This is a Guest Post, the content posted does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Pints Templars blog or its parent company.
I’m falling out of love with craft beer. That’s a terrible thing for a beer writer and someone that is currently trying to open a brewery to say, but it’s true. The industry has changed tremendously in the two years I have been writing about it. There used to be a brotherhood, a bond forged over beer. Brand loyalty is out of control. If you don’t like so and so’s beer you don’t know what you are talking about. You also have owner’s now threating people on social media because they don’t like the beer or brewery. It used to be fun. It used to be interesting. Now everyone is a critic on the apps out there rating beers badly just because they don’t like them and don’t even mention AbInbev or MillerCoors unless you want a worthless argument about how big beer is ruining craft.
Craft is ruining craft, for me at least. The beer has become boring, monotonous. Everyone is doing the same thing, same styles. For instance, I personally don’t like NE IPA’s, heck I barely like IPA’s in general, but everyone is out there trying to make the cloudiest, unfiltered, hoppiest beer ever. To me, it seems like people (owners and brewers, but not all) forget why they are doing this. It used to be a passion and now it’s just millionaires opening a brewery because it’s the cool thing to do. There is no soul behind it and some of the beer put on the market reflects it.
I am no longer excited for beer releases, I won’t stand in long lines for a beer and I don’t usually go to grand openings anymore. Even beer festivals are old hat. I think some of the beer is to gimmicky, people just throwing whatever they can in the boil and see who will buy it. I guess that’s what you need to do now to separate yourself from the rest and people are buying it, just personally I am not a fan. I guess I’m just a purest.
Now I say all this, but want you to realize I do think there is still good beer out there. There still are owner’s and brewer’s that care. There are lots of unknown or underrated places putting out good, solid beer styles. I just feel it’s starting to get to few and far between.
I want to just say this is my personal opinion. I’m not looking for arguments to the contrary. It’s something I will have to figure out for myself. I’m sure I will walk into a place one day and say now this is what I have been looking for. I still enjoy beer, I still have local hangouts. I have not lost all hope. I still want you to support your local breweries and make your own opinions. I like this industry; I just want the passion, the commitment and the brotherhood back. Is that too much to ask?
A few times a week, the Pints Templars Blog plans on sharing posts from blog sites that we think are interesting, helpful, or just fun. Today we are sharing a post from the American Homebrewers Association. The title of the post is "50 Commercial Clone Beer Recipes" and by 50 they mean one for each state. It's a very well put together and researched post and the recipe for my home state of New Jersey (Flying Fish Brewing Co. Red Fish Hoppy Red Ale) looks promising.
So head on over to 50 Commercial Clone Beer Recipes and see what recipe they found for your state. Let me know in the comments if you plan on using the recipe and how it turns out!
Ah, the IPA…the hopped up creature that has become a must-make for every brewery. The best selling beer style has many followers (myself included) and almost just as many haters. But the deliciously bitter beer we enjoy today has a long history and has under gone many changes since the first mention of it some 230 years ago.
Most people know that the IPA, or India Pale Ale, got its name from the journey it had to take. The British Empire they needed to ship beer all across the globe and, with India being too warm to actually brew beer at there due to the climate, they used to make what was called “pale ales as prepared for India”, “India ales”, “pale export India ales” or something similar…but they were all the same - brews with extra hops that could withstand the long journey across the ocean.
However, there are some common misconceptions when it comes to the early history. One of these is that these early IPAs were much stronger and boozier than most beers at the time. But that just wasn’t the case. They were a tiny bit higher in ABV but not by much. The only difference was the extra hops.
Another widely accepted misconception is that George Hodgson invented the IPA and his Bow Brewery was the first to brew it in the 1780s. Well, turns out that there’s a whole lot of history here that smarter people than I have found that says it’s just not true. And, instead, it was William Molyneaux that, in a book written 1869, declared Hodgson was the inventor with no actual evidence to support the claim.
