Are you ready for some FOOTBALLLLL? Better, yet, are you ready for some top-of-their-game craft beverages?
Football, good drinks, and fall go together hand-in-hand-in-hand. Football is quintessential fall fun--as soon as nights get chillier and leaves get crunchier, we start thinking about all the good times we’re about to have: piling onto the couch with friends to watch the game, friendly rivalries, fantasy football, getting amped along with the rest of the crowd at our favorite sports bars, tailgating…and none of that is complete without good snacks and good drinks. It’s not just watching some ol’ sportsball, it’s an experience. The perfect Sunday or Monday afternoon or evening is all set for you, just combine football and friends and snacks and drinks, then kick back and let the great times roll. It’s an effortless hang-planning touchdown, if you will--sorry, had to do it!
The best way to keep yourself and your game-viewing buds happy is making sure you’ve got favorite drinks and soon-to-be-favorite drinks on hand. Another good way is not making everyone watch your new touchdown dance, but good drinks are the most important route to fun here. You want drinks so fantastic that they become instant game traditions, in the hall of fame right alongside nachos and wings. The right football accompaniments are full of flavor so they wow a whole crowd, yet light and crushable enough you can sip them even into OT. To get a little inspiration on just what kinds of drinks fit this bill, we turned to our trusty experts: some of our favorite brands and brewers. What are they drinking this football season? Let’s find out!
Victoria Schnauder, Brand Activation Manager at New Belgium Brewing
“Football season is the main reason I love fall!” says Victoria. “Every Sunday you can find me in front of the TV drinking an ice cold Fat Tire and snacking on a burger.”
Classics are classics, and you can’t argue with traditions built on things that are just always good. For example, kicking back and watching the game: always good. New Belgium beer, lovingly brewed in crowd-pleasing styles: always good. We love trying new things and encourage beverage fans to do so all the time, but there’s also a special kind of appeal to absolutely knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that you’re about to have a good Sunday (unless of course your team loses, but…let’s stay positive, shall we?). New Belgium is one way to lock in that guarantee.
Masq Hard Tea
“We love tailgating at college football games,” says the Masq team when we ask them about their favorite fall activities. Same! “Masq is perfect for football games as it’s flavorful and lower ABV.” Full of flavor and exciting yet light enough for us to leisurely sip all day is the exact combo we’re looking for on game day. The Masq team even recommended their favorite snack-and-drink pairing for watching the game: “For us its cheese dip and Masq Blueberry Lavender!” We’re hungry--and thirsty--already.
Sonny Lemmons, Sales Manager at Fegley's Brew Works
Sonny’s most-anticipated part of fall is, “Football, football, football. All the way. I'm a diehard SEC fan, having grown up in the south, so nothing just breathes life into a crisp, fall day like watching the leaves change color, wearing a sweatshirt from my favorite college team, and sipping on a killer pilsner while doing so.” Welp, that just about sums up a dream fall day then, doesn’t it? No matter who you root for.
Since this Fegley’s sales manager is such a football fan, we of course had to know what the perfect drink is for gametime. “For games days, it depends: if I'm simply a spectator, I gravitate towards a pilsner. If I'm the one standing at the grill doing all the heavy lifting on the burgers, brats, and veggies, I will easily accept any and all IPA offerings paid in homage to my PitMastery.” Fegley’s just so happens to have an IPA special, flavorful, and hop-explosive enough to honor any pitmaster, the Supersonic Whirlpool.
Christy Vaughan, Marketing Manager at Banville Wine Merchants, helping to market Menabrea
By now, you’ve probably realized that the great thing about this round-up is that it does indeed include the classics as well as exciting new things to try and turn into new favorites, from amber lagers to double dry-hopped IPAs to fruity, botanical hard teas. Menabrea is an iconic Italian brewery repping #TeamClassics, so we had to hear from Christy on a good pairing idea.
“Both of our Menabrea selections are really just perfect for game day...the quintessential pairing of pizza and Menabrea beer never gets old!” Truly, you cannot go wrong with a pie and either Menabrea’s Bionda pale lager or Ambrata amber. You should probably get both, in fact, to be safe!
Dimitri Yogaratnam, CEO of Oslo Brewing Co.
For Oslo Brewing CEO Dimitri, it’s important that a beverage be delicious and easy-drinking, and not steal too much of the spotlight from the most important activity at hand. It should be a perfect accompaniment, supporting the perfect day.
“Lager...easy, simple and nothing crazy. The games are in focus.” You just can’t argue with that logic. A good lager is delicious, and effortlessly so--you’ll enjoy drinking it but will be paying attention to the game itself. Plus, it will pair with truly any of your preferred snacks. Try Oslo’s Nordic Pilsner and see for yourself.
Maria Littlefield & Jennie Ripps, Co-Founders of Owl’s Brew Boozy Tea
When it comes to football-season imbibing, Owl’s Brew co-founders Maria and Jennie are--very sensibly--thinking about how to delight every person in your living room or gathered around your car at the tailgate. What’s the easiest and most instant way to guarantee that every friend and family member will be swooning over great flavors and also grateful for something light enough to sip all day, pair with different snacks, and allow focus to remain on the game?
“Our variety packs are the best for Football!” That’s right: variety packs. One click and you’re done, and officially an MVP host. Up the ante even more with Jennie and Maria’s snack suggestions: “Game day wouldn't be complete without snacks. We love Hippeas or Lesser Evil, and basically any kind of dip!”
The AMASS team is proud of how game-day-perfect each of the brand’s hard seltzers are--they’re bursting with beautiful flavor, yet so light, thirst-quenching, and easy-drinking.
“Made with premium culinary botanicals and fermented organic cane sugar, each flavor of AMASS Botanic Hard Seltzer was carefully crafted by our Master Distiller Morgan McLachlan for a sophisticated seltzer. Sip it straight from the can or in a well-crafted cocktail. We've heard our fans refer to Faerie Fizz (a juicy combination of Raspberry, Cardamom, and Basil) as ‘highly crushable’ more than once.”
Tomas, Richie, and Bruce, Triumvirate at EBBS Brewing Co.
The EBBS team looks forward to “hanging out at Tailgate in Williamsburg watching the pigskins fly” when it comes to fall, so we know we’re talking to football fans who will coach our imbibing choices toward a touchdown.
“A six-pack of EBBS Lager No. 3 with Schaller & Weber Bier Brat.” That’s it, that’s the win.
John Ross Cocozza, Founder and President of Ross Brewing
Ross founder John is a flavor expert--see: all of Ross’s beers--so it’s no surprise he’s got game-day-elevating snack-and-beer pairing ideas.
“My couch snack of choice is strawberry yogurt-covered salted pretzels, and I simply cannot get enough of them! In fact, they just inspired our newest beer and freshest release: Berry Salty, a strawberry 🍓 pretzel 🥨 sour gose🍺! Looking forward to having this delicious beer during football season!“As well, game day always brings crisp golden pilsners to mind, and there are few, if any, that I like better than our own Shark River Pils. Brewed in the traditional Czech style, this single-hop beer uses Loral, the super noble that pays respect to continental tradition while imparting a decidedly American profile. Crisp, clean, tasty, perfect for game day!” For more fruity, sour options, try Tarted Up, or for more crisp options, try the Shrewsbury Lager.