I would like to start off by welcoming all of you to my new beer column here at TheManRoom: Suds With Securb. By now, most of you are familiar with my beer musings from the forums so Iâ€™m pretty psyched to gather my thoughts and share them with you in this new format. Some of the topics I look forward to covering in the coming weeks are the fundamentals of home brewing, journeys into the innards of breweries both big and small, and most importantly, having a lot of fun with beer. But first, I need to cover some beer basics, football, how they come together for the ultimate big game.
What better time to kick off my inaugural rant than mere days before Superbowl XXXVIII kicks-off! We all love the Superbowl but just as important as the game itself are the infamous commercials. Did you know that 43% of the people pooled on Superbowlinfo.com stated the commercials were their favorite part of the game? My theory on specifically beer commercials is quite simple: the funnier the ad, the worst tasting the beer. Miller Lite, Bud, Coors Light; they all have the funniest beer ads on television and alas they all serve up watered down, yellow, tasteless brew. After 3 or 4 of these bad boys you will spend more time admiring the urinal than actually watching the game. Not that these beers donâ€™t serve a purpose in the beer world, on a hot day nothing goes down better than an ice cold American brewed lager.
Last time I checked, the Superbowl is played in late January when most of the country is covered in a sheet of ice. Yep, you guessed it; this game dictates winter beers above all else. Let me first clarify what a winter beer actually is. There are a lot of seasonal beers with the word winter in the title. Many of them fashion their names after ingredients that are readily available during that particular season. However these are not necessarily the beers Iâ€™m talking about. A true winter beer is higher in AVB% (Alcohol by Volume: A measure of the amount of alcohol in beer of the amount of space the alcohol in a beer takes up as a percentage of total space), thus creating a â€œbigâ€ beer. Hence you can and will drink less beer and spend more time watching the Bowl instead of visiting it.
Typically, to raise the AVB up to the â€œbigâ€ beer levels, more sugars and malts are added, giving the beer a sweeter finish – some being overbearing for even my eclectic beer tastes. But there are some jewels with everything from molasses to honey and brown sugar to help the beer get to the â€œbigâ€ beer state giving us a multitude of textures and flavors to sample and enjