For many of us, the end of football season is a lonely, frightening time. We wander the refrigerator aisles of the convenience store, lost and afraid, knowing that, even if our team has skin in the big game, no matter the outcome, we’ll wake up the next morning to a persistent winter, a world without touchdowns. In this dreadful state of impending ennui, it would be easy for us to just pick up the obligatory twelve-pack of Miller Lite on our way to the Super Bowl party. Please. Don’t be that guy.
The sad, watery brew — the factory-farmed McDonald’s of beers — is an apt metaphor for the bland, empty life we lead between January and August. I ask you: why go down that hole before it’s absolutely necessary? The Super Bowl is a time to celebrate the gridiron warriors we’ve lived and died over these last five months, to raise a worthy glass to our favorite gladiators and their 100-yard coliseums.
A Super Bowl party beer is a specific breed, and must satisfy a few requirements. Between all the extended commercials, and the big-budget halftime show, you’re signing on for at least four hours of nail-biting merriment. Your standard-bearers of Sunday afternoon day-drinking — your Millers and Buds — are all relatively low in alcohol content (4.00% - 5.5% ABV), a quality which allows you to safely drink quite a few cold ones without fear of stumbling too hard over the goal line. In addition, your party beer is going to have to complement the food you serve: nachos, pizza, and burgers. Therefore, a light- to medium-bodied lager or ale, lower in alcohol than the craft beers you may be used to, fits the game-day bill to a tee.
The following eight beers were chosen not just because of their serious drinkability and careful craftsmanship, but also because they represent the four teams currently vying for the top spot in America’s biggest game. Happily for us, New England, Washington State, Colorado, and San Francisco aren’t only homes to the country’s most superior teams — they’re home to some of the country’s finest breweries, as well.