor nuances. If you want something a bit more dessert-like, Elysian’s Split Shot Espresso Milk Stout or Harpoon’s Chocolate Stout, both seasonal releases, would make a great base ice-cream float as the postgame confetti flies. Now that’s a sweet victory for everyone.
- 1First Quarter
- 2Second Quarter
- 4Third Quarter
- 5Fourth Quarter