Before I get to the subject of today's countdown post, I have two things for you. First:
Second, the excellent journalism flocking to the Seven and Seven Sark story has revealed a recent test administered to the embattled USC head coach by athletic director Pat Haden. Those results are now in the public domain:
I almost feel dirty talking about what beer I'm going to drink whilst I watch my Dawgs from the comforts of my basement on those occassions where I won't be present in the stadium. The hoopla surrounding "Seven Sheets to the Wind Sark" and his now-public issues with over-indulging on booze and sorority chicks while on the job has kind of put a damper on my enthusiasm for writing this piece.
Well, maybe not so much.
Every year, I pick a single adult beverage as my "Rally Beer". The concept of a Rally Beer is simple: it is the brew that gets pulled out when the Huskies need an extra boost of good luck or a push of good fortune to help them close out the game. In choosing a Rally Beer, one is not beholden only to that concoction. Any variety of intoxicant may be indulged upon during your game day festivities. The Rally Beer ought to be kept on reserve until the moment it is most needed.
There are a few requirements for the Rally Beer that must be considered before choosing.
1) It must be delicious
2) It must be readily available with no more than a modest effort to source it (sorry, Pliny the Elder)
3) It must be associated with good vibes as well as good times
Remember, this is MY RALLY BEER. You folks are simply helping to guide my hand. On with the options:
Option 1: Big Wood Amigo Grande
I'm firmly on the IPA bandwagon along with many of the craft beer nut jobs around the country. It is a pretty good bet that I'll find a few of those on my game day menu once the season start. But when it comes time to foster a rally, sometimes you need to throw in a changeup.
Amigo Grande is a Mexican style lager brewed by the Big Wood Brewery in Minnesota. I mean, c'mon, who wouldn't want a Mexican Lager out of Minnesota?
Unlike other Mexican Lagers, Amigo Grande is best served without lime. It is a straw colored, hazy hued lager that has a distinct honey flavoring. The sweetness is counterbalanced with a peppery taste and a clear hoppy bite. While there isn't any kind of compelling aroma with this brew, it is very smooth and goes well with any variety of football food.
Option 2: Surly Doomtree
The Doomtree is a American Pale Ale brewed out of the Surly Brewery (also here in Minneapolis). The Doomtree is a nice alternative to some of the other IPAs that are out there as it provides you with some of the hoppiness that drinkers look for in a Pale Ale but is balanced out with a sweet maltiness. It pours red and has a nice creamy head that lingers for a while.
In addition to being a nice beer out of a great brewery, the Doomtree is blessed with a well-conceived label that complements the very spirit of being a "Rally Beer". Imagine the good vibes that will emanate towards Montlake when the partygoers in the Landon household all open up Doomtrees on the competition. DOOMTREE ... DOOMTREE ... DOOMTREE
That's what I'm talking about.
Option 3: Ballast Point Brewing Victory at Sea Coffee Porter
Autumn always delivers a strong urge for me to imbibe two of my greatest culinary loves: coffee and beer (I know, I know .. what can I say? I was born in Seattle). Ballast Point Brewing delivers one of the best stouts out there with their Victory at Sea offering. The coloring is black and the head is thick. It is a very sweet beer as it is infused with both coffee and vanilla beans. But don't let the sweetness fool you: this porter packs a punch. 10% ABV to be exact.
This brew would be the perfect Rally Beer when it comes time for the Dawgs to close out a victory that is within reach. After all, this option is the kind of beer that is perfect for a festive toast: it is like desert for happy adults who enjoy commemorating their football wins with a festive life win. I'm not sure that it is a great option for those times that the Huskies are down by a few scores and need a little bit of a kick-'em-in-the-ass Rally juju (hey, it's only weird if it doesn't work).
Doomtree is the perfect choice for this particular season. I like the fact that it has a decent alcohol content (in case I need to forget a particularly bad game), that it is a Minneapolis brew, and that it has the kind of name that can be chanted to the point that, if done loud enough, it might frighten my children.
DOOMTREE ... DOOMTREE ... DOOMTREE!
What about you all? What are your rally drinks this year?