If you’re like Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, you can’t wait to get a Bud Light in your mouth after work.
The comment, made by Manning two years ago following a playoff victory, went viral, and there are many folks planning to gather and watch Manning work, possibly for the last time, in Sunday's Super Bowl.
With that in mind, here are nine beer recommendations for the big game.
This list was assembled with a few key goals: branching out from NFL's official beer sponsor, relating to the Super Bowl or football itself and -- most importantly! -- being available locally. (It would be fun to try an Oatmaha, a beer collaboration honoring Peyton Manning and his infamous audible “Omaha,” but it's available only in Indianapolis and Denver, so I sadly cannot recommend it.)
Dortmunder Actien Brauerei lager: The cans come with the label “DAB,” which makes sense; those are the initials of the brewery. However, the "Dab" is also the dance Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton uses to celebrate his touchdowns, just before he gives the football to a child in the stands. Refreshing behavior, refreshing beer.
Lift by MadTree Brewing Co.: Traditionally, Super Bowl parties feature a lot of food, with a great deal of it spicy in nature, from chili to chicken wings to Buffalo chicken dips. Lift is the perfect complement to those foods: It's a light drinking beer and serves well to put out the fire of the spiciest chili.
Breckenridge Brewery Vanilla Porter: Representing Manning’s Broncos, this is one of Colorado’s finest breweries. It is so fine, in fact, Anheuser-Busch InBev recently reached an agreement to buy Breckenridge. This particular offering is a solid porter that tastes of vanilla without being overly sweet.
Panther by Rhinegeist Brewery: There are two reasons for this recommendation. The first is it has a name similar to one of the teams playing in the Super Bowl. The second is that this porter is available only through February, and it is well worth picking some up before the long wait for next year’s batch.
Oskar Blues IPA: Oskar Blues is in the unique position of being “home” to a winner of the game, regardless of the outcome. With operations in both Longmont, Colorado, and Brevard, North Carolina, Oskar Blues can’t go wrong, just like IPA fans can’t go wrong with this offering. The hops are present yet not overpowering, making it a good introduction to the style for those new to IPAs.
Bay of Bengal by Christian Moerlein Brewing Co.: Even though our local team isn’t playing, you can still show off your orange-and-black stripes with this highly rated double IPA from Moerlein. This beer is also seasonal and therefore should be enjoyed while supplies last.
Highland Gaelic Ale by Highland Brewing: This is North Carolina’s representation on the list. While the Charlotte area boasts enough quality breweries to justify a road trip, their beers simply aren’t widely available in Greater Cincinnati. Highland, which is based in Asheville, North Carolina, is much more widely distributed, and the Gaelic Ale is a solid American amber, with the hops peaking through the caramel-flavored malt during tasting.
HuDey by Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewing Co.: This lager isn’t your father’s (or grandfather’s) Hu-Dey, in the Bengal-striped cans. But for those with a taste for the nostalgia of the Bengals’ Super Bowl runs in the 1980s, or the brews of yesteryear in general, this is your beer.
Anchor Steam Beer by Anchor Brewing: Since this year’s Super Bowl is being played in Levi's Stadium, the home of the San Francisco 49ers, it seems right to include San Francisco’s own Anchor Steam. This beer has a unique flavor stemming from a unique fermenting process. Without getting too detailed, the result is a beer that is hard to classify as either ale or lager, but it's very drinkable and worthy of a place at your party.
Have fun with this list, and try something new; even if the game is a snoozer you’ll have something to discuss. Cheers!