Now Hodgson’s “pale ale as prepared for India” was the most popular beer in the East and it was considered to be a very sought after brew…for a while. At least until Bass and a few others dethroned him in the mid-to-late 1820s.
But what you should know is that, as of now, there is no known inventor of the IPA and many breweries made the style…possibly even as early as 1705! But, by the 1760s, brewers knew it was “absolutely necessary” to add extra hops to beer that were sent to warmer climates.
Then in 1841, as more railroads were built and transporting beer became much easier, the EIPA became a popular drink not just for troops and aristocrats in the warmer climates but for the general public in the UK as well. And that right there is why the IPA was not lost to history.
The English market for IPAs became vastly larger than it was abroad. Brewers played them off as elegant and romanticized them as something those classy people during the English Raj could enjoy at home. But the fact is IPAs never sold that well in India. Most people drank porters there.
Unfortunately for Hop-heads, the next 100 years or so weren’t that kind to IPAs.
During the late 1800s, lagers became the “it style” and pushed the popularity of IPAs down across the globe. Then, the US made one of the worst decisions ever and decided prohibition was a good idea…which didn’t help, as many breweries closed or didn’t want to make them.
For a fantastic, in depth, study of IPAs read Mitch Steel's book on the subject.
Twenty years later, during World War Two, there were quite a few rations and shortages on products (especially in Europe). Beer was a casualty of those shortages. While beer was still made in mass quantities, the grain shortage during WW2 forced brewers to weaken their pale ales and IPAs. And, as a result, IPAs became weaker and weaker to the point that the term became interchangeable with pale ales. Some pale ales during this time actually had a higher ABV; although IPAs still had the hoppier bite.
In England, breweries continued to make IPAs throughout these troubling times but their popularity and strength were never quite as high as they were in the early 1800s. But in America, they were barely made at all with the exception of New Jersey’s Ballentine Brewery’s IPA being one of, if not the only, continually made IPA throughout that time.
Then, in the mid-1970s, American breweries along the West Coast once again began to embrace hops.
[Side note: Unfortunately for Ballentine, they were sold to PBR in 1972 who then stopped making their beers and closed them down. They survived prohibition and 130 years just to close right before hops were once again embraced…tragic really. But in 2014 PBR revived the original IPA recipe and, sometimes, you can find it in small batches]
The American hop-revival began with San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing and their Liberty Ale, which was released in 1975 to commemorate the bicentennial of Paul Revere’s ride. From there more and more breweries along the Pacific began to revive this lost style. Sierra Nevada joined in with their launch of Pale Ale in 1980. And soon so did many others. So many that by the time 1989 had rolled around the GABF made decided to make IPAs an official category (with Sacramento’s Rubicon Brewing and their India Pale Ale taking home the gold and Liberty Ale getting silver). And, just like that, in a few short years, hops were back…at least in America.
Bell’s, Bridgeport, Dogfish Head, and Stone all came forward in the 90s and weren’t shy with their hops giving us beers like Two Hearted, Bridgeport IPA (one of the original West Coast IPAs), East IPA from Brooklyn (who is the only brewery to actually call it was originally called, so props to you guys!), and of course any and every beer that Stone released.
Over time scientists and brewers got more involved and began creating, breeding, and manipulating hops and yeasts – which they’re still doing today. There are tons of beers that use “experimental hops” and new varieties.
But it was in the early 2000s that breweries began using different yeast strains and making these new hops; hops with more piney notes or, mostly, more fruity notes. And, speaking of fruit, let’s not forget all the things that can be added to IPAs.
It was Dogfish Head that first added fruit to an IPA way back in 2004 when head owner Sam Calagione decided to pour some apricot juice into a seasonal IPA, which he then called Aprihop. You can still find that beer today (although I’m sure the recipe has since been tweaked).
Pretty soon after IPAs were soaring. And IPAs infused with fruit were, and still are, everywhere! Every brewery seems to have a grapefruit or mango IPA. Sometimes it’s to hide imperfections in their beer. But sometimes it’s just a really good addition that makes it easier to drink.
