28 September, 2016
THE PERFECT BEER FOR EVERY 2016 NFL TEAM
Like Tom Brady, you’ll probably be sitting on your couch watching football this September. And because nothing goes better with football than craft beer, we’ve selected the perfect brew for every single NFL team. We picked a beer brewed in each team’s hometown, and made sure it fit with the team’s players, fans, or prospects for the 2016-2017 season. So crack open your team’s perfect beer, and let’s enjoy another season of NFL football.
Editor’s Note: The National Football League and the teams mentioned here are in no way affiliated with any of the beer brands mentioned, and were not involved in the creation of this article. We did not receive express written consent for any of this.
Their beer: Sonoran Brew Co. DFRNT IPA
Sonoran’s beer is different because it’s an English-style IPA, which isn’t the most common variant of the style in the States. And the team is hoping things will be DFRNT too. Maybe this is the year they won’t have to meet the Panthers in the NFC Championship Game again, though they probably will. But with Mathieu recovered from an ACL tear and leading one of the best secondaries in football, Palmer playing up to his full potential, and Larry Fitzgerald continuing to dominate, they’ve got a real shot at the Super Bowl.
Their beer: Orpheus Brewing Abandon All Hope
Fall typically brings with it a legion of big, bourbon barrel-aged stouts, and Abandon All Hope is no different. It’s also a beer Falcons fans might want to cozy up to, because they’re going to need a 14% beer to help them endure a long, brutal season. While Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones are bright spots, the defense is nonexistent. This team will perpetually be in the shadow of their divisional rivals in Carolina until there are some wholesale changes on that side of the ball. But hey, at least the beer in Georgia is pretty good these days!
Their beer: Union Craft Old Pro
This gose, like Old (All) Pro Terrell Suggs, isn’t going to be around much longer. You won’t be able to get the beer past October, but that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate it now. And the same goes for Suggs — he’s 34, and was a critical part of the 2013 Super Bowl team, but now he might be more known for fighting with The Rock on Ballers. Good luck to the Ravens to win more than six games this year.
Their beer: Resurgence Brewing Co. Resurgence IPA
Like the name of the signature IPA from one of Buffalo’s finest breweries, the Bills will experience a resurgence this season. Granted, it’ll probably be from a team that goes 8-8 to a team that goes 9-7, but that’s something! The offensive weapons of this team are undeniable, with QB Tyrod Taylor, the speedy Sammy Watkins, and Mr. 20-Cent TipLeSean McCoy. The defensive weapons of this team are… how about that offense!
Their beer: Legion Brewing Co. Carolina Sparkle Party
First of all, not only is Carolina Sparkle Party one of the best beer names we’ve seen recently, but it’s also the name of a solid Brett offering from the Legion folks. And while the Panthers were unstoppable in 2015 (up until the kickoff of the Super Bowl), it’s tough not to look at the raw talent of the D and Cam Newton and not see them deep into the NFC playoffs again this year. It might not end in a championship parade going through Charlotte, but at the very least there should be a Sparkle Party.
Their beer: Half Acre GoneAway IPA
This gem of an IPA used to be known as “Heyoka” (before Native American groups complained) and then “Senita” (before some brewery with a similarly named beer complained). Did you know the franchise now known as the Bears was once the Decatur Staleys? It’s true. Nomenclature changes aside, some rather significant Bears have also GoneAway this offseason (Matt Forte in particular), and if the preseason is any indication, there will be no shortage of games this year where the fans have GoneAway by halftime.
Their beer: Fifty West Brewing Co. Punch You in the EyePA
“Punch You in the Eye” is a popular Phish song, nearly the name of Fifty West’s 100-IBU DIPA, and one of the few things the Bengals weren’t penalized for in the last few minutes of the Steelers playoff game, in what’s probably one of the worst meltdowns in NFL playoff history. Before Dalton went down, they looked like they might make a run, but instead they lost in the first round, as they’ve done for five straight years. They’ll probably suck again this season! Whatever, they’ve always got the Cavs. Ah shit, that’s Cleveland. It must be horrible to be a Bengals fan.
