Every beer has a distinct personality. So does every football team. Each week, we’ll take a look at the Monday Night Football matchup and discuss which beers best represent each team.
Denver Broncos (4-2)
Shane: Anomalous, Garrison City Beerworks. Most great teams are built around the quarterback position. The Patriots have Tom Brady. The Packers have Aaron Rodgers. The Steelers have Ben Roethlisberger. Likewise, most great breweries, no matter how prolific they may be, are built around a flagship beer. The Alchemist has Heady Topper. Tree House has Julius. Russian River has Pliny the Elder. Both the Denver Broncos and Garrison City Beerworks buck this trend. The Broncos currently start something called a "Trevor Siemian" at quarterback, but their defense plays such lights-out football that they remain one of the best teams in the league. Similarly, Garrison City doesn’t really have one flagship beer to rally around, but just about everything they put out is similarly outstanding. Since both of them are notable anomalies, it seems only fitting to use Anomalous to represent the Broncos. It’s one of my favorite Garrison City brews. Much like the Broncos, it’s very tough to beat.
York: Morph, Night Shift Brewing. Nobody was more surprised than I about the Broncos starting off 4-0 this season. When the Super Bowl champs watched their QB retire and several other key pieces move on to new places, I assumed it was time for the Broncos to have a down year. Instead, they morphed into a new kind of contender built on a more structured offense and a wildly productive defense. Seeing styles change, combine, and build on one another is a really fun way to see football. Coincidentally, it works for beer too. We visited Nightshift during our first beercation and I immediately fell in love. They've got plenty of impressive big names in their brewing history, but one of the beers that stuck out the most for me was the Morph. It's a rotating brew that changes with each recipe iteration but seemingly always becomes a top beer. The hops change, the malt changes, additions, subtractions, aggressive hopping, juice bombs, they do it all to this beer and it always turns into a winner. As with Morph, the Broncos look like they'll be contenders regardless of their current ingredients.
Pete: Rumpkin, Avery Brewing Company. This beer is 18% ABV and is an imperial pumpkin ale aged in rum barrels. Some would say making beers that are so strong misses the nuance of balance. How can anything like that ever be good? It's like the Broncos. Too much defense. Too much focus on that side of the ball. Have you considered watering down the defense to balance out the offense? Tell that to their Super Bowl victory, pulling a broken Peyton Manning across the finish line. Balance is overrated. Big, bold flavors will always be appreciated, and defense will always win championships. I love this beer. It punches you in the face with so much pumpkin and rum flavor it really knocks you for a loop. It's an amazing cold weather beer that fits the season perfectly.
Houston Texans (4-2)
Shane: Pale Ale, Omission Beer. Omission is a brewery centered around making gluten-free beer. As someone with a girlfriend who can’t eat gluten, I have, on occasion, decided to sample some gluten-free beers for the sake of curiosity. Omission’s Pale Ale isn’t a bad beer by any stretch of the imagination. It’s pretty middle-of-the road, and relatively drinkable. But it definitely feels like something is missing. That just about sums up the Texans, who are a fairly decent team with a lot of talent, and a "MISSING" sign hanging from the quarterback position. I don’t understand the people who choose to be gluten-free when it isn’t medically necessary. It’s a fad that people are obsessed with, and I can’t figure out why. Which is about how I felt about Brock Osweiler last year. Everyone seemed to love him. Everyone seemed to want him. And I absolutely did not understand. Omission clearly has talented brewers, but their curious decision to latch onto the gluten-free fad leaves me scratching my head, much like the Texans and their decision to attach the hopes of their franchise to Osweiler.
York: Chocolate Milk Brown, Fieldwork Brewing Company. I never know what to expect from the Texans. They seem to fluctuate between looking like Super Bowl contenders and looking like a team with lots of work to do faster than any other club. Catching a game with them playing at their peak is a real treat, and it made me think of my constant search of good dark beers on the West Coast. I've found a few, but they aren't easy to identify, and you never really know what you’re going to get when you order a stout or porter from a local brewery. I took a flyer on a brown ale from Fieldwork and I'm happy to say it was my favorite beer they had. This was Fieldwork playing at its peak. The Texans (like brown ales in California) seem to get forgotten about quite often, but when they're hitting on all cylinders, they’re top of the list.
Pete: On the Wings of Armageddon, DC Brau. This Texans team looks so good, soooooo good if you go back to week one. Now? Watt: injured. Osweiler: can't hit the broad side of barn. But they looked like they were going to be the scourge of the league. They were going to be the bringers of Armageddon onto the league with their well rounded team. But, much like every end of the world prophecy, they have failed. On the bright side, this beer is a lovely, rich, tropical fruit bomb. It was originally brewed in 2012 for the Mayan doomsday and has been consistently re-brewed because it is so good. Unfortunately, the quality of this beer will do little to turn the Texans fortunes. But it does have cool label art, so that's a plus.
Shane: Both teams have dismal quarterbacks, but the Broncos will pull it out, 23-10. (current record: 1-0)
York: Broncos take this one 31-13. (current record: 1-0)
Pete: Broncos, let’s say 24-3, I will give the Texans a field goal. (current record: 0-1)
Drink With Us
Three friends. Three corners of the country. One passion for beer.
Heady Topper. Focal Banger. What Could Be Better than a Trip to The Alchemist?
The Hills Are Alive (with Incredible Beer) at von Trapp Brewing
Get Out of the City and Into Woods Beer Co.