Best Beers for Super Bowl LVI

By Bob Barnes

Craft Brews to Drink during The Big Game

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 rundown of some brews to match varying tastes and preferences of craft beer lovers.

> Check out recipes for Champagne Cocktails for Super Bowl

1. Deschutes Brewery The Abyss

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.

2. Dogfish Head Sixty-One Minute IPA

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.

3. Anchor Brewing 2021 Christmas Ale

Anchor Brewing 2021 Christmas Ale

Origin: San Francisco, California
Beer type: Spiced Brown Ale/Winter Warmer
Price: $12 for 12 oz six-pack
ABV: 7%
Brewed by: Anchor Brewing

Since 1975, Anchor Brewing has created a distinctive Christmas Ale, and this year marks its 47th annual rendition. A collector’s item for many beer aficionados, the highly guarded secret recipe is different every year, along with the hand-drawn ubiquitous trees depicted on the labels, which this year features the Western Joshua Tree. As stated on the label, “Trees symbolize the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew; the natural beauty of the California high desert is epitomized by the Western Joshua Tree.”

This yearly gift to beer lovers brings forth notes of rich, bittersweet chocolate with hints of raspberry and light mulling spices such as cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and cardamom. At 7%, it equals last year’s version, which marked the highest ABV of any previous versions. Don’t delay in procuring a bottle, as this seasonal usually doesn’t last past the winter season.

4. Oskar Blues Double Dale’s Imperial IPA

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.