It goes without saying that football and beer are a fantastic pairing. Whether you’re watching the game on your couch, at a sports bar, or tailgating outside the stadium, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re preparing for the game with a cold beer- or an ice cold beer- in your hand. In past years, we at UWDP have surveyed the beer landscape to choose an official beer of the season, and we’re back to help you with this important task once again.
Since I tried every beer to prepare for this post*, I had to narrow the list down somewhat. Naturally, the beer has to be local. While Oregon has some great hops and wonderful breweries, they’re absolutely not going to show up on this list. I also tried to choose a variety of beer styles to appeal to different taste profiles and needs. Not every time of day is suitable for a heavy IPA and not every microbrew is available in every location. With that in mind, let’s get to the beers.
*This statement is not true. I did not try every beer.
Dru Bru Kolsch, Snoqualmie Pass
If you’ve never been to Dru Bru, it’s worth the trip to Snoqualmie Pass for one of the most scenic places to drink a beer in the universe. I’m not a skier, but there are great hikes nearby and the exquisite Pie for the People (pizza) across the road. Kolsch originates in Cologne, Germany (Koln in Germany, hence the name). CraftBeer.com describes Kolsch as follows, “Crisp, delicate and oh-so-drinkable, the German-style Kolsch is a beer hybrid, meaning that its production and subsequent beer drinking experience saddles qualities of both lager beers and ale beers. These light and refreshing ale-lager hybrids are perfect for warm summer days and have become a favored style by American craft brewers and beer lovers alike.” With a young child at home, I’ve explored lower ABV beers in the last couple years and this has been a winner. It’s light, yet also flavorful. You can have more than one without falling over, but it doesn’t feel like you’re drinking water. As a bonus, many local Kroger stores stock this beer and other Dru Bru options, so it’s not hard to find. If you’re further south, there’s a Dru Bru tasting room in Tacoma, though I can’t vouch for that one as I did for the Snoqualmie vintage.
Bodhizafa IPA, Georgetown Brewing
I’m continually amazed at the high level of consistency and scale of Georgetown Brewing as a larger local brewery. The Rogers Pilsner, Johnny Utah Pale, and Lucille IPA are outstanding and deserve a spot in the beer fridge. None are as good as Bodhi, though, which is one of the freshest and most flavorful of all Washington IPAs. I’m not the only one who is a fan of this beer; it won the gold medal for American Style IPA at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival. I’m going to give bonus points to the brewery for working a Point Break theme (Bodhizafa, Johnny Utah) into its beer names.
Mosaic Pale Ale, Stoup Brewing
There are enough microbreweries around Seattle that it would be very difficult to actually try them all. Even so, Stoup stands out above most and is well worth a visit. The flagship brewery in Ballard as the sort of dingy, industrial charm that draws people to the neighborhood. Stoup opened a second, fancier location in Kenmore that a friend described as, “the original location [expletive deleted] a Red Robin.” Whatever, I don’t mind things that aren’t dirty. One of the virtues of Stoup is that they have a huge menu and almost everything is very good. From more conventional to adventurous, they really know how to make beer. If there’s a signature beer from Stoup, it’s probably Mosaic, which you can get on tap or in cans at the brewery, and at a handful of local grocery stores. The flavor has a great balance of hops and malt. If you can’t find it in your closest beer store, make a trip to the brewery.
What are you drinking this football season?
This poll is closed
Dru Bru Kolsch
Mosaic Pale Ale
I’m not sure there’s a right answer to this question, but I’m selecting the Dru Bru Kolsch and will probably bring that to a majority of the tailgates I attend this year. If you want to have one of each, I wouldn’t fault you for it.