Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway)
Much to the chagrin of my wife and most of my friends, I’m a pretty big sports nut, and despite being a long suffering local sports fan there’s no anticipation quite like the feeling right as another pro football season starts. Maybe it’s the intensity of the game or the short schedule compared to other sports, but there’s an edge to the beginning of football season that gets me just a little extra charged up, and I know I’m not alone in that.
Just watching a few minutes of a game lets you know, through the sponsorships and overwhelming number of ads, that macrobreweries are the beverage of choice for the football fan, but that’s not always the case. There are a lot of us who love more than a couple beers during a game (and more often than not before or after one as well), so here’s some recommendations for this season. Enjoy these at your next tailgate or with some great snacks in front of the TV at home.
Devil’s Backbone Striped Bass Pale Ale: Recently released, this special-run Ale from Lexington, VA is a perfect late summer/early autumn beer. Striped Bass Pale is super-clean with a focused, earthy hop character. I hesitated to recommend this as I don’t know how long it’ll be around, but it’s too good not to. Not to mention proceeds go to help out the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
Oskar Blues Mama’s Lil’ Yella’ Pils: It’s very easy to get branded as “that guy” when you bring craft beer to a tailgate or a friend’s house for the game. This crisp Pilsner-style from Oskar Blues is a perfect beer to avoid this: essentially one of those beers you see TV ads for, made by someone who gives a damn, Lil’ Yella’ is familiar enough that anybody who snags a can from the cooler can enjoy it, but made to a standard that makes it obviously a craft beer.
Port City Monumental IPA: Alexandria’s Port City Brewery is on a serious roll right now. Their Monumental IPA is well-balanced, with assertive but not overly aggressive hops and a nice malty character. Bring this one out for those who want to try something different but can be overwhelmed by intense hops.
Abita Pecan Harvest Ale: This year’s Pecan Harvest Ale hasn’t arrived yet, but when it does its mix of fine malts and nutty tones makes it a perfect match for pretzels, nuts, chips — you know, all the stuff you put out on the table when you sit down for a Sunday’s worth of action. Abita recently shut down temporarily with Hurricane Isaac bearing down on the Gulf Coast, but hopefully this unique and tasty seasonal Ale will be on one of their first truck out once they’re back up and running.
Founder’s Breakfast Stout: This is a beer that’s back on the market as of this week, but will be around throughout the season and into the playoffs, meaning during the winter where we have many a Sunday matchup played under ‘football weather.’ The combination of chocolates, coffees, and flaked oats in the Founder’s Breakfast Stout give it a bold flavor and while at 8.3% ABV it may seem a bit too strong for some, the feel isn’t nearly as heavy as you might think. This is a great brew for getting your winter grillout going or for taking the edge of a winter chill.
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