But it wasn’t just hops. The yeasts breweries used even began to change and evolve. The biggest example of which is the Brett beer.
There has a huge resurgence of Brettanomyces in beer recently. But Brett has always been around…brewers just hated it for the first 400 years. Initially, Brettanomyces (which means British Fungus in Greek) was a wild yeast that grew naturally on fruits and ruined beer, wine, and even the very fruit it grew on. If your beer had Brett in it during the 1700s or 1800s…you dumped it.
It wasn’t until relatively recently that brewers discovered that, under the right conditions, Brett was a great additive to IPAs because it continued to change the flavor over time and not actually ruin it. It added some nice spice and funk to the beer that you couldn’t find with Saccharomyces (the yeast used in most beer).
Around this time, the early 2000s, and with U.S. fully in love with IPAs, the world began to take notice. And, what was originally a British export, was now imported all over the globe from America. Breweries in the UK and Scandinavia picked up on them first but even places like Belgium and New Zealand began producing IPAs in mass. And, with more breweries making IPAs, there was a lot more experimentation and creation.
You know how cranberries have somehow snuck their way into every kind of juice (cran-apple, cran-grape, cran-mango, cran-lemonade [how is that a real product!])…well, that’s what IPAs started doing to beer in the past two decades; as a multitude of sub-categories have slowly emerged – from black IPAs to Belgian IPAs to sessions, and doubles, and fresh hop, and East Coast, and West Coast, and barrel-aged, etcetera, etcetera…but let’s not forget the newest craze - hazy IPAs.
Hazy IPAs go by a plethora of names: NEIPA (which stands for both North Eastern IPA and New England IPA), Vermont IPA, double dry-hopped IPA, and simply hazy IPAs. But, whatever you call it, it’s all the same – super hazy, super juicy, and almost like drinking alcoholic OJ (if done right).
The first credited variation of the NEIPA was Stowe, Vermont’s The Alchemist and their still highly demanded beer Heady Topper. Soon others followed like Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Trillium, and Treehouse. It has slowly spread across the country as more and more people craved this new softer, creamier style of IPA. Tired Hands in Pennsylvania. Mikerphone in Chicago. Monkish in California. Today it seems like every place tries to make an NEIPA.
And there you have it. From an unknown start back in the 1700s to an unknown future. IPAs have been around a long, long time and, based on how many people still love them today, they’ll be around for a long while more.
But, one thing’s for sure, they won’t stay the same. The evolution of the IPA will continue and who knows what kind of IPA we’ll all be drinking in twenty years…but I can’t wait to find out.
I enjoy craft beer, I really do, but I don't think I have the patience to actually brew my own. But lately, I have been looking at one of those all in one box at home brewing kits. My thinking is, if a kit has everything I need, I will be more open to giving it a try. I've been looking at them on Amazon (we don't have brewing supply place near us)
and I put together a list of 3 kits, from inexpensive to a little pricey.
I've been told that these kits are a great way to start someone off into home brewing if they are on the fence about it, like me.
Included: beer making mix (grain, hops, and yeast), 1-gallon glass fermenter, chambered airlock, glass thermometer
Also includes: racking cane, tubing, tubing clamp, screw cap stopper, and packet of sanitizer
Makes 1 gallon of beer (9-10 12 ounce bottles)
The second batch only requires new ingredients and packet of sanitizer; Kit is reusable
Not included: strainer, funnel, pot, and bottles
Notes - This starts you off making the most popular style of craft brew around, the IPA, but this isn't an all in one kit, you still have to buy additional equipment, so that might be a show stopper for that person just getting started.
Kit contains a compact, lightweight, shatterproof, reusable Little Brown Keg fermenter that is modeled after the design of professional brewing equipment and brews 2 gallons (16 pints) of delicious craft beer.
Mr. Beer brewing extracts are created by a renowned team of World Master Brewers on state-of-the-art equipment at Coopers Brewery. Brewing extracts cut multiple time, equipment, space and cost-intensive steps out of the homebrew process – while producing a consistently great-tasting beer.
