Craft Beer’s Super Bowl

By John Holl

For those hosting and attending Super Bowl parties this weekend, there are many decisions to be made before the big game. From what dishes to make, to choosing the best seat in the house, and of course setting rules for shushing during the commercials. However, when it comes to what you’ll be drinking, too many football fans will be blindly grabbing for a generic light lager. I’m here to tell you, it’s time to drink local!

Super Bowl Sunday is an unofficial American holiday that provides the unique opportunity to add some local flavor to your party by drinking craft beers from the hometowns of the New York Giants and the New England Patriots, as well as Indianapolis, the host city. Serving American craft beer at your Super Bowl party means you’re supporting small businesses whose owners and brewers bleed for their home teams, and have vested interests in their towns.

This year’s matchup is a repeat from Super Bowl XLII in 2008, which ended with a surprise victory by the Giants over the Patriots. Fans on both sides have never forgotten, and this time around the Patriots are hoping for a reversal of fortunes. Much has changed over the last four years, with new breweries opening in both regions taking up the mantle of their local teams.

Cheer On Your Team with Local Craft Beer

New York Giants

Blue Point Brewing Patchogue, NY nybeers
Captain Lawrence
Brewing Co.
Albany, NY
Cricket Hill Brewing Co Fairfield, NJ
Great South
Bay Brewery
Bay Shore, NY
New Jersey Beer Co. North Bergen, NJ
Sixpoint Craft Ales Brooklyn, NY

New England Patriots

Berkshire Brewing Co.  South Deerfield, MA neBEERS
Cambridge Brewing Co.  Cambridge, MA 
 Cape Cod Beer Hyannis, MA
Gritty McDuff’s Portland, ME
Ipswich Ale Brewery Ipswich, MA
Peak Organic Beer  Portland, ME 
Woodstock Inn and Brewery North Woodstock, NH

Back Home in Indiana

While the two teams battle it out on the field, the breweries of Indiana are excited and ready to welcome the tens of thousands of people who will pour into the Circle City. The excitement surrounding the game helps Colts fans keep their minds off the hometown’s abysmal season. The Super Bowl in the “crossroads of America” helps highlight excellent beer that often doesn’t get much notice outside of the Hoosier State.

“I’m just praying we don’t run out of beer before its all over,” said Clay Robinson of Sun King Brewery, which has a large tasting room a short cab or bike ride from Lucas Oil Stadium. The brewery rented a 4,000 square-foot heated tent that is in place at their brewery and will be welcoming visitors all week.

Other breweries in town like Brugge Brasserie, Upland Brewing Co., Scotty’s Brewhouse and Three Wise Men Brewing are all holding tours, events, and special tappings for locals and visitors alike. Each extols the value of their own beers, but Ted Miller of Brugge Brasserie is offering their Tripel de Ripple to help Colts fans as they watch their nemesis come into town on a high.

You will need a beer that packs a punch to get over the fact that Tom Brady is using Peyton’s locker,” said Miller, before welcoming visitors to Indy.

Who’s the Official Matthew Steinberg of Craft Beer?

massmATTDeep in the heart of New England is the new brewing venture of Matthew P. Steinberg, an established brewer who spent time at various Massachusetts breweries over the years and is now contracting at Just Beer in Westport. His Blatant Brewery is serving up pints in a growing number of bars where Patriots paraphernalia is hard to miss.

Take Interstate 95 south for 202 miles and you’ll find the other Matthew Steinberg, founder of New Jersey Beer Co., a brewery in the shadow of MetLife Stadium, home to the Giants. 

The two Matts have never met in person, but spoke with a reporter last week where there was a fine amount of spirited ribbing and early claims of local domination. Continuing a long-njmattstanding Super Bowl tradition of friendly betting between cities and businesses, the Steinbergs placed a bet with their very names on the line. The Steinberg whose team reigns supreme will earn the title of “Official Matthew Steinberg of Craft Beer” for one week following the game. The loser will also have to display the other’s brewery logo on his personal Facebook account during the week.

Even U.S. Senators are joining in on the Super Bowl betting! Check out this craft beer-based bet between Sen. Charles Schumer (NY) and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (NH).

Regardless of who wins the game, everyone in both regions will come out on top craft beer-wise.

“We’ll all be OK because a beer is the perfect drink during good times and bad times,” said Jeremy Goldberg of Cape Ann Brewing in Gloucester, Mass.

Game on. Cheers to local beer!

What craft beer will you be enjoying on Super Bowl Sunday?

John Holl is the editor of All About Beer Magazine and author of the American Craft Beer Cookbook. Follow him on Twitter @John_Holl.

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