Superbowl Sunday is upon us, and there is no understating the role beer plays during America’s most beloved sporting event. But for all of recent memory the revelry has been focused less on the beer in the glass and more on the beer ads on TV. The titans of American brewing have dominated the public’s consciousness with their unrelenting flow of cleavage, pratfalls, and ice-brewed nonsense.
It’s time to take Superbowl Sunday back from inferior brew and score one for the craft beer revolution!
Just because you won’t see any ads for craft beer during the Superbowl – unless Boston Beer managed to squeeze one of their folky feel-good spots into the broadcast – it doesn’t mean that you have to drink the beer that they’re telling you to! Support your team with a craft beer from their home town, or grab something brewed locally. Either way you’ll be happier for it.
And don’t let anyone at the Superbowl party call you a beer snob. Caring about what you choose to put in your body doesn’t make you a snob; it just means you have taste!
Looking to support Ray Lewis, Flacco, and the rest of the boys in violet and black? There are not many brewed-in-Maryland beers that are available in Los Angeles, but the best-known brewery has enough delicious brews to cover your bases. Flying Dog Brewery from Frederick, Maryland is known for the Ralph Steadman artwork splattered across their labels and their hoppy and aggressive takes on classic styles.
They’re easy to find in LA bottle shops and even supermarkets, but many of their best brews – like Raging Bitch Belgian IPA and Gonzo (imperial) Porter – are on the high-end of ABV and may not make for the best session beers for the length of the game. They do make one beer that is a great choice for when you know you’re going to have a few: Underdog Atlantic Lager!
This sub-5% ABV beer brewed with rye and wheat is hoppy and crisp, and it is a great refreshing brew that will pair with lots of big-game snacks. It can be tougher to find than their other brews, but you can use the Beer Finder on their site, and we recently saw several cases of it at Beverages Warehouse in Culver City.
Can you call the 49ers a Cinderella story? The rise of QB Kaepernick has certainly been fairytale-like, and the team should have a fair number of supporters in Los Angeles – Bay Area rivalry be damned. It is also much easier to score some great Bay Area brews to go with the game!
A classic, and excellent, choice would be the grandaddy of American craft beers: Anchor Steam. Superbowl Sunday would be a great time to reacquaint yourself with this medium-bodied American classic, and it makes a great gateway brew for the craft beer Luddites also in attendance.
Speaking of gateway beers, if you are looking to bridge the gap between flavorless American Light Lagers and the spectrum of flavorful craft beers a good place to start is always craft pilsners. Many breweries make great examples of these crisp lagers, and while our favorite – Victory’s Prima Pils – hails from Philly, the offering from Lagunitas – simply called Pils – is excellent and quite approachable for drinkers who’s hop heads haven’t yet fully blossomed.
Having a sessionable brew is really important when you’ve got 4+ hours of festivities to weather. One classic session style is the American Pale Ale, and it happens that one of the finest craft examples of the style being brewing in California is made in San Leandro – a suburb of San Francisco – at Drakes Brewing. 1500 Pale Ale packs a dense floral hop aroma into a crisp 5.5% ABV pale ale. If you haven’t tried this beer yet you are truly missing the best California-brewed pale ale around.
Local Favorites for the Big Game
Los Angeles might not be a big football town, but we’re making big strides to becoming a big beer town, and today there are many great local options available for Super Bowl Sunday. Here are a handful of great choices that are sure to be a hit at your gameday gathering:
- Our favorite white IPA, White Dog by El Segundo Brewing Co, was just bottled for the first time and is available at their taproom today! A few bombers of this refreshing beer bursting with tropical fruit flavors will be sure to go quickly!
- Solidarity from Eagle Rock Brewing is a classic LA session beer, and it goes with sporting events about as well as hot dogs and nachos. You can get bombers all over town, but why not stop in to the taproom and get a growler (or two) filled for the freshest experience?
- Another good candidate for growler-fills is the new Kolsch from Golden Road Brewing. This light-but-malty beer is rife with biscuit and cracker flavors with a nicely subtle herbal hop character. (The GRB Berliner Weisse is another great choice, especially as the weather on Sunday should be in the mid-70s)
- Looking for a local IPA to bring to the party? If you’re in Long Beach or the South Bay why not grab a growler of one of Beachwood BBQ’s IPAs? It doesn’t really matter which one is pouring, they are all fantastic hop bombs.
Throwing a big shindig, and growlers won’t be enough beer for you? Pick up a keg of local craft beer, and you’re sure to have enough suds flowing for the whole day!
Friends Don’t Let Friends Drink Shitty Beer
Whatever beer you choose to accompany your watching of the Superbowl, make your choice a craft beer. Americans have too long been thralls to Big Beer’s marketing juggernaut, and this year’s launch of Budweiser Black Crown is a shot fired directly at craft breweries.
Beer of Tomorrow readers are craft fans, and it is our duty as beer lovers to help spread the love of finely-crafted ales and lagers. Superbowl Sunday presents a perfect opportunity to bring some more beer drinkers into the craft beer fold.
What are you planning to drink for the big game?