Any savvy football fan will tell you: Super Bowl, the most celebrated sporting event of the year, is a game of endurance—for fans, that is.
There’s the long, aggravating grocery lines to stock up on chili fixins’; the penmanship required to draw out the perfect betting grid; the tireless preparation to get the TV room in order.
We go through these laborious procedures all in name of our gridiron idols, of course. But we all really know the unsung hero of this special occasion: beer, and plenty of it.
We believe there’s an ideal beer for every occasion, and when it comes to the Super Bowl, there are ideal pairings for specific intervals of said occasion. The beverage team over at Daniel Boulud’s DGBG knows that as well, so they agreed to help us create the perfect game-day drinking menu to guide you through every imaginable situation.
Tie game in the fourth? You might need a little ‘holy water’ from a Belgium brewery for that last-second miracle. Staking out prime couch real estate 30 minutes before game time? A session beer will keep you buzzed but focused. To assuage your sorrows or punctuate your highs, here is the ultimate Super Bowl drinking rubric.
Braving the line at the grocery store before the game starts
Beer to drink: Double Negative Imperial Stout from Grimm Artisanal Ales
DBGB says: “Win or lose, this may very well be the toughest part of Super Bowl Sunday. Our recommendation: Double Negative Imperial Stout. To make sure your slow-cooked chili and fried-then-baked wings are ready in time for kickoff, you’ll probably be getting an early start at the store, and we believe when it comes to breakfast beers, stouts are simply unbeatable. ‘10% alcohol-by-volume?’ you ask. You deserve it.” (Photos: gracewomensministry.org, Grimm Ales)
Cleaning up the mess left by your friends, who ditched you immediately after the game
Beer to drink: Karmeliet Tripel from Brouwerij Bosteels
DBGB says: “If you ever needed a companion to either console you after a loss, or high-five you in celebration, it’s now. Those guys you invited over were your friends, but this beer is something more. That’s why we advise you to stick with the Karmeliet Tripel from Belgium. This beauty will take you to your happy place, even if you’ve just walked in to your bathroom for the first time in a few hours to find the inevitable catastrophe.” (Photos: dreamstime.com, wikicommons)
What to drink if Katy Perry has a nip slip and you’re sitting next to your grandma
Beer to drink: Sawtooth Ale Nitro from Left Hand Brewing
What to drink when you’re staking out prime couch real estate and there’s still 90 minutes of pre-game
Beer to drink: Bikini beer from Evil Twin Brewery
DBGB says: “Perfect timing for a session beer. You’ll be waiting around for quite some time, and you’ll need something that will quench your thirst but not get you plastered before kick-off. Grab a six-pack of Evil Twin’s Bikini Beer. Only 2.7% ABV, but it has all the flavor you want from an IPA, without the boozy profile. It’ll keep you sharp as you defend your favorite corner spot.” (Photo: Evil Twin)
Beer to drink: Old Ruffian Barleywine from Great Divide Brewing
DBGB says: “This is the most important day in football—so of course you’re going to need something a bit stronger than your average ale. That’s where Barleywine comes in. Pop a 22oz. bomber of Great Divide’s “Old Ruffian” Barleywine. At more than 10% ABV, this malt and hop monster will have you in a state of zen-like-calm by the last sip.” (Photos: youthefundrasier.wordpress, greatedivide.com)
Quick lead in the first quarter
Beer to drink (if your team is up): Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada
DBGB says: “So many games are decided in the first quarter. If your team has taken that quick lead, remain calm and quietly crack a beer so as not to draw any attention from your opponents. This is an occasion for a benchmark beer: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. It’s dependable and delicious—just like that team of yours.” (Photo: Sierra Nevada)
Beer to drink (if your team is down): Mother’s Milk, Keegan Ales
DBGB says: “If your team has just been the victim of a quick assault in the first quarter, you have to remember: Time is on your side. Still, you need something to put yourself at ease. Go with Mother’s Milk from Keegan Ales. Nothing like a frothy, roasted, stout to quell your fears.” (Photo: barthalia.org)
Deadlock, neck-and-neck game
Beer to drink: St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
DBGB says: “This is when s**t gets real. It’s the moment that requires all of your rooting prowess and focus. Take a deep breath and pour yourself a St. Bernardus Abt 12 Quadrupel from Belgium. This incredibly complex ale is brewed by monks—and at this point in the game, we’ll take any help we can get.” (Photos: neoskomos.com, Belgium Beer Tourism)
Key player gets injured
Beer to drink: Any sour ale from Cantillon Brewery
DBGB says: “The guy whose jersey you’re wearing on your back is out for the game. Let’s hope this isn’t serious and that he’s back next season, but for now, you need to pull your sorry ass together. The drink for this situation is a rare sour ale from Cantillon. These beers are wicked tart—a reminder of the bitterness of the situation, but also a wake-up call for you to push ahead.” (Photos: breg.com, Facebook)
Superstar is in beast mode
Beer to drink: Konrad 11 from Pivovar Konrad
DBGB says: “It’s what you’ve been waiting for: The stars have aligned and your team’s best player is firing on all cylinders. This is when you crack a bottle of Konrad 11 from the Czech Republic. A more refreshing and easy-drinking lager has never been produced. Just sit back, sip, and watch the records topple as your main man kills it on the field.” (Photo: sheltonbrothers.com)
Beer to drink (if your team lost): Sink the Bismarck! from BrewDog Brewery
DBGB says: “The game is winding down and your team is being humiliated on the field. By this point, you’re feeling especially small, and just want to curl up and forget this day ever happened. If there’s no whiskey around, find a way to locate a bottle of the Scottish mega-ale Sink the Bismarck! At one point in time considered the highest alcohol beer on the planet, it still packs a wallop at 41% ABV. Bad memories go bye-bye.” (Photo: BrewDog)
Beer to drink (if your team won): High Life from Miller
DBGB says: “Your team is up by five touchdowns, it has the third-string quarterback in, and they’re still marching down the field. What are you waiting for? Shake up a can of Miller High Life, “the Champagne of Beers,” and spray victory all of over your friends and family.” (Photo: randolphpackage.com)