There are people who go to football games to watch the game, and then there are people who go to pig out on some good grub, drink beer, and get caught up in the excitement of being among the fans.
Of course, these days, there are those that straddle both categories — who devote their attention to the plays and what's going down on the field, but who also want a truly great beer to whet their whistle (lest they need to yell indignantly at the ref for a bad call). Outside of the stadium, the attention to good food and drink has always been quite clear, what with tailgating fare achieving legendary status in many places. But inside a great deal of stadiums now too the game has really been stepped up — especially when it comes to the beer selection.
Forget the big-name macrobrews — at places like the San Francisco 49ers' Candlestick Park and the Washington Redskins' FedEx Field, the focus is on microbrews and providing a sizable selection of bottle and draft beers. A few of the offerings at some venues pay homage to local breweries, like Houston's St. Arnold Brewing Company, which claims to be the state's oldest craft brewery and is proudly served at the Texans' Reliant Stadium. Of course, no conversation about the best beer selection at NFL stadiums would be complete without mention of the Carolina Panthers' Bank of America Stadium, which pours hoppy Maelstrom IPA and locally brewed Olde Mecklenburg Copper.
Inspired by Esquire's 2010 "NFL Stadium Food Power Rankings," we decided to take a look at the football teams whose stadiums have beer programs that are truly worth rooting for. You have to figure at least that with a good beer in hand, both victory and defeat are easy to swallow (well, kind of).