The Best Beers for Super Bowl LVIII

By Bob Barnes

Naturally, the beverage that goes hand in hand with football, and the one most choose to imbibe while watching The Big Game, is the all-American suds: beer.

Here’s a curated rundown of some brews to match varying tastes and preferences of craft beer lovers.

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Deschutes Brewery The Abyss

Origin: Bend, Oregon
Beer type: Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout
Price: $17.50 for 22 oz
ABV: 11%
Brewed by: Deschutes Brewery

At this time of year most of the country is bundled up for the cold winter, and this brew will warm up your tastebuds. Brewed with licorice, cherry bark and molasses and aged in a blend of new oak, bourbon and wine barrels, the name is a testament to its pitch-black motor oil hue.

Aromas of vanilla, dark fruits, prune, chocolate and licorice give way to complex flavors of espresso, bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, licorice and rich, sweet maltiness. Released in limited quantities since 2006, this 11.7% ABV imperial stout is one of the most sought after and highly respected beers in the world. It’s a prime candidate for aging, and a favored pastime for beer connoisseurs and craft beer establishments is to save vintages from year to year and drink them side by side to notice the subtle and not so subtle changes as the beer ages.

Dogfish Head Sixty-One Minute IPA

Origin: Milton, Delaware
Beer type: Beer-Wine Hybrid
Price: $11 for 12 oz four-pack
ABV: 6.5%
Brewed by: Dogfish Head Brewery

Dogfish Head is known for pushing the boundaries of new innovations to the favored IPA style and in this case merges wine with beer, something this brewery has been known to do. The numerical name serves as a reminder that this is Dogfish Head’s 60 Minute IPA with one additional ingredient added: Californian Syrah grape must added during fermentation.

Once poured, a beautiful cranberry color attests to the marriage of wine with beer, and this addition weaves fruity flavors into the hoppy taste of the IPA character, giving it a dry red wine complexity. The homemade water color label was drawn by founder/president Sam Calagione, for which he creatively mixed green pigment with beer and red with wine to represent the beer/wine hybrid and finished with painted melted chocolate, which this brew pairs well with.

Oskar Blues Double Dale’s Imperial IPA

Origin: Lyons, Colorado
Beer type: Double IPA
Price: $12 for 12 oz six-pack
ABV: 9%
Brewed by: Oskar Blues Brewery

Super Bowl is a time of nationwide celebration and also worth celebrating is the 20th anniversary of Dale’s Pale Ale, the groundbreaking American Pale Ale that holds the distinction of being the first craft beer ever packaged in a can. To mark the milestone, Oskar Blues Brewery has released Double Dale’s Imperial IPA, a double-take on the beer that started it all.

Speaking on the nuances of the celebratory ale, Oskar Blues Lyons’ Head Brewer Juice Drapeau said, “Double Dale’s captures some of the citrus and caramel character of Dale’s, while achieving its own unique flavor profile and identity.” Double Dale’s is brewed with juicy, tropical El Dorado and complex Talus hops, keeping with the Dale’s tradition of utilizing only American hops. Fruity, piney flavors from the hops mingle with a caramel-driven malt bill, and a new mineral-forward house blend of H2O, which includes six brewing salts.

Origin: San Diego, CA
Beer type: Double IPA
Price: $12 for 12 oz. 6-pack
ABV: 9.4%
Brewed by: Stone Brewing Company

Stone Brewing has established itself as one of the world’s most renowned brewers of IPAs and consistently nails the style and its sub-categories. It is also lending its brewing prowess to another mostly overlooked aspect of the IPA offerings: gluten-reduced beer.

Stone’s Delicious IPA has been on the market since 2015, which clocks in below the FDA requirement for “gluten free” labeling (less than 20 parts per million), but as the beer is brewed with barley and an innovative fermenting process removes the gluten, Stone only gets to claim “gluten reduced.” This arrival to the gluten-reduced line packs a heftier punch than the original, with an ABV of 9.4%. There’s also a serious depth of flavor and explosive aroma of lemon and ripe fruit from Centennial and Amarillo hops, but with less bitterness than a typical double IPA. To experience all of the gluten-reduced line, the released Delicious Mixed Pack includes two each of the Delicious IPA, Delicious Citrus IPA and Delicious Double IPA.