With thousands of breweries now open nationwide, no one needs to tell you that most cities have their own local beer culture. If you truly want to get in the Super Bowl spirit, you should grab selections brewed where the two teams are from.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of three beers each from Boston and Seattle with an eye toward a couple of brands you should be able to find all across the country (since most of us will probably be watching the big game from somewhere other than one of these two places).
1. Sam Adams Double Agent IPL
As one of the largest craft brewers, Sam Adams is a brand name you’re almost certainly already familiar with, meaning you should be able to find beers from the Boston-based brewery no matter where you live. The Super Bowl is traditionally lager territory (partially because that’s the style of beer the big advertisers make); for a fresh, modern take on the traditional lager, grab a Double Agent IPL—short for India Pale Lager. You get all the crispness of a lager with the big hop flavor of an IPA.
2. Harpoon IPA
The Harpoon Brewery isn’t quite as big as Sam Adams (it ranked as the 12th largest craft brewer in 2013), but it’s another Boston-based brewer most craft beer drinkers are familiar with. The Super Bowl is a long affair; NBC is kicking off coverage at 1 p.m. even though the game doesn’t start until 6:30. You’ll want to pick a brew that can keep you in the game for the long haul, and Harpoon has always made one of the most drinkable IPAs on the market. Plus, at only 5.9 percent ABV, though not officially a session beer, it’s surprisingly low in alcohol.
3. Trillium Fort Point Pale Ale
Our first two picks skewed toward easy-to-find national selections. For die-hard craft beer fans living in the Boston area, no brewery is as hot right now as Trillium. For the most part, their brews are only available on-site, and getting your growler filled or grabbing some of the limitedly available bottles can be easier said than done. (Their FAQ page reads a bit like Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi wrote it.) But if you’re able to bring pretty much anything they brew to your Super Bowl party, you’re likely to land your own MVP award. Personally, I’m a pale ale guy, so if you can score some Fort Point, by all means, grab it.
1. Pyramid Hefeweizen
Seattle has dozens of breweries, but few seem to distribute across the entire country. Pyramid Breweries is an exception, with many of their beers available almost anywhere. Though much of what they do might be considered old hat by modern beer snobs, the company has managed to make craft beers dating back to 1984, surviving plenty of beer highs and lows. The Hefeweizen has always been one of their flagships, and though it’s relatively light by German Hefeweizen standards, it’s about as classic a take on a modern American wheat beer as you can get. It’s light and refreshing—the perfect antidote to hop overload or heavy winter beers.
2. Elysian Dragonstooth Stout
Open since 1996, Elysian is another Seattle stalwart that can be found on both coasts. Their beers are available in at least 11 different states (with more probably coming soon, as the brewery was recently bought out by Anheuser-Busch—which can also make for a hot discussion topic). Their Space Dust IPA has been particularly popular as of late, but since this list is skewing hop-heavy, we’ll suggest you grab their Dragonstooth Stout. If you’re watching the game in cold weather, a thick stout is a great way to go.
3. Dick’s Brewery 12 Man Pale Ale
Dick’s is technically located in Centralia, Washington, about an hour and a half south of Seattle, but if you’re looking for a football beer that’s decidedly local, look no further. The Seahawks call their loud, rabid fans The 12th Man, so in honor of these lunatics, Dick’s released a 12 Man Pale Ale, made possible with the help of former Seahawks kicker Norm Johnson to boot! Our own Chris Mah describes it as an American pale ale with a “floral hop profile.” At just 4.5 percent alcohol, fans can drink it throughout the whole game—a perfect way for Seattle locals to show their 12th Man spirit without passing out.
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