Best Beers for Super Bowl LV

By Bob Barnes

Craft Brews to Drink during The Big Game

While not a national holiday, Super Bowl Sunday is almost looked upon and treated as one. 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 2020 Christmas Ale

Anchor Brewing 2020 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 46th 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 are The Three Graces: giant sequoias in California’s Mariposa Grove in Yosemite, representing a time of togetherness with radiance, joy and hope. At 7%, this year marks the highest ABV and is the darkest of any previous versions.

This yearly gift to beer lovers brings forth a decadent mouthfeel of spice one would expect in a Winter Warmer and a big malty backbone with notes of chocolate, toasted marshmallows, burnt graham cracker and a smattering of pumpernickel. Don’t delay in procuring a bottle, as this seasonal usually doesn’t last past the winter season.

4. Oskar Blues Brewery Oskar’s Lager

Oskar Blues Brewery Oskar’s Lager

Origin: Longmont, Colorado
Beer type: American Pale Lager
Price: $17 for 12 oz 15-pack
ABV: 4.2%
Brewed by: Oskar Blues

After its founding in 1997 in Lyons, Colorado, Oskar Blues Brewery launched the craft-beer-in-a-can apocalypse with their popular Dale’s Pale Ale.

Now the craft beer pioneer is bringing forth a beer that won’t put on the pounds while you pound the suds. This American Pale Lager logs in at 95 calories, 2.5 carbs. It’s brewed with Pilsner malt, toasted rice and Czech Saaz hops using German lager techniques, resulting in a crisp, clean, refreshing easy drinking beer that lives up to its marketing tagline “the everyday craft beer you count on through thick and thin.” Oskar’s Lager is now available at retailers nationwide packaged in six- and 15-packs of 12-ounce cans.

5. Stone Features & Benefits IPA

Stone Features & Benefits IPA

Origin: San Diego, California
Beer type: IPA
Price: $11 for 12 oz six-pack
ABV: 4%
Brewed by: Stone Brewing

Those looking for a beer low in calories, carbs and gluten, without sacrificing flavor, can to turn to this hop-forward release from the craft brewery that put IPAs on the map. Logging in at only 95 calories, 2.9 carbs and 4% ABV, featured hops are Cashmere, Vic Secret, Azacca and Mosaic, delivering flavors of orange, pear, white peach, melon and black pepper with a crisp and refreshing finish.

An added bonus is that this beer is fermented in a manner that breaks down and removes gluten, rendering gluten levels so significantly low that the beer qualifies as a “gluten-reduced” ale per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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