Super Bowl XLVIII is less than a week away — you know what that means: It’s time to lay the groundwork for your party, which you desire to be so memorable that your guests will never be able (or even willing) to think about the participants, the final score, or even Super Bowl by number without first thinking of where they watched it.
While I don’t necessarily disagree with their choices, especially after reading some of the descriptions, many of them are simply too obscure. As a result, I thought I’d come up with a list of fairly affordable, diverse and rewarding quaffs of my own.
1) Rogue Dead Guy Ale — Dead Guy is a well-balanced, versatile ale — crafted as a Maibock — that should please any beer drinker. This Oregon brewer — and this beer — is a personal favorite of mine and has yet to disappoint. Not too heavy, not too light, Dead Guy is just right.
2) Allagash White– A remarkably smooth witbier out of Maine. You’re guaranteed to throw back more than one of these due to the light 5.0 ABV, notes of coriander and orange peel, and a refreshing taste that won’t leave you with that unenviable beer belly feeling.
3) Bell’s Two Hearted Ale — When it comes to this recent discovery of mine, the quality speaks for itself. This is a beer with attitude and serious merit. There’s a reason it was rated the No. 2 beer in the U.S. by the American Homebrewers Association as recently as 2012. A delightfully hoppy and complex American IPA, Bell’s answers the bell every time.
4) Victory Prima Pils — Picking a Victory brew is generally, well, a victory. I figured it was time to change the pace a little bit with a Pilsner, but don’t let that concession cheapen its inclusion. I can confidently place this Pennsylvania brewed German Pils above any other I’ve consumed of that kind.
5) Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar — Rogue: So nice I picked it twice. Like Dead Guy Ale, Hazelnut Brown Nectar is supremely balanced, yet intricate brew. This brown ale, offering a welcome nutty twist, is sure to garner your approval.
6) Piraat Belgian Pale Ale– Now to get a bit more decadent. This Belgian boasts a hefty 10.5 percent ABV, but don’t expect the taste to over power you — it goes down like a 6.0 ABV instead. Piraat is both the priciest and the most unique of this bunch, thanks to its intriguing mix of maltiness, fruitiness, and elegance.
7) Southern Tier Creme Brulée Milk Stout — And for dessert, I present the creme brulée milk stout. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Vanilla, chocolate, and coffee flavors combine to form what is a delightful, extremely rich beer. Considering the sweetness, stoutness, and 9.6 ABV you won’t be able to drink much of this, but everyone has room for dessert.
Well, that’s that. But, by all means, submit your disputes over omissions in the comments — the worst that could happen is that I stumble upon a new favorite.