Their beer: Great Lakes Blackout Stout
The much-beloved Russian imperial stout from the OG of Cleveland’s brewing scene feels all too appropriate, as much of the populace is still keeping the party going from a certain recent basketball success that ended the city’s ongoing failure festival. But don’t worry: come winter the Blackout will be more about soothing the pain of RG III’s inevitable injury and/or ineffectiveness and Josh Gordon’s inevitable suspension. It’ll be just like old times!
Their beer: Deep Ellum Easy Peasy
Romo’s out six to 12 weeks, but like the sessionable Easy Peasy IPA, that news goes down… easy. See, this offseason Jerry Jones prepared for the inevitability that Romo would go down in a heap — and the early signs are that he planned well, because Dak Prescott has had a seriously good-looking preseason. He’s still a rookie, but with weapons like Witten and Dez, it’ll be tough for him to screw up that much.
Their beer: Comrade Brewing Superpower
The Broncos won games last season when Manning threw the ball like an 80-year-old grandpa playing catch with his grandson, only with far worse accuracy. So with Von Miller re-signing and the rest of the D looking no worse for wear, expect the Broncos to continue to be an AFC superpower, just like this 100-IBU American IPA. New QB Trevor Siemian’s job is not to replace Peyton, but to simply not be intercepted every time. The superhuman and strangely four-eyed Miller will take care of the rest.
Their beer: Griffin Claw Norm’s Raggedy Ass IPA
Things haven’t been great for the Lions in recent years — or, just about any year, really — but at least they could count on a few spectacular Megatron moments each season in between hobbling ankle injuries. Well, like Barry Sanders before him, Calvin’s gone before his time because the Lions made him sad. So yeah, without the one guy who could make Matt Stafford appear competent, it’s gonna be one Raggedy-Ass offense (and defense too, probably!).
Green Bay Packers
Their beer: Ale Asylum Unshadowed
Like every year, the Packers look pretty promising. But this year none of it matters. Why? Because Aaron Rodgers’ brother won The Bachelorette! He has officially emerged from his more prominent and talented brother’s *shadow*. So yeah, forget about the Super Bowl, Green Bay. Fortune does not smile that heavily on one family in a single year. Enjoy another 10-6 season and another offseason of grumbling about Mike McCarthy’s game management. Oh! And also enjoy this fine German-style hefeweizen.
Their beer: Karbach Brewing Weekend Warrior
When JJ Watt isn’t hurt, he’s very good at his job — making quarterbacks wish they’d decided against a career where a very fast guy who is 6’5″ and 290lbs tries to inflict pain on them. The man is a literal Weekend Warrior, and not the kind who watches football all day on the couch drinking a 5.5% ABV sessionable pale ale. And luckily enough for Texan fans, he looks to be recovered from his groin injury just in time for the regular season. Mostly, the team and its fans will be trying to erase memories of a dismantling at the hands of the Chiefs in last year’s playoffs, and that should get easier with new QB Brock Osweiler.
Their beer: Upland Easy Chair
In honor of Peyton Manning’s retirement. Yes, he most recently played (and won a Super Bowl) with the Broncos, but you wouldn’t know it by the number of Colts fans gushing about it on Facebook as if it had been their own team. Peyton’s gone everybody! Now enjoy watching the Colts waste Andrew Luck’s prime with a suspect offensive line as you sip this easy-drinking amber, hopefully in an Easy Chair. Which is where Peyton is right now. Because he’s retired. So stop talking about him.
Their beer: Engine 15 Nut Sack double brown ale
Poor Blake Bortles. The man was sacked the most out of any NFL QB last season — 51 times, which is five more than even human rag doll Aaron Rodgers. There can be no more appropriate beer than the Nut Sack, a suitably nutty English-style brown ale. Load up on Nut Sacks, Jags fans — this is gonna be a long, long season. As if there’s any other kind for this franchise.
Kansas City Chiefs
Their beer: Double Shift Run Around Rye
Last year, Jamaal Charles wasn’t able to Run Around — a beer the brewery says tastes like rye bread in a glass! — because he hurt his ACL in game six. But then the Chiefs won 10 straight and whupped the Texans in the playoffs. Charles wasn’t the only one hurt — you wonder if they could’ve even beat the Pats in the divisional round if nearly the entire team hadn’t been injured and watching from the sidelines. Other than Charles, the playmakers will be on D, and it’s likely that the Chiefs will be a serious problem for teams in the AFC in 2016.
Los Angeles Rams
Their beer: Golden Road Back Home gingerbread stout
Yeah, Golden Road might not be “craft” anymore, but how could we not select that beer based on its name alone? Before the Rams sucked in St. Louis, they sucked in LA, and now they’re Back Home! Just kidding, I wasn’t alive back when the Rams were in LA in 1946. They might have been good…? Either way, Back Home is an 8.5% imperial stout, which Angelenos can drink to warm themselves up in “winter” while watching Todd Gurley maneuver his way through over-matched defenses.
Their beer: J. Wakefield Let’s Kick It
We’re naming the strange, summery sour beer/cider combo Let’s Kick It in honor of the Dolphins’ best player who happens to have a history of kicking people: Ndamukong Suh. And because he could beat all of Thrillist’s editorial staff in a fight even if we all tried to attack him at the same time. This team has been mired in mediocrity for some time now, and this season is not going to be any better. But hey, they’ve got Arian Foster now!
Their beer: Surly Darkness
Could have gone with numerous other Surly offerings here (Furious, anyone?), but the much-sought-after, jet-black stout Darkness feels most appropriate given the shadow Teddy Bridgewater’s out-of-nowhere knee implosion has cast over the season. Won’t even make a sarcastic comment about it — injuries suck. Best of luck with Sam Bradford.
New England Patriots
Their beer: Trillium Broken Angel
One-time NFL Golden Boy Tom Brady’s finally caved and will serve his Ballghazi suspension, (hopefully) ending the longest and lamest football scandal anyone can remember, although Pats fans’ continued persecution complex is expected to endure indefinitely. Enjoy this well-balanced Belgian strong during your month-long fling with Jimmy Garoppolo and beyond.
New Orleans Saints
Their beer: Courtyard Brewery Lonesome Traveler IPA (single-hopped series)
Things aren’t looking too sunny for the bearers of the fleur-de-lis this year. QB Drew Brees, who will hit the $30 million salary cap this year, is under tons of pressure to single-handedly balance out a largely ineffective squad coming off a bitterly disappointing 5-5 2015 season — almost as bitter as Courtyard Brewery’s Lonesome Traveler IPA, a moderately strong 7.2% brew whose handsome, clean-cut malt base bears the weight of carrying an entire pint’s worth of unpredictable hop character on its back.
New York Giants
Their beer: Other Half All Green Everything
If you watched the Giants play last year, you probably noticed two things: Odell Beckham Jr. is a sports robot designed by scientists to catch footballs in eye-popping, unconventional ways; and the Giants’ best defensive player is a guy who doesn’t have all 10 fingers. Sorry, DRC. The owners wised up in the off-season and spent $200 million to sign ends, tackles, and corners. Maybe this year their best player on D will be someone with 10 fingers. Either way, raise a super-duper-hoppy (120 IBU!) All Green Everything triple IPA to celebrate the Giants spending a lot of green on defensive players. They’ll probably still miss the playoffs.
New York Jets
Their beer: Alphabet City Alpha Male IPA
Football is a game played by alpha males for a bunch of people who sit on a couch and cheer from a safe distance. Jets fans can sip on 6.2%, hop-packed Alpha Male in honor of Darrelle Revis, who, despite being 31, can still be called a shutdown corner. With Ryan Fitzpatrick re-signed, some killer play on D, and Todd Bowles looking like he’s a legit head coach, maybe this could be the year. Wait, they still have to play in the same division as the Pats and much-improved Bills. Good luck to them!
Their beer: Independent Brewing Carpe Diem
Just when the Raiders start to look like a legitimate contender in the AFC — with the play of Carr, Crabtree, and a decent running attack — the team still might leave for the beige-r pastures of Las Vegas in the near future. So Carpe Diem, fans of the silver and black. Enjoy every bit of that 8.6% ABV DIPA from Independent. And when you’re done, play the nightmare scenario in your mind of whether you’d cheer for the Vegas Raiders or the Niners.
Their beer: Dock Street Man Full of Trouble
The pressure from fans and the media on a new head coach in Philly is intense. Especially the new head coach of the Eagles. Chip Kelly was fired last season and was run out of town so aggressively, he had to take a job as far away as physically possible in San Francisco. And while Doug Pederson will probably get a year or two to figure things out, the 5.2% ABV Man Full of Trouble’s London-style porter is perfectly named. Now that Bradford’s gone, good luck figuring out whether to start a rookie or a career backup at QB, Dougie.
Their beer: Grist House Wheatin’ for the Weekend
Every Tuesday of every single week during the NFL season, those lucky bastards that call themselves Steelers fans must be Wheatin’ for the Weekend, just like the 4.3% ABV pale ale that bears its name from Grist. Since 2004, they’ve had no seasons under .500 and won two Super Bowls, mostly thanks to a solid D, Roethlisberger, and veteran Antonio Brown. The D has sucked as of late, but the offense remains such a bright spot that they’re perennial competitors.
San Diego Chargers
Their beer: Coronado Idiot IPA
San Diego! You were almost out! The Chargers were ready to leave and become LA’s problem, leaving you to enjoy all of your amazing beer, pristine beaches, and beautiful partially employed residents. But no! Now there’s a ballot initiative for a new Downtown stadium and you KNOW how those things go. This franchise brings you nothing but disappointment. Let them go.
San Francisco 49ers
Their beer: Harmonic Brewing Espress Yourself kettle-sour saison with coffee beans
Between QB Colin Kaepernick publicly expressing his controversial political self, a brand-new coach, and a remarkably potent (like 8.1% ABV potent) schedule, the 49ers’ 2016 appears a lot less smooth than last year’s 5-11 season. The Niners’ rookie-heavy lineup mirrors this wildly fermented brew, and the team will definitely need some caffeine-fueled pep to maintain their depth against brutal match-ups. But with any luck, these guys can harness this sour outlook to keep their game fresh.
Their beer: Spinnaker Bay Don’t Panic!
Remember when people gave up on the Seahawks last season after week six, when they were 2-4? Russell Wilson was garbage, the defense had holes, and Pete Carroll was definitely going to be aggressively chewing gum on another team’s sideline in 2016. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Don’t Panic! is the perfect beer for the Hawks, not only because this porter is a rich, chocolaty, mocha-y pint that’ll warm up the 12th Men all winter long, but also because this team is a machine. Wilson played his best football in the second half and led the team into the playoffs, where they lost to a very good Panthers team in the divisional round. They’ll still be solid in 2016, with the only major changes this season being that Lynch retired and Wilson is no longer a virgin.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Their beer: Cigar City Florida Man
The beer that encapsulates the team that encapsulates its state. You don’t know WHAT it’ll be with the Bucs this year. Maybe they’ll have another MRSA outbreak. Maybe Jameis Winston will backslide and boost a shipping container full of crustaceans. But the track record of calamity with this franchise is strong, much like this imperial IPA.
Their beer: Bearded Iris Habit
Yeah, yeah, Marcus Mariota looks like a future star and the team signed Demarco Murray, blah blah blah. There is nothing more impressive about the Titans than the fact that Dick LeBeau, the D coordinator, will turn 79 friggin’ years old in September. He will have been coaching nonstop since 1973. LeBeau has coached so long, it’s become a serious Habit, much like the 70-IBU IPA from Bearded Iris. And maybe the Titans can soon break the habit of sucking so hard — they’ve had a losing record five out of the last six seasons.
Their beer: Atlas Brew Works Rowdy
I’ll admit — I did not think Kirk Cousins had the goods. But after he got a little Rowdy (a 6.2% rye IPA) in week seven and screamed, “You like that!”, DC’s team went 7-3, won the NFC East… and then got smacked down by the Packers in the playoffs. This year, the mostly garbage defense got an upgrade with Josh Norman, and with the East looking as weak as ever, we might get to see Cousins in the playoffs again this year.