As we race towards opening night of Husky football, Will Shamburger and Dubs wanted to remind you how many more days we have to go.
Today, we will debate the one thing I love most among all of my earthly vices. Let’s hear it for booze.
We are specifically talking about the spirits that we turn to when our beloved Huskies are on the ropes. That one libation that we rely upon to generate the positive mojo that the Dawgs need to get them through the most challenging of moments. The booze we choose when we don’t want to lose.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is time to talk about what our go to rally beer is going to be for 2017.
We’ve already had some discussion about beer here on the blog this offseason thanks to the fanposts authored by noted UWDP beer connoisseur PurpleDawgz. You can find them here:
There are not too many rules to picking your rally drink. For me, I prefer options that are readily available (I need to be able to source it in order to drink it), relatively affordable and, of course, delicious. Here is what I’m thinking about for this season.
Option 1 - Wet (Surly Brewing, Minneapolis, MN)
Style: India Pale Ale
If you are a beer fan and haven’t come across Surly, you may want to seek it out. The Surly Brewing company is an independent brewery out of Minnesota that has literally changed the laws for brewing in the state on its way to producing one of the most diverse and critically acclaimed portfolios in the craft beer market.
Despite the well-publicized breakup of its two founders late last year, Surly continues to fly high. Last year, we talked about their outrageously good coffee porter called “Coffee Bender”. This year, I’m looking hard at their seasonal IPA known as “Wet”.
The Wet IPA utilizes what is known as “wet hopping” to produce its beer. I’m not an expert on the process, but the concept is that the hop is incorporated into the recipe fresh off the vine. The result is a different kind of taste that is derived from the oils in the hop that would have otherwise been cooked out.
This particular brew is appropriate for a UW rally beer because Surly sources its fresh Simcoe hops from the state of Washington. A Minneapolis-based beer derived from fresh hops out of Washington as a rally beer for a Minnesota-based Washingtonian?
Option 2 - Night Owl Pumpkin Ale (Elysian, Seattle, WA)
Style: Pumpkin Ale
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more and more fond of good Pumpkin Ales. The aromas are spicy. The tastes are earthy. The presentation incorporating themes of autumn are inspiring. To me, some of these Pumpkin Ales have graduated beyond “flavored beer” and into an eagerly anticipated annual occurrence that corresponds with the arrival of football.
Why shouldn’t they, then, be considered as viable options as a football rally beer?
The Night Owl Pumpkin Ale is an excellent offering from Elysian in Seattle. The brewer complements the ale with all the flavors you’d expect: nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and allspice. In addition, both toasted and raw pumpkin seeds are included with the pumpkin flesh used in the mash. It is a stimulating and energizing ale that has just the right amount of kick - not so much that opening a second ensures that you snooze through overtime, but not so little that you miss out on the buzz.
This is actually one of two pumpkin ales that Elysian offers, but the only one that I can regularly access from here in the Minnesota. The Great Pumpkin ale (pictured) is better, but the Night Owl is a great option for those of us who can’t regularly access the tap.
Option 3 - Pipeline Porter (Kona Brewing, Kailua Kona, HI)
Style: Porter - Coffee
When October rolls around, I inevitably turn my attention to darker beers - porters in particular. I love the incongruence between how imposing a pint looks at first glance to the complex, sweet, dry, smoky goodness that comes at first taste. A good porter is exactly the taste of autumn.
Kona Brewing produces an excellent porter brewed from Kona coffee beans. Unlike a lot of other coffee porters (some of which are excellent), the Pipeline Porter incorporates the taste of that coffee without at the same time forgetting that it is still fundamentally a beer. It won’t trick your mind into thinking that it is time to get your Dickies on and to head out to the job site. It is an easy-to-drink, interesting and affordable porter option for any Husky fan anywhere across the US. That it is a 5.4% ABV offering which makes it a perfect complement for a three and a half hour game.
Option 4 - the perfect Old-Fashioned (my house, St. Paul, MN)
I know that beer is not the only spirit that fans can turn to when looking to give their team a boost. Some of you with more refined tastes have a preference for the hard stuff.
I hear you. On those nights where UW is playing a night game that pushes past the 11pm hour here in the Twin Cities, beer isn’t always my thing either. In those situations, I prefer a bourbon either on the rocks or in the form of an Old Fashioned.
Making the perfect football-themed Old-Fashioned is pretty much the same as making an excellent Old-Fashioned. Obviously. Men like bourbon. Men like football. Men like bourbon and football.
For me, the perfect Old-Fashioned starts with a cost-effective Bourbon. I’m a Bookers guy, myself. You’ll also need a simple syrup (sugar and water solution) made at home. Finally, you’ll need the bitters - Peychaud’s is preferred given the clove and nutmeg flavors it adds to the drink.
I don’t make my Old-Fashioned with a sugar cube or a cherry. Neither adds much to the drink nor does it seem to fit a football theme. I do make an exception for the orange rind garnish because the citrus oil does, in fact, make a meaningful impact to the libation.
The obvious consequence of an Old-Fashioned as a rally drink is that it is pretty much a one-hit wonder. Most people won’t have the tolerance for two of them, so you better hope that the team rallies while the first drink is consumed.
The Pick - Pipeline Porter
This was tough, but I had good fortune with the Surly Coffee Bender a year ago. I didn’t have access to it in either of our losses (I was out of it during the USC game and I was onsite at the Peach Bowl) and you can see what happened. I feel that I need to go back to the Porter strategy in order to give UW the best to win.
Which option should the Gekko pick as his rally libation for 2017?
This poll is closed
Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale
Kona Pipeline Porter
Landon Old Fashioned
Stick to club soda and drive safe!