The Mr. Beer Premium kit includes the Classic American Light brewing extract. Classic American light is a pale straw color, mild in flavor, and a lighter body with a crisp dry finish. This refill is a true representation of our nation’s favorite beer style
Bottle your beer into eleven 25 oz. shatterproof reusable bottles that are specifically designed for carbonating beverages. These plastic bottles allow brewers to perform a “squeeze test” to determine if their beer is done carbonating while allowing the bottles to remain sealed until carbonation is complete.
Also includes pre-measured carbonation drops for convenient, mess free carbonation, as well as a patented, robust brewing yeast that performs well in a wide-range of temperature, giving brewers the flexibility to brew in a variety of temperatures.
So you get everything you need to start and finish a batch, from extracts to bottles to package up the end result. No need to buy any additional gear. This might be the one for me.
Kit Includes Block Party Amber Ale recipe kit, 6.5-gallon fermentor w/ lid & Bubbler airlock, Bottling Bucket w/Spigot assembly, Fermenter's Favorites Bottle filler, 5 Gallon Stainless Brew Kettle, 21” Stainless Spoon Auto Siphon, 5 ft. Siphon Tubing & Siphon Tube Holder, Cleaner/Sanitizer - Fermenter's Favorites Oxygen Wash, Bottle Brush, Royal Crown Bottle Capper & Caps (60ct.)
Yeilds 5 gallons of beer.
Does not come with bottles.
I almost pulled the trigger, until I saw that it didn't come with bottles. I am trying to find that all-in-one kit. But besides that, this kit looks impressive.
After checking all the reviews and really thinking if this is something I want to try, I decided to order the Mr. Beer kit. After I give it a few batches, I will do a follow-up and detail my experiences with it.
Boasting a 1.75-inch diameter, and plated in antique gold, this year's edition of the Pints Templars Club Coin is both larger and heavier than its 2016 predecessor. The 2017 version sports the club logo, and the strike date, on the front, and is emblazoned with the Pints Templars Coat of Arms on the back.
Maplewood Juice Pants 5: License to Juice By Blogger Dave Drury
Anyone that knows me knows that I love Maplewood. They’re my favorite Chicago brewery and, to me, are vastly underrated. I’ve been following them since they were Mercenary and only had two beers out: The Charlatan and Fat Pug.
Well today the Logan Square brewery has a lot more than just two brews…including their series Juice Pants, which is now in its fifth variety. Each Juice Pants is (not surprisingly) a juicy IPA that packs a 7% ABV punch but each is made with a different selection of hops.
Like I said, their fifth one – officially named Juice Pants 5: License to Juice – just came out this Friday (July 7, 2017) and features Citra, Mosaic, Mosaic Lupulin Powder, and a pair of New Zealand hops (Wai-Iti and Kohatu). And, naturally, I was quick to shell out the $11.99 for the 22 ounce bomber. However, for this review, I will try to keep my biases in tact.
License to Juice poured a hazy, muted golden hay color with minimal head ever building up. There was never more than a finger of frothy white foam topping the beer and, what little there was, quickly vanished into a cloudy dusting across the top with slight accumulation around the edges of my glass.
On the nose, JP5 was as intended…insanely juicy with enormous orange and tropical fruit notes. This was your classic NE-style IPA. And I couldn’t wait to dive in.
My first sip began with a very light carbonation and a thicker, creamier mouthfeel to it. The flavors didn’t immediately assault my taste buds and, instead, subtly billowed up across my tongue.
Once again it was the orange that was most prevalent but there were other tropical fruits, like pineapple, tangerine, and some light mango and melon that showed up in the taste too.
It was a juice bomb, that much is true…at least initially. Because, on the backend, the malts got a chance to show that they are just as much a part of this beer as the hops. They added some more sweetness and a lightly toasted crackery flavor that competed with the fruits as the sip was coming to an end.
