Home » Brew Time » Sundays are for Football & Beer

Sundays are for Football & Beer

By the time this article goes to print, we’ll know who our Super Bowl LVI contenders will be. My personal hope is that the Buffalo Bills go ALL THE WAY, but truly, anything can happen. Regardless, come Sunday, February 13th, I’ll still be watching the big game, cheering on just about any team that doesn’t have Tom Brady on it. (Sorry, not sorry!)

Beer and football go hand in hand – you really can’t have one without the other these days. Just think about all the famous Super Bowl commercials over the years – some of the most memorable being the Budweiser frogs (“Bud,” “Weis,” “Er”) in 1995, Budweiser’s “Wassup” bro-culture coining phrase in 1999, the Bud Light Knight who ended the “Dilly Dilly” saga of commercials in 2018, and of course, the famous Budweiser Clydesdales who have appeared in one commercial or another every single year since 1986 – except in 2021 where they re-directed the enormous sum of money they would have paid for advertising to instead support Covid-19 vaccine awareness and education. While I really respect Budweiser’s decision last year, I would like to see those beautiful horses back in action and gracefully galloping across the screens of our televisions this year.

We go out to the bar, host parties at home, and if you’re lucky enough, get to enjoy the big game in person – and boy, oh boy, do we enjoy our game day food and drinks. FarmRich, the company that makes frozen mozzarella sticks and jalapeño poppers, conducted a poll of 2000 American adults in December 2019, posing the question, “What foods can’t be missed at a Super Bowl party?” The top spot went to chicken wings with 50% of the votes, followed by pizza (45%), chicken bites (38%), mozzarella sticks (33%), chips (32%), veggies & dip (28%), loaded potato skins (28%), cookies (26%), fruit (26%) and hot dogs (26%). Another 2019 poll with 1175 American adults over 21, conducted by the Beer Institute in Washington D.C. found that 76% of respondents planned to drink beer at their Super Bowl festivities that year. Additionally, 78% of those planning on having that cold beer stated that beer was an important part of the Super Bowl experience.

While I am a die-hard craft beer fan myself, especially loving darker beers, stouts and porters, that’s not what I’ll be drinking during game day. I’ll want a light beer to go with all the tasty food that I’ll be surrounding myself with. Not only will a lighter beer not fill me up, it will also allow my palate to enjoy the sweet, salty, and savory items I’ll be noshing on – accompanying the flavors of the food and not totally overpowering them. An ideal light beer for me would be Labatt Blue Light if I’m kicking it cheaply-yet-satisfying, or Genesee Brewing Company’s Honey Brown golden lager – a light, subtly sweet, completely unobtrusive, smooth, easy-going brew. Of course, you also can’t go wrong with a light hard-cider or sour beer such as Brooklyn Brewery’s Bel Air Sour, either.

Football as a whole is simply about enjoying the camaraderie of fellow fans of “your” team while having fun ribbing and talking-smack about the opposing team and their fans. It’s about the pursuit of greatness in the game, rooting for the underdogs and rookies, watching your favorite players rise to new heights, watching athletes grow into Hall of Famers, but it’s also about enduring the lows when the game doesn’t quite go your way, coping with the losses and injuries, never losing hope, and never being a “fair weather” fan. It’s about families and friends gathering together, cooking out, tailgating, snacking on favorite foods, relaxing with a few brews, cheering, high-fiving, and introducing the next generation to the game and creating life-long fans. It’s about wearing that lucky sweatshirt or not laundering your Zubaz pants for the entire season out of pure superstition. It’s about America and the sport of football creating a melting pot of fans that are able to come together no matter their background, race, religion, creed, orientation, sex, education, or political preference. Football, when you really think about it, is one of the greatest American treasures we have in this country.

Kristin Merritt
Just your average craft-brew loving gal slinging your monthly pour of beer education and the low-down on all things beer related in the immediate CNY area and beyond. Along the way I hope to give a few recommendations for your grocery list, events to attend, and local hotspots to hit-up for shenanigans with friends, ideas for date night, or at the very least enlighten you with a bit of random knowledge to use towards trivia night or simply give you and your teammates a suggestion on what to drink at the bar! Cheers!