With the Super Bowl coming up this week, I thought I’d invite you all to do something a little different with your Super Bowl party this year. Instead of buying your typical case of the same old beer, why not have a beer tasting focused on beers from Seattle and Denver? I had a few buddies over last week to put some of these beers to the test. I made some pretzel bites, cheese dip, tapinade, and other snacks (be on the lookout for that post) and filled up two coolers with beer.
I tried to pick beers that represent the city well, that you would like to have more than one of, and that are more available in most markets. While we tried a number of beers that afternoon, I’m focusing here on our two favorites from each of the remaining contenders.
A variety of beer from Seattle was difficult to find in my area. I wish you better luck in that pursuit. Red Hook, however is available in most markets and is a pretty strong alternative to your typical “party” beers. The Red Hook ESB (Extra Special Bitter) was surprising. We all expected it to be bitter, but it really wasn’t. It had a smooth sweetness with a touch of spice and citrus making for a bold flavor. The Red Hook Audible Ale is a self-described “crushable” beer developed with Dan Patrick for watching with sports. While not as flavorful as the ESB, it’s a very smooth beer that you can just keep drinking and it does have more flavor than the beer that I see at most parties.
Beers from Denver are very easy to find, so we could afford to be a little pickier. I focused on the New Belgium Ale Company’s Rampant and 1554. If you like “hoppy” beer, you will love Rampant. It’s got a beautifully copper color and a very floral aroma. That aroma sits on your tongue when you drink it, but is accompanied by a slight bitterness and welcome notes of citrus. The 1554 is black lager with a beautifully dark brown color and sweet aroma. You’ll taste notes of chocolate and coffee and will experience and thick, smooth mouthfeel as you drink.
And the winner is:
Our overall consensus put the 1554 at the top of the heap! If the beer is anything to go by, Denver will be the champs this year.
Disagree? Have your own beer tasting and share your results. I’d love to see which beers you all chose to taste and which one is your winner. Did your beer preference predict the Super Bowl Champs? Share your story with us.