Monday, November 06, 2006

Beercraft newspaper column #27- Beer and football

Beer and football, the classic pairing

Beer and football go hand-in-hand for many fans, and probably for some players. Every Sunday, all across the nation, couch cushions are compressed by our giant American butts, and thousands of kitchens reverberate with the repeated thudding of refrigerator doors as we repeatedly consume the unofficial beverage of football. Today, your trusty beer writers will help you with your beer needs, so you can score a “touchdown” with your buddies.

When having people over for the game, it’s important to choose your beer wisely. So let’s look in the “playbook.” How many people? You might choose a lower-priced brand for economy of scale. How cold is it outside? Perhaps a stronger, more warming imperial stout or doppelbock is in order. Are the Bills playing? You might want to grab something extremely low in alcohol for when your guests attempt to drown their sorrows.

We’re of the firm belief that sporting events and beer snobbery don’t mix. You can drink the finest Belgian trappist ale, but casting scorn upon one of your buddies for popping open a Coors Light is “unsportsmanlike conduct.”

In order to please everyone, why not get a mixed case of microbrew? Lots of breweries, including Saranac, Magic Hat, and the High Falls Brewery, have variety packs that mix several styles. That way light and dark beer lovers alike can “play the option,” without “encroaching, ” and you don’t have to “scramble” to please a finicky palate.

Of course, the food you serve along with the beer has something to do with the quality of the afternoon. Bean dip is nice, but then you risk an “offensive backfield” and possibly a “pass rush.” We recommend pizza, which goes better with beer than any other foodstuff. But not that thick sicilian crap that’s like biting into a sponge with sauce and cheese on it. Keep it nice and thin, New York City-style, and you’ll stay “in bounds” with your friends, and not suffer a “Forward pass thrown from behind the line of scrimmage after ball has already crossed the line of scrimmage.”

Whew. Even though football may have a lot of rules, beer drinking has refreshingly few. The cameraderie, the excitement, and the flavor of a fine brew almost make up for the abysmal play of J.P. Loss-Man and company. We’ll leave you now to enjoy the game, dole out the high-fives, and come up with your own stupid puns.
Although, now that we think about it, why should you have to buy all the damn beer anyway? It’s your house, isn’t it? Those guys are going to come over and not even take off their shoes, tracking dirt all over the carpet you just vacuumed (or not, if you’re us). They’ll plop down on your couch, scratching themselves and putting their feet on your coffee table. And will they bring any beer? Noooooo. But you open your fridge and they’ll be all over it like a hipster on a Pabst Blue Ribbon. Some friends you have!

Be smart about it. Go over to someone else’s house and be an abuser of hospitality rather than a victim. To alleviate a portion of the ill will you’ll generate, bring along a six-pack of something wonderful, like Phin & Matt’s Extraordinary Ale from the Southern Tier Brewing Company, or Long Trail Brewing’s Hit the Trail Ale. Just stay away from the Candian stuff. They do for beer what they did for the game of Football. Oh, and make someone else drive you home. That way you can get there in relative “safety.”

Sorry, we couldn’t resist.

Bruce is a certified beer judge and former commercial brewer. Mark owns a laptop and likes beer. For more on beer, check out the beercraft blog, updated regularly, at Send your questions, suggestions, or comments to

1 comment:

'Don' Cialini said...

FLAG! You're getting a 15 week Penalty for presenting this column to your readers. Hopefully we will forgive you by the time the penantly expires.