Whether you’re a die-hard football fan intent on watching each play, or are simply curious about those creative commercials making their over-the-top debut during the big game, chances are you are going to want to wash down your favorite Super Bowl snacks with a bountiful supply of brews. If you’re “sick of beers that were brewed in mass quantities a thousand miles away and taste like swill,” there are plenty of options, says John Kelly, owner of The Hop, Beacon’s craft-beer mecca. Not sure what to choose? “Don’t worry,” Kelly assures, “you don’t have to choke down that tasteless, fizzy yellow stuff anymore.” Instead, to ensure that your thirsty guests are happily sated (especially if their team doesn’t win), Kelly suggests shunning mainstream six-packs for Hudson Valley-made gems.
To accompany the essential bowl of chunky guacamole — “If you don’t have guacamole at a Super Bowl party, then you don’t have a party,” Kelly warns — opt for Peekskill Brewery’s Simple Sour, which Kelly describes as “adult lemonade.” Its tart profile comes from two different souring yeasts that “produce a juicy yet surprisingly dry and easy-to-drink beer with the acidity to cut right through the rich avocado,” he says. “This patio pounder will make you feel like you’re sitting on your porch in August.” Abundant in citrus flavors, which meld well with the guacamole’s lime juice (and spice, if it’s made the way Kelly prefers), “the Simple Sour will cleanse your palate like having a spoonful of sorbet between every painfully delicious bite,” he promises.
To accompany chili, another Super Bowl mainstay, Kelly digs dark and malty beers. “Anything else can get lost in the bold flavors,” he notes. “A lager just won’t do, and an IPA could numb your tongue to the depth of flavor in a good recipe.” Instead, Kelly pairs the warm, hearty favorite with Chester-based Rushing Duck Brewing Company’s Beanhead Coffee Porter. “It drinks so smoothly and has the malt backbone to hold up to the most complex Southwestern fare. The coffee is very present but will blend perfectly with the chocolate I hope is in that chili,” he says. It would behoove beer geeks with access to a nitro tap to drink the Beanhead from one. Kelly says it elicits “smooth as silk” results.
Got Buffalo Wings?
Kelly loves the Buffalo wings served at Beacon’s Dogwood Restaurant & Bar. When he orders them, it’s the Red C from Poughkeepsie-based Sloop Brewing he hopes is on tap. He recommends sipping this amber ale with the blue cheese-dressed beauties you serve up at your own shindig. “When pairing beer with spicy dishes, my rule of thumb is more malt, more hops. The sweetness and body that the malt gives the beer counteracts the spice, and the hops clean up the rest, leaving you to contemplate freely that second order of wings,” Kelly explains. Sloop never brews the same beer the same way twice, he adds, and this “constant quest for perfection” has led to the stellar Red C. “The medium-roasted malts produce a great-looking amber ale, and the hops give it an awesome citrus nose and finish.