There was some bitterness to JP5 but very little…and it was all at the end. So, with that being said, every sip ended with a slightly orange, slightly hoppy aftertaste that would stick around for a bit. But it was nothing too bad.
I was, however, pleasantly surprised because there was absolutely no dryness to it and the 7% was hidden the entire way through the bottle. The only time I realized there was booze in here was at the very end when I could feel it warming my cheeks and chest at the very end of the bomber.
Overall, Juice Pants 5 was just as juicy and tasty as the others. It doesn’t seem to matter which hops they add…they’ve found a great formula to go off of.
Maplewood has made a name for themselves with these beers…and License to Juice will continue that growing demand. This is another really good, really easy to drink beer from them. JP5 is so juicy and so tasty that, if you’re a fan of NE IPAs (or even if you’re not), you need to search this one, and all subsequent Juice Pants, out…and soon! Because it won’t be around long!
With or without bias, this beer is freaking tasty! 9.25/10
And don’t forget: to see all the other beers I try and all the cool stuff I do, you can follow me here as well:
The Editor's reaction when told he couldn't drink beer in the park
So I have been working on small wood working projects that relate to beer in some way lately. And from those projects I have some left over supplies (scrap wood, nails, screws and magnets), and was trying to find something to do with them.
I received for Father's Day Nick Offerman's (NBC's Parks and Rec, and woodworker) book, Good Clean Fun. In it is a project for making a simple wooden bottle opener. They also sell them in the Offerman Work Shop site for 33 bucks, and as much as I like Nick, I wanted to make my own.
I also wanted to do something similar but different than the plans for project called for in the book. I wanted to add the magnets I already had to catch the cap (so I can reuse the caps for my Kid's Fallout 4 Halloween costume) and have a more curved handle.
As always, I found what I was looking for on YouTube. On the MOD YouTube channel, they have a video on how to make simple, but effective bottle opener, using scrap wood, a common nail and magnets. Built using just hand tools! Perfect. Here is the video, in case you wanted to give it a try:
Mini MOD Monday: DIY Bottle Opener - YouTube
Looks like an easy, less than an hour project for anyone with basic tools can do. I will be working on mine shortly and when it is done I will post it up here.
And here is the Dumb Beer Related Product of the week:
This "Six Pack Holder" I found at WalMart is so cheaply made I wouldn't trust it to hold six cans of Bud Light. Besides, I like bottles and I can imagine how comfortable it would be having bottle caps digging into my gut...
The Perfect Beer For Fans of Every NFL TeamBy Templars Staff Blogger Dave Drury
I love beer. I also love football. And seeing as how tomorrow marks the NFL’s opening day, when the Kansas City Chiefs head to Foxboro, Massachusetts to take on the New England Patriots, this would be a good time to write something up about football and beer.
I thought there’s no better way to incorporate the two than by pairing off every NFL team with the best craft beer from their community.
So what are parameters for this? Easy, there were only three:
Must be craft beer and not owned by AB InBev or any of the other major players.
Must be located within 75 miles of the team’s stadium.
Must be sold in cans/bottles outside of the brewery.
And so with that…away we go!
*all pictures were taken from the brewery’s website.
For the Cardinals picking the brewery was no contest. There’s one Phoenix brewery that has topped all others since their inception back in 2013 – Arizona Wilderness. Their Refuge IPA was rated as the best IPA in the state last year and is a great take on a West Coast style IPA. So Cardinal fans can take refuge in this beer after watching their team struggle to win the division over the Seahawks.
Atlanta Falcons - Creature Comforts Tropicalia (Athens, GA; 71.6 miles)
Another easy pick was this beer (although, at 72 miles from Atlanta, it almost didn’t meet the criteria). Tropicalia has consistently been one of the highest rated beers from the state of Georgia. And while the Falcons might not be as consistent, at least fans know they’ll have a beer that won’t let them down.
Baltimore Ravens - Heavy Seas Blackbeard’s Breakfast (Halethrope, MD; 6.1 miles)
This imperial coffee porter might only be available when the Raven don’t play (May-June) but it’s still the perfect beer for them. Strong, dark, and complex. Plus at 10% ABV it can make you forget just how bad the last two seasons have been in Baltimore.
Buffalo Bills - Big Ditch Packet (Lock IPA Series #1) (Buffalo, NY; 12.3 miles)
This juicy hop-bomb of an IPA is easy to drink while still packing a punch with its 7.2% ABV. And fans seem to love it, as it has a 4.27 rating on Untappd. It’ll keep you warm during those winter games while allowing you to forget that the first two QBs on your depth chart are Tyrod Taylor and T.J. Yates....who both have concussions.
Carolina Panthers - NoDa Hop, Drop ‘n Roll (Charlotte, NC; 3.2 miles)
This West Coast IPA from the East Coast has been a fan favorite for a while now. It also won Gold at the 2014 World Beer Cup...so yeah, it’s good. I’d bet Cam Newton probably has one...or five of these after each game to numb the pain of all the hits he takes.
Chicago Bears - Maplewood Juice Pants Series (Chicago, IL; 7.7 miles)
Every few months Maplewood comes out with another beer in their Juice Pants Series that utilizes the same recipe just with different hops. The 7% juicy IPA tastes so good that most people forget just how bad the Bears have drafted since...well, since ever. Maplewood is also a really good up and coming brewery...just like Bears fans hope Mitch Trubisky will turn out to be. But, unlike Trubisky, we don’t have to give an arm and a leg to try Juice Pants out.
Rhinegeist is one of, if not the the highest rated brewery in Cincy. A lot of their brews are pale ales or IPAs but not this one. This one is different (just like the Bengals hope their season will be this year). Ink is an imperial stout that many Bengal fans will use to wipe away the memory of another first round playoff loss this year. And, at 10% ABV, it won't take many of them to do the job.
Cleveland Browns - Fat Head’s Hop Juju (Middleburg Heights, OH; 18 miles)
It’s no shock the Browns are terrible and fans will need a super strong beer to get through this season. Especially now that DeShone Kizer is named starting QB. Fat Head’s has just the beer for you...and it’s guaranteed to be better than the Browns. Hop Juju is a 9% imperial IPA that has won a heap of awards including three medals at the GABF and it just took home the gold at the 2016 World Beer Cup. So while the Browns won't be winning anything anytime soon...it least your beer has, Cleveland!
Dallas Cowboys - Community Beer Company Legion (Dallas, 18.9 miles)
Could there be a more perfect name for a beer brewed in Dallas for Cowboy fans? There are a legion of Cowboy fans all of which seem to be loud and obnoxious (especially after last years’ performance). And, after drinking this 9.9% Russian imperial stout, you too might become just as obnoxious.
Dad & Dudes created the world’s first beer to be infused with cannabis oil...but that just got shut down by the government. So, unfortunately, Coloradans will have to settle for their next best beer - Dank IPA....which might not have weed extract in it but it sure seems like it. Proving that even the fans know you hafta be high to think the Broncos will beat out the Chiefs or Raiders this season.
Detroit Lions - B. Nektar Slice of Life (Ferndale, MI; 10.2 miles)
Nektar is a meadery that also makes ciders and a couple brews. And even though mead and cider aren’t technically beers...can you call what the Lions play technically football? If so, then this counts too. Slice of Life is a cider made with ginger and lemon juice and is quite tart with a nice spice to it. The only thing more sour than this beer will be Lions fans come January.
Green Bay Packers - Stillmank Tailgater (Green Bay, WI; 5.4 miles)
The Packers have controlled the NFC North the past decade or so. And their fans know it...and they won’t let you forget it. So how do you celebrate that dominance? By throwing a big party before each game and drinking Tailgater...a blonde ale with local-made apple cider added.
Houston Texans - Saint Arnold 5 O’Clock Pils (Houston, TX; 14.9 miles)
Houston is slightly lagging in beer compared to Austin and Dallas but St. Arnold gives Texans fans something they desperately need...a beer they can get drunk on after watching the team. This Czech pils is slightly hoppier than most but every bit as tasty and really easy to drink, so even if the team isn’t palatable this year...5 O’Clock Pils is at least.
Indianapolis Colts - Sun King Lupulin Astronaut (Indianapolis, IN; 2.4 miles)
The Colts are going to need Lupulin Astronaut to fall back on because the odds of them doing much better than .500 this year are pretty astronomical. And, Lupulin Astronaut is released at the perfect time for Colts fan, as a winter seasonal (January-March). So once week 16 ends, those mourning people in Indianapolis can grab a four-pack of this brew.
Jacksonville Jaguars - Bold City 1901 Roasted Red (Jacksonville, FL; 4.4 miles)
This red ale is actually named for the fire the city had back in 1901, which was one of the worst in Florida history...but it could also represent what opponents have done to the Jags since 2010 (the last year the Jags made it to .500), as they’ve been roasted by most teams for the better part of a decade. This red is made with extra roasted barley to make it just a tad bit smokier than most and help you wash away the memories of another subpar season.
Kansas City Chiefs - Torn Label Bloody Christmas (Kansas City, MO; 7.3 miles)
I know many of you were expecting a beer from Boulevard here but Bloody Christmas is shaping up to be a much better representation of the Chiefs season. Bloody Christmas is a Belgian stout made with blood oranges that packs a punch at 8.1% and is crazy interesting...much like the Chiefs season might be now that Spencer Ware is lost for the year.
Los Angeles Chargers - Absolution The Convert (Torrence, CA; 5.7 miles)
This California common lager is perfect for the Chargers because no one in LA really wanted them there in the first place...so they’re going to have to convert a LOT of people into being fans. Luckily the yeast they used in the beer does better at warmer temperatures because the Chargers are on the hot seat in LA.
Los Angeles Rams - Barley Forge Future Tripping (Costa Mesa, CA; 39.5 miles)
Barley Forge might not be as close to LA as some other breweries but their Future Tripping DIPA is perfect for the Rams because it lets fans know what to expect...they’ll be tripping up this year, and for the next few, unless Jared Goff actually pans out.
Miami Dolphins - Due South Category 5 (Boynton Beach, FL; 47.8 miles)
The Dolphins are going to need some help this season getting past the Patriots. And the only way they don’t get beat by the Patriots is if there is a category 5 hurricane that cancels the games. That’s why this super hoppy, super citrusy double IPA is the perfect companion for Miami fans.
Furious and surly are exactly what Viking fans will be at the end of this season with Sam Bradford as their starting quarterback...because, while he did alright last year, he’s much of an improvement from Teddy Bridgewater and, after all, the Packers still have Aaron Rodgers. At least they’ll beat the Bears.
New England Patriots - Notch Infinite Jest (Salem, MA; 49.4 miles)
Notch might not be the biggest or most well known of the New England breweries...but their Infinite Jest, a hoppy pale wheat ale, is perfect for the Patriots. Because that’s what the Pats see the rest of the NFL...a joke. They know they’re going to win. They may have to cheat to do it...but they know they’ll win...and then they do.
New Orleans Saints - NOLA Rebirth (New Orleans, LA; 3.2 miles)
Saints fans are hoping to see a rebirth from Adrian Peterson and Drew Brees to the good old days of five years ago. Because right now, after three straight 7-9 seasons, the fans in NOLA don’t have much to cheer (about except their beer).
New York Giants - River Horse Hippotizing (Ewing Township, NJ; 59.6 miles)
Watching that one catch OBJ had a few years ago we were all hypnotized. Now watching how bad the Giants have become is just as hypnotizing...luckily there’s a beer to break that spell. And this half-West Coast IPA/half NE IPA is just that.
New York Jets - Grimm Super You (Brooklyn, NYC, NY; 13.3 miles)
The Jets don’t have a whole lot going for them at the moment...and the only way they’llmake any noise in their division is if they stumble upon some super powers. While Grimm’s Super You, a pineapple gose with sea salt and oak, might not actually give them any special abilities it will at least it’ll make the season seem a bit brighter...because right now it looks kind of grim.
Oakland Raiders - Drake’s The Void (San Leandro, CA; 3.6 miles)
Raiders fans hope Marshawn Lynch will fill the void this year and get the Raiders back on top. And it’s possible he could. But in the event he doesn’t you can always fall back on this HUGE 17.5% ABV monster of a stout from Drake’s. Aged for 16+ months in rye whiskey barrels and peppered with Belgian Candi sugar...this very limited beer is hard to find but, like Lynch, it’ll be worth it.
Philadelphia Eagles - Yards Rival IPA (Philadelphia, PA; 6.1 miles)
The NFC East is full of rivalries so it’s no surprise that everyone seems to hate the Eagles. And while their football team might struggle to get wins against the Cowboys, Redskins, and Giants... at least their fans won’t have to choke down bad beer. Rival IPA is balanced, sweet, and good...unlike the Eagles.
Pittsburgh Steelers - Full Pint All In (North Versailles, PA; 16.7 miles)
Steelers fans know that Big Ben won't be around much longer...and that means this year he has to go all-in if he’s going to bring another title to Pittsburgh. This amber ale is the perfect companion for Steeler fans because, once he gets injured again, they can drink away the pain with darker amber ale.
San Francisco 49ers - 21st Amendment Down to Earth (San Leandro, CA; 29.8 miles)
Down to Earth is a super easy to drink session IPA that’s perfect for Niner fans. The team has been in disrepair for a while now and brought them back down to earth. They don’t have Steve Young or Jerry Rice to fall back on now...but they do have some really good beer.
Seattle Seahawks - Fist Tale Hodgson’s Bitter End (Olympia, WA; 60.6 miles)
The Seahawks are the best team to beat in the NFC West but aren’t good enough to take home the crown this year. So Fish Tale’s Bitter End is the perfect beer for them, as that is most likely how this season will end for the fans in Seattle. Although this year can’t possibly end in a more bitter way than the 2015 Super Bowl.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Cigar City Invasion (Tampa, FL; 1.3 miles)
Sure I could have went with Cigar City’s more popular Jai Alai but that doesn’t quite fit with what the Bucs are trying to do this year. They’re trying to invade the playoffs for the first time since 2007. And, while they didn’t do too bad last season, we’ll see if Jameis Winston can actually get them there this year. Otherwise, fans will be invading Cigar City after each game to drink away their sorrows.
Tennessee Titans - Turtle Anarchy Another Way to Rye (Nashville, TN; 6.1 miles)
The Titans seem like they have enough talent to get to the playoffs but they alway seem to find a way to lose the important games. This slightly spicy rye IPA is perfect for Titans fans because it’s so true...they. And if not...if they make the playoffs...it’ll be turtle anarchy.
Washington Redskins - Lost Rhino Face Plant IPA (Ashburn, VA; 49.0 miles)
Face plant is not only the perfect description for what the Redskins can expect this year but it’s also the perfect beer for them. Kirk Cousins wants out, they don’t have much offense, the defense is spotty, and they’re in a tough division. Luckily fans in DC can have a beer with just as much bitterness as they’ll feel for their team come January.
In this edition of the Thursday Blog Share, I am going to recommend you take a look at Austin based blogger Caitlin's site Big World, Small Girl.
Big World, Small Girl covers all things beer in the Austin, Texas area. She offers tips on where to drink, travel info, interviews, recipes (I tried and loved her recipe for Adult Ice Pops: Cherry Lambic Beer), and reviews. Her photographs are exceptional.
Caitlin also runs a fantastic Facebook group, Beer + Booze, for those of us who write about beer either on a professional or just for fun basis.
Overall, Caitlin has a cool blog that is updated often with new content and is always worth your time.
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