A lot of drink writers talk about Superbowl cocktails and come up with interesting theme drinks such as BevMo!'s First and Goal Cocktail or the Seahawk Swizzle. But most of us want to watch the Superbowl, even if we are the ones throwing the big game party. We make the food ahead of time so it can be noshed on all game long. So we don't want to be stuck behind the bar making cocktails for three hours.
My advice: skip the cocktails and go straight for the beer.
The problem, though, is that Bud Light has been traditionally associated with the Superbowl. Remember the Bud Bowl, anyone (especially this year, with both teams in states that just legalized recreational marijuana)? And if you have a few guests who only like this kind of light beer, then by all means, get some.
But don't stop there. With so many craft breweries out there and lots of us who enjoy different kinds of beer, I think it's time the Superbowl branches out of its Bud Light boredom.
Most craft breweries lean toward the bitter, hoppy beers, but they still produce fare that's tame enough for lighter-style drinkers.
So I recommend finding a local craft brewery and buying their beer, or going to Colorado and the Pacific Northwest. After all, that's where the teams are from. In Houston, where I am from, I might stay local and go for St. Arnold's or Karbach or No Label. Or I may go to Denver or Seattle, depending on which team I am rooting for.
Denver has Great Divide Brewing, which produces some fantastic beers, and Red Hook is making some fine beer in Seattle. No matter which you go for, get at least some of the hoppy beer, either an IPA or a pale ale. Those are my favorite, after all, and I would love to go to a Superbowl party that had Great Divide's Fresh Hop, a lighter American style pale ale or the Denver Pale Ale. If you really want to impress the hop lovers, go for the Hercules Double IPA. At 10% ABV, don't get a lot of them. Make those hopsters switch to lighter fare after one or two.
Then get some lighter beer like Red Hook's No Equal Amber Lager or Audible Ale, a beer they say is made for sports. Dan Patrick even had a hand in creating it. If you're a Denver fan, go for the Colette Saison. If your lighter beer drinkers have never had a saison, they're in for a treat. I find that even wine drinkers like the style.
So get some good craft beer for this year's Superbowl party, and your guests will thank you. Or if you're going to a party, take something from Great Divide or Red Hook. And root for your team by drinking their beer.
May your team always win.