The Super Bowl party has grown from a simple gathering of friends to a full-fledged American tradition. It’s been said that this is the US’s second biggest food day, and when people gather to watch a game on TV and share good food, good beer should be there as well. But this isn’t the time to try a new, complex beer brewed by blind monks in a cave in France; even the snobbiest of beer geeks will want a simple, satisfying beer on game day.
Here are a few of my suggestions for beers to serve at your next Super Bowl party.
And check out these Super Bowl party food and beer pairings.
Make It a Bud
Whether you prefer the subtler flavor of Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser or the fuller Bohemian brewed Budvar Budweiser (sold as Czechvar in the US), you’ll be joining millions by popping the top on a Bud. Both beers will pair easily with most foods. But you did that last year, didn’t you? So did everyone else. If it wasn’t Bud and Bud, maybe it was Miller and Heineken or Coors and Grolsch.
Why not try something a little different this year? There are some nice craft brewed Pilsner out there that could easily replace most of these beers with more flavor and character. For example, check out Redhook's Pilsner or New Belgium's Blue Paddle.
Wheat style is another subtly flavored beer. American wheat beers like Pyramid's Hefe Weizen are often popular with those that find most craft beers to be “too much," so it's always a good idea to have a few of these on hand, especially if you're serving exclusively craft beer.
There are lots of really good pale ales out there. Anchor and Flying Dog both make excellent pale ales. Typically hoppier than either of the Buds, pale ales will still work nicely with Super Bowl food. They also tend to stay much more interesting in flavor after one or two when the Buds or American Wheat often begin to taste like water.
There are always going to be a few in every crowd that will want a big beer. Stout isn’t the biggest, but its wide appeal will make it a welcome addition. Of course the most popular stout is Guiness, and a six pack of the good black stuff is never uncalled for. But look around at the beer selection a bit before settling on this one. There are some other really good stouts out there. Sierra Nevada makes an excellent black brew, as does Goose Island.
Seek out a local beer. Most of the specific beer brands named here are pretty easy to find throughout the US and were chosen with that in mind. But there’s something to be said for seeking out a local brew. If there’s a brewpub where you live, go there and ask the bartender to recommend a couple of brews for your Super Bowl party. It’s likely they’ll have the perfect beer in mind or can tell you which one is a hit with their customers. For ten or fifteen dollars they’ll fill a half gallon growler with some of the freshest beer you’ll ever taste. Your guests will love it!