Huck it, Chuck it, FOOTBALL!!!

Seeing as we are now entering week 3 of the 2012 NFL season, it is time pay homage to one of the most important things any football fan can have at their disposal on a sunday afternoon when they sit down for a day of watching games…beer!

When I think of beers that I enjoy when watching a football game I think of sessionable beers that are light to medium bodied that won’t fill me up to quickly.  Because, let’s be honest, I want to be able to keep drinking all day long.  Drinking to many high ABV “heavy” beers will bring an end to your day of drinking very fast, and it will leave you watching the late afternoon games with a glass of water.

So, as an ode to football season I present to you my list of 5 beers I will be drinking this season.  All are session style beers that go down easy and will let you continue to drink until the end of the sunday night game.

Some of these beers may be tough to find, but hey, they’re worth it.

*Note this isn’t a review of what I consider to be world class beers, instead this is a review of 5 beers that I believe fit the mold of quintessential gameday brews.

Style: Mild Ale/Belgian Pale Ale
(Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project Somerville, MA 3.4%ABV)
Beer Advocate Rating: 86 RateBeer Rating: 70
Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project has come on strong over the past year or so.  The release of Magnifico! their limited availability Mild Ale coincided nicely with summer and can still be found on tap at several bars as we approach the fall months.  This is a fantastic session beer for anybody looking for a low ABV easy drinker that they can throw back while they get lost in a day of football.  It pours a bright gold with a fragile white head that leaves plenty of lacing.  The beer is incredibly balanced.  The hop profile is evident but subdued.  I found this surprising after learning that once again this is a beer brewed with Magnum Hops. (High alpha generally leading to more bitterness.)  This beer was the perfect compliment to football style grub, whether it was wings or BBQ.
Matt’s personal rating: 3.6 out of 5
Blonde Cougar
Style: Golden/Blonde Ale
(Wormtown Brewery Worcester, MA 5%ABV)
Beer Advocate Rating: N/A RateBeer Rating: N/A
Wormtown Brewery located in Worcester and attached to Peppercorn’s Restaurant (A great place to grab a bite) is another up and coming craft brewery that has been gaining fans in the Massachusetts and New England area.  Blonde Cougar is one of their newest releases but can already be found on tap at almost any bar in central mass, and is quickly popping up all across the state and region.  This beer pours a solid gold color, slightly hazy and fairly carbonated.  A small white head with tight bubbles forms but dissipates fairly quickly.  The aroma is pleasant with hints of grass being the most prominent scent to hit the nose.  Flavor wise, this is a fairly standard by the books blonde ale.  Malty and balanced, this beer is refreshing and tasty.  While this particular beer may not come across as the “best beer I ever drank”, at only 5% ABV and very light on the stomach this is another wonderful beer for football sundays.
Matt’s personal rating (3.1 out of 5)
Boont Amber Ale
Style: Amber Ale
(Anderson Valley Brewing Boonville, CA 5.8%ABV)
Beer Advocate Rating: 90 RateBeer Rating: 90

Anderson Valley Brewing continues to surprise me.  First it was their Barney Flats Stout, then it was their Summer Solstice.  Now it is their Boont Amber Ale.  I must admit, I have never been a huge fan of Amber ales, however this is a fantastic beer.  It pours a dark copper with HUGE off-white head that is thick and long lasting.  This is another one of those beers that just looks great after the pour.  I suggest an English pint glass for this particular beer.  The aroma is robust, caramel and toffee notes split the nose with a nice light hop profile that is both florally and piney.  The flavor follows suite and is dominated by a rich malty caramel flavor.  The hops provide a solid balance, but the crystal malt profile can certainly be distinguished very easily in this beer.
While this beer is slightly “darker” then the previous beers on this list and is also full bodied, at only 5.8% this beer is still very easy to drink and packs a lot of flavor.  For anyone looking for a more full flavored beer during the game, without the risk of filling up to quickly, this is the beer for you.
Matt’s personal rating (3.9 out of 5)
Lagunitas Pils
Style: Czech Pilsener
(Lagunitas Brewing Company Petaluma, CA 6.2%ABV)
Beer Advocate Rating: 74 RateBeer Rating: 74
Both Beer Advocate and RateBeer don’t see eye to eye with me on this one, but for my 4th recommendation for the perfect gameday beer, I present to you Lagunitas Pils, a refreshingly American take on the classic Czech Pils.  This beer does pack a little bit of an alcohol punch, checking it at 6.2% but its light body and refreshing carbonation help this beer go down real easy.  On top of that this is another beer like the Magnifico! that pairs very well with just about any of your favorite football foods.  The beer pours a golden orange with a nice two finger white head that lasts FOREVER!  The aroma is fairly robust for the style and showcases the pleasant hop profile of this beer, as well as a fairly bready characteristic.  The flavor is very clean although the breadiness and floral hops can still be tasted on the palate.  The finish is quick and slightly dry and leaves very little to no aftertaste.  While this is far from your classic commercial American lager, for those who don’t want to stray too far from their familiar cans, this is a great “crossover” beer.
Matt’s personal rating (3.4 out of 5)
The Great Pumpkin Ale
Style: Spice/Herb/Vegetable
(Cambridge Brewing Company Cambridge, MA 4.4%ABV)
So I was very hesitant to put a “pumpkin” beer on this list.  99% of the time they are too sweet, filling or very high in ABV.  However, Pumpkin beers are a welcome sight once the fall comes around and seem to go hand in hand with the start of football season.  I always thought it would be nice to have a light easy drinking session style pumpkin beer, that had a light flavor and body and could be drank in copious amounts during football season.  Thank you Cambridge Brewing Company!  Now let me say this, this is not your typical pumpkin beer.  It doesn’t scream pumpkin and it doesn’t have an overwhelming spice profile.  In fact I would go as far as to say that this is more of an autumn ale than a pumpkin beer. (My friend Pat would agree with me on this point)
The beer pours a transparent deep orange with huge bright white head that lasted quite awhile.  Moderate lacing and mild carbonation are traits of this light bodied beer.  This beer as far as its pumpkin qualities go, boasts pumpkin aroma and flavor over the spice profiles.  A light refreshing pumpkin note can be caught on the nose and even the flavor has that “vegetable just picked from the garden flavor”.  The typical pumpkin pie flavor that we generally attribute to pumpkin beers is nowhere to be found.  The best description I can give for this beer is a very light bodied Oktoberfest that has been infused with pumpkin.  At 4.4% ABV this beer is nice and sessionable.  It’s light bodied and low alcohol content makes this the perfect pumpkin style beer to throw back on football sunday and still be able to keep your head in the game.
Matt’s personal rating: (3.5 out of 5)
So there you have it 5 beers that I will be drinking this football season.  They are all light enough, low enough in ABV, but still tasty enough to be the perfect beer for a long day of football watching.
Enjoy the season, enjoy your beers and go Pats!
Categories: Beer

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