13 Super Bowl Beer Picks From Local Beer Experts

Harpoon Brewery IPA (#1), Leviathan IPA (#2)
Style: IPA, Imperial IPA
ABV: 5.9%, 10.0%
Find #1 at: Beer Closet, 5-37 51st Ave., Long Island City, 718.937.2337; $1.90 for a 12-ounce can
Find #2 at: Rattle N Hum, 14 East 33rd St., Midtown East, 212.481.1586; $9.00 for a 12-ounce draft.

The food spread at my house during the game usually leans on the spicier side, so I’ll have plenty of IPA on hand. Tropical-fruit forward with just a hint of caramel malt sweetness and body, the Leviathan imperial IPA is a personal favorite and one that I’ll likely end the night with. For the game itself, I’ll go with the traditional Harpoon IPA, one that I just rediscovered and enjoy for its balance between pine and citrus aromas and flavors. Harpoon IPA is like an old friend, the kind who you just don’t spend enough time with, but enjoy the moments when you’re together. My choice of a New England-brewed beer is not, by any way, shape, or form, an endorsement of the Patriots.
—John Holl, editor of All About Beer Magazine and author of the American Craft Beer Cookbook

Threes Brewing Vliet Pils
Style: Pilsner
ABV: 5.1%
Find this at: Threes Brewing, 333 Douglass St., Gowanus, 718.522.2110; $7.00 for a 22-ounce draft

I hate to promote our own beer — well, not really — but I will: I’ll be enjoying Threes’ new Vliet Pils during the Super Bowl this year. That and Miller High Life. I love pilsners — everyone should. From our brewery’s conception we knew we were going to brew a pilsner and now two months after we got brewing ours is ready. Vliet has beautiful herbal and bright floral hop aromatics. It was brewed to be savored and crushed, depending on the occasion. Although seemingly on the opposite end of the spectrum to some of the Brett beers we are brewing, I think they mutually inform each other.
—Greg Doroski, brewmaster of Threes Brewing

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Style: Pale Ale
ABV: 5.6%
Find this at: Top Hops Beer Shop, 94 Orchard St., Lower East Side, 212.254.4677; $1.99 for 12-ounce can

The Superbowl: a time when conviviality and degustation are of more interest to me than the event itself. Quantity and quality can indeed collide, and this is the ideal time for it! My choice for this time is the classic, the foundation upon which our beautiful industry has been built, the grandaddy of ’em all: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale! Specifically in cans! The benefits of cans are a bonus here. The beer itself — different from the draft, and I would contest from the bottle, as well — is a modern marvel, an ode to the vivacious American Northwest hop characteristics that have come to define so many of the qualities we look for in our hop-driven beers. Can-conditioning such a relatively straightforward style of beer is no easy undertaking, and one that Sierra Nevada has spent much time and money perfecting. Not to mention that the ubiquity of such a stellar product means that freshness and availability are at their peak. Perfectly balanced, infinitely sessionable and crazy affordable, one can’t go wrong with a cooler full of Sierra Pale Ale cans.
—Cory Bonfiglio, general manager of Proletariat and Beer Street

Evil Twin Molotov Lite
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 8.5%
Find this at: Murray’s Cheese Shop, 254 Bleecker St., West Village, 212.243.3289; $2.99 for a 16-ounce can

If I had even a smidgen of interest in watching the entire Super Bowl, I’d make a sane choice and stick with something sessionable like Carton’s Boat Beer or Stillwater’s Classique. Instead, since my intention is to nod off before… the halftime show, I’m going with Evil Twin’s Molotov Lite imperial IPA. First of all, it comes in a can, the only appropriate vessel to drink beer out of while watching football (other than maybe a giant Styrofoam Dart cup). Second, it’s a “lite” beer so I won’t feel all hoity-toity drinking it around all of my Bud Light-loving bros. And third, much like the bodies and minds of the players, who will unabashedly be bruised and pummeled into early dementia right there in glorious HD, this beer will hammer at my taste buds, light up my bloodstream, and slowly, steadily knead my mind into mush.
—Justin Kennedy, producer of Beer Sessions Radio

Dogfish Head Piercing Pils
Style: Pilsner
ABV: 6.0%
Find this at: Noble Grains NYC, 313 East 95th St., Yorkville, 212.996.2337; $3.29 for a 12-ounce bottle

For as long as I can remember, Super Bowl Sunday has been a cherished occasion to gather with family and friends to indulge in snacks of scant nutritional value: layered bean dips, fiery chicken wings, cheesy nachos, pigs-in-blankets. One of my favorite winter releases, Dogfish Head’s Piercing Pilsner, provides the perfect counterpoint to the annual blitz of decadent delights, cutting through fatty and spicy dishes alike. Czech Saaz hops and prickly carbonation scrub the palate of fried foods and savory sauces, while the complex citrus notes of white pear juice, pear tea and Amarillo hops tackle piquant fare. At an approachable 6.0 percent ABV, this Perry-Pils hybrid is what I’ll be reaching for on game day.
—Brian Winget, beer manager of Barcade (Chelsea)

Photo credit: Flickr/Nurse Kate

Katherine Hernandez

Katherine Hernandez is an Afro-Latina chef and multimedia journalist. Her work has been published on NPR Food, PRI's The World, Edible Manhattan, Feet in 2 Worlds, Gothamist and more.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply