Friday, February 4, 2011

Easy Drinking Craft Beers for the Super Bowl

Your tongue doesn't need a lashing of bitter hops, you need to get home safe for work on Monday (unless you treat it like a holiday like we do, and take Monday off), and you want your beer to go with your Super Bowl food. But, you want to support craft beer, you need to impress your friends, and you don't want to insult your tastebuds with flavorless yellow fizz. Below is a list of some easy drinking, not too strong, but well flavored beers. None are too bitter, though a few are full of hop flavors (think citrus though, not pine tree). A few of them lean slightly sweet. Mostly this is balanced, flavorful beer that would be just as worthy at a tasting event, but doubles as a tasty beverage while you're glued to the game.

1. Flywheel Bright Lager, Metropolitan Brewing

Chicago's own pilsner, vastly superior to the yellow fizz of Wisconsin (probably goes better with cheese, too). Highly recommended for washing down spicy wings or jalapeno poppers. Or nachos. Or buffalo shrimp. I'm hungry.

1a. If you're not in Chicago, you're not totally lost on delicious craft pilsners. North Coast's Scrimshaw, Lagunitas Pils, and Capital Brewing's Pilsner are all solid examples of the style. Victory Prima Pils is an OMG Beer! favorite, but packs a bit more of an off-style, unique flavor.

2. Gossamer Pale Ale, Half Acre Brewing

Hops, without the bitterness. So damn drinkable. This is my go-to walk around a festival with a 4 pack in my bag beer, and my go-to movie or music at the park beer right now.

Similar but tamer in hop flavor is the North Coast Red Seal Ale.
Slightly more amber and thus a tad bit sweeter (though still nothing in the range of sweet, promise) is Mendocino Brewing's Red Tail Ale.

3. Two Brothers Ebel's Weiss, Two Brothers Brewing

Personally, OMG Beer! saves delicious wheat beers for quiet, beer-first events, not for football. However, if I had a beer for every time I saw someone put down 5 wheat beers at a sports bar, I'd have a lot more beer than I do in the Headquarters beer fridge (it's sad in there). This solid offering from Two Brothers fits the bill of drinkable and delicious, and it's not over the top with the banana-clove punch. If you add fruit to it, just don't send me a damn picture.

4. Dynamo Copper Lager, Metropolitan Brewing

Another deliciously complex brew that doubles as a highly drinkable beer you can enjoy with the game. Darker than its cousin the Flywheel, there's a smooth, slightly creamy mouthfeel, and a sweet, slightly nut taste. Ends nice and dry, without a lingering sweetness that might ruin your game day.

If there's been a run on Dynamo, try Great Lakes Eliot Ness.

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