Superbowl Session Beers

Posted on February 5, 2010 by

What are you drinking for Superbowl?

The Superbowl is coming up this weekend and inevitably we are going to be bombarded with commercials from many walks of life, including some “pro life” campaign? Regardless of whether you are for or against abortion all I have to say is “WHO CARES” I’m in this for the funny commercials, beer, football, friendship, and crappy food. Is it just me or do Americans have a “holiday” every month to justify eating nothing but shitty, greasy food and it being ok to do?

During the game you are going to see some classic commercials jump up in front of you, from the old Budweiser Frogs to the Fedex Carrier Pigeons. But that is what all of that just is, commercial, just like 75% of the beer that is going to be drank this weekend…

I am pretty sure that I’ll be seeing a lot of Bud Light go across the table and a lot of people taking a piss every 10 minutes because they are drinking case after case of to stuff. Some of these same people tell me they drink this type of beer because it doesn’t fill them up or they can enjoy a bunch with out getting sick of it. I usually respond, “Well, its because it has no flavor that you can drink a bunch.” You know how your mom always said to plug your nose before drinking icky cough medicine? If you can’t taste it, you can drink it.

So, what beers can you drink? What beers can be “session” beers. By session I mean, you can drink these brews all night long without getting sick of them or full, while still enjoying their increased flavor and alcohol content.

Stella Artoisstella-artois

Stella is an imported lager that I feel has a very similar taste and make up of a lot of light beers that people drink. However, it has a bit more body, a bit more flavor, and an apparent hops taste. I personally feel like Miller Lights “triple hops” doesn’t taste anything like I’ve had that has hops in it, even one batch of hops. This lager is a very good cross over beer for people who want something lighter, but don’t want to give up a all of the flavor.

Anchor Steam

I just found this beer a couple months ago. I actually found it while reading Charlie Papazians “The Complete Joy of Homebrewing”. This brew gets its name from a term that was used in the late 1800′s for beer that was brewed on the West Coast before the invention of ice. This is more of an Amber Ale and it is hoppy. If you don’t like hops, stay away from this beer because you will get sick of it. However, if you like hops, go for it. This one is cool, crisp, lighter bodied, with a punch of hop flavor. This one also weighs in at around 4.9% ABV, which is the highest of our three session brews today.

Boulevard Unfiltered Wheatboulevard-wheat

Our last brew is one of my favorites. This brew comes in at 4.6% ABV and is more of a “brew” by style than the previous to. The fact that it is unfiltered and bottle conditioned basically means there is going to be yeast at the bottom. They do this to put the brew into an extra fermentation that puts the carbonation into the brew. Because of that it has a different mouthfeel and nibble on the tongue. It is a little citrusy flavor, which is expected from a wheat beer. This is for sure the one brew that I’ll take with me for a session of beer drinking.

One thing I want to make clear is that when I’m looking for a session beer, I’m not looking for something that has a ton of flavor or is heavy in my stomach. That is why people always go to the light commercial beers. They want something that they can drink a shitload of and get drunk. I mean, we are not going to beat around the bush here, when we talk session, we talk SESSION…but I do want something that is going to be a little complex, has some flavor, and is fun to drink. So I think any of these three choices will give you some good flavor during the first three when it matters most and delightfully take you to your happy place as the Colts smack down the Saints this Sunday.

What are you going to suck down this weekend during the big game?

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  • http://www.bencollin.com Ben Collin

    Please lay off he light beer hate crimes! Just because I drink tap beer doesn’t mean I’m a bad person! FWIW I drank a sixer of 2 Below.

  • ogre_elite

    Stella Artois is a piece of crap.

  • http://www.lostinthebeeraisle.com Lost

    Mike:

    I agree with your general assessment. That said, I’m relatively frequently inclined to drink Macro in quantity. I do so much less now that I’ve become so familiar with craft beer. I too often substitute a six pack of something slightly complex and tasty for the 12 or 18 pack of Coors Light.

    We are going to a friend’s house for the game and I’m in charge of bringing a 12 pack of brew. I’ll probably grab a prepackaged mixed 12 of something like Southern Tier, Harpoon, or Shipyard. I like to go into the liquor store not knowing what I’m going to buy…it’s kinda like Christmas morning from when I was a kid!

    -Lost

  • mike

    I’m not trying to make it a hate crime. I’ll sit down and drink Miller Lite and Coors Lite on a hot day or when someone offers it to me and I am without. I just prefer not to drink it and I am merely suggesting some alternatives of the light beer. Let’s face it, those macro’s rule the beer world and I know SO many people that these types of beer are the only thing that they drink. My goal is to inspire them to try something with a little more pop!

    Ben, you are by no means a bad person for drinking the light beer, sorry if it seemed like I was directing this towards you. In all fairness, I don’t really like the 2 Below either. But that is just my preferences, if you like it, drink it man!

  • mike

    I would agree that Stella is a very light and less flavorful beer than most. However, I think its a great transitional beer for someone who only drink a bud light type of beer. I would all appreciate it if you could explain a little more as to why you think its a piece of crap. We are here to talk about beer and all its nuances. If you don’t like it, why?

  • mike

    Agreed. I don’t mean to hate on the light beers, but seriously, I’m not a huge Bud Light fan. I think it has absolutely no flavor. I really enjoy the macros on a day where I’m sitting on a tub in a river and its 90 degrees out. It is refreshing, but its refreshing because it is “watered” down for lack of a better term. Those hot days are awesome for something smooth, crisp, light, and not heavy on flavor.

    So I have to agree, I’ll just substitute a sixer of something a bit more intense for a 12 pack or 18 pack of a macro as well.

    It sounds like you really get more variety of brew out there. Would you be interested in setting up a beer trade?

  • http://dannisbet.com/ Dan Nisbet

    I don’t think there’s any hate beer crime there. But there’s one thing that makes me laugh about most light beer drinkers, and that is their un-dying loyalty towards their brand. I seriously don’t mind an occasional Bud Light, Miller Light, or even Michelob Golden, but I just find it unhealthy sometimes how narrow-sighted some people are. There’s more than 3 beers out there in the world, and I think many people can stand to gain a bit of perspective by trying a few new brews from time to time.

  • mike

    Dan, that sounds a lot like 90% of the people I’ve been hanging out with lately. When I give them something like a Stella, which in my opinion as stated, is just a step up from a full on light beer, they give me a face and say “meh” and continue to drink their “light” of choice.

    Now, I can’t tell you if it is cause they only think light beer will prevent them from getting fat while drinking, which it won’t, or if they truly LOVE these light beers and nothing will suffice otherwise.

    I think what you are eluding to is, do people really not like craft beers and love nothing but their macro light, or are they being affected on some physiological level that makes them think something different.

    I am happy to report that my room mate is a huge Bud Light fan, but she loves my Dunkelweiss homebrew as well…So I’ve scored at least once with getting people to open up a little bit. -That is my goal.

  • http://dannisbet.com/ Dan Nisbet

    Pretty much what I’m eluding to. And its good that people have their loyalties- I’ve even got my own towards Guinness. But it’s sort of like deciding you’re going to eat Big Mac’s for the rest of your life. Sure, they’re great and they accomplish the one thing you want them to do (in a Big Mac’s case, fill you up) but you really don’t experience any other new flavors or dishes that you might like. Of course there will be foods you don’t like, but you might be amazed at the foods you do like.

    In the end, I feel that those who branch out are the ones who stand to gain the most.

  • http://snobbyhops.com Aaron Mielke

    I think its a comfort issue.

    A good majority of my friends are “light” drinkers and when I offer up a taste of a “craft” beer, they turn their nose because it tastes so different. To them, its not “beer”. To them, all beer should taste similar to what they’re used to.

    Leaving your comfort zone can be scary and most of these guys would just as soon grab up a $8 12 -pack of Coors and be perfectly happy.

    I have zero problem drinking a “light” beer, in fact I’ve blogged about my favorite “go-to beer” being Miller High Life, so I’m no stranger to these beers.

    The difference with me is I appreciate different brews, complex flavors, and unique recipes.

  • http://blog.ajmartinez.com Anthony

    Mike,

    Of your given session beers, I think Anchor would take the cake for me. I, too, generally dislike the offerings of the macrobreweries. Fortunately, Texas is a pretty good place to be when it comes to the pretty wide (and generally inexpensive) distribution of beers with flavor.

