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Super Bowl beer guide: A brew for every fan

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff  January 31, 2014 11:30 AM

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Trilliumsuper.jpgTrillium Brewing Company Photo

Editor's note: The following is written by Boston.com and the Globe's beer guy, who is really a sports guy who dabbles in beer, although sometimes you wouldn't know it.

As much as the NFL's six-year, $1.2 billion deal with Anheuser-Busch InBev would like to convince you otherwise, Super Bowl Sunday is about choices. Choices in beer, choices in food, choices in the amount of time you're required to watch an NFL game the Patriots have no chance of winning.

You really, truly, do not have to drink Bud Light on Sunday, unless that's your jam, in which case, you really, truly have nothing to apologize for. No beer snobbery here, only tips to enhance your game day experience. Here are some beers you might want to drink this Sunday when you're not pounding BLs.

-- Light beer alternative: Narragansett Light

If you want a light beer but don't want to support the NFL machine, Grab a 'Gansett. At its peak in the late 1960s, Rhode Island's Narragansett beer had a 65 percent market share in New England. By 2005 the brand was in tatters, some 6,000 cases a year selling mostly in Rhode Island and Worcester. CEO Mark Hellendrung has brought the brand back to life, tweaking the recipe for Narragansett Lager away from some awful variations your dad used to drink and back to respectability. The light version is just 3.8 percent alcohol and comes in a tallboy can, perfect for starting your Sunday and finishing it, too.

-- A beer from Denver: Great Divide Rumble

Despite former Mayor Menino's statements to the contrary, Colorado makes some great beer. Great Divide Brewing Co. is one of many breweries churning out good beer. Rumble, an IPA from the brewery, is aged on French and American oak, balancing the hop bitterness with notes of vanilla.

-- A beer from Seattle: Elysian Brewing Co. Dragonstooth Oatmeal Stout

Elysian Brewing Co. is one of Seattle's best breweries, but you can't get the beer in New England. In fact, you can't really get any Seattle-brewed beer out here. If you're looking to take a road trip, people seem to dig this Elysian Dragonstooth Oatmeal Stout.

-- A beer from New England, because screw those guys

Where to start? Pick up a growler from Trillium Brewing in Fort Point. Grab a hoppy or smoky lager from Framingham's Jack's Abby. Go to town on something from Backlash, Mystic, Cape Ann, Berkshire Brewing, or Slumbrew. You can't go wrong.

-- Pregame beer: Founders Breakfast Stout

Depending on your time zone and how early you want to start, this stout with an enthusiastic toddler on the label is one of the best beers from this standout Michigan brewery. Intense bursts of coffee and chocolate are balanced by a bitter backbone.

-- A beer for Richard Sherman fans: Brash Beer The Bollocks

Brash has Texas roots, but these aggressive beers are brewed in Ipswich. The Bollocks is an imperial IPA with a whopping 12 percent alcohol by volume. It might leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth, but then you'll know how Michael Crabtree feels.

-- A beer for Peyton Manning fans: Yazoo Brewing Pale Ale

What, you thought we were going to say Bud Light? This beer from the state of Manning's alma mater rates just OK on Beer Advocate, which lines up with Manning's taste in beer and pizza.

coldsnap.jpg-- Best beer for the halftime show: Kona Brewing Co. Longboard Island Lager

Bruno Mars was born and raised in Honolulu. You can buy Kona products all over New England and kill two stones by also pretending you're someplace much warmer.

-- A beer to warm you up: St. Bernardus ABT 12

Did someone say they were playing this Super Bowl outside? A nice big bottle of St. Bernardus ABT 12, a Belgian Quadruple weighing in at 10 percent ABV and rivaling the best beers in the world, may just do the trick. If only the people shelling out a thousand bucks to sit in the nosebleeds at MetLife Stadium could carry in their own bottles.

-- A beer for Tom Brady fans: Samuel Adams Cold Snap

Too soon?

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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