    I try to support my Texas breweries whenever possible, and while there are both Miller and Budweiser operations in my state if I’m going for that “style” of beer I’d just as soon save some cash and buy Lone Star. Down here, we call such things “river beers” because they’re great for filling a cooler and floating down the Guadalupe, Comal, Frio, or San Marcos rivers.

    Most of my football friends, happen to also be my beer friends so our session beers tend to look a little something like this.

    #1 – Real Ale Fireman’s 4. It’s a blonde ale at 5.1% ABV. Malt balances nicely with the citrus notes from the Crystal hops. 21 IBUs – I can literally drink this all day long.

    #2 – Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower. A Kölsch, hopped only with Hallertauer. 4.9% ABV and 20 IBUs. At a release party for Divine Reserve 9, I got to hear the brewmaster explain the name of the beer. Coors Light, et al, are beers you pop open when you sit back and admire your handywork after a hot day of mowing the lawn. They’re lawnmower beers. This is a fancy lawnmower beer, and it isn’t plagued by a lack of flavor.

    #3 – Lone Star. Apparently an American Cream Style Lager (or at least that’s what it’s been awarded for). 4.7% ABV. There’s a mild hop character, though I don’t know what kind of hops they use. Drink it cold, because it just isn’t very good if it’s much over 45F or so. It has the benefit of costing about as much for a 12 pack of bottles as the other two do for a sixer.

    In light of this post, I think I might just have to go pick some Fancy Lawnmower up. Though Fireman’s 4 is a pop cap, and I definitely need more bottles for the American Amber Ale conditioning in the secondary under my stairs!

    Anthony

    (ps, the Saints are taking this one home! GO NFC)

  • mike

    Oh no you didn’t….Saints are not going to win!

    However, I like your beer choices. One thing I’m quickly learning is that there is a TON of beer out there I can’t even get my hands on. All of your choices sound good and I feel like the choices I’ve made are more “main stream” as well. We don’t have anything local so I suppose I have an excuse. Maybe I need to change this no local option. We have a few breweries within a 600 mile radius. Summit, New Galrus, Schell, just to name a few, but I suppose you guys can get those brews where you are at?

    I’d love to setup a beer exchange with anyone willing to test the waters of the UPS guys.

    Great comment! Thanks man!

  • Chris

    “…So I’ve scored at least once”

    This is pretty funny out of context.

    So much of what I buy is higher ABV, 8-10+%, which makes for a short session. I haven’t found my session beer yet.

    I recently picked up the Opa Opa IPA, which weighs in at 6%, almost a session beer. Guinness, while definitely low in alcohol, is so thick I can’t drink too many. I’ll have to check out the Boulevard.

  • mike

    The Boulevard Wheat is pretty good. Let me know if you try it. I’d really like to know if you could make that a session beer for yourself.

  • http://blog.ajmartinez.com Anthony Martinez

    I’d be more than happy to setup a beer exchange, I can send you some Texas beers if you’d like. Once I have three or four homebrews in bottles, I’ll send those out as well.

  • mike

    I’d be down for trying.

    You should send me out an email with your email address. Just use the “homebrewing questions” page link above to contact me.

  • http://m.inforum.com ryan

    i think i put down a 6′er of Bridgeport IPA and worked my way into a 4 pack of Surly Furious. Yowza. hopps to the extreme for me, i love that bitter – almost grapefruit – flavor. i’m usually alone in that regard though… which means MORE beer for me.

  • mike

    I should have you meet my friend Jay. He brewed up a Double IPA this past weekend. He basically put 3 or four cereal bowls of leaf hops in his batch of brew. Insane amount of hops. If I do a trade with him, maybe we could hook up and have a couple of his brews and you can tell me if they are hoppy enough for ya.

  • http://www.theperfectlyhappyman.com Tom

    Mike,
    Great suggestion with Anchor Steam Beer. It is one of my favorites. Nice choice with a Wheat…those are always easy drinking, enjoyable, and a crowd favorite. Keep up the reviewing.
    Cheers!

  • mike

    Awesome!

    Thanks. Do you have any session brews you would like to suggest to me? I’m looking for a good night of drinking on some brews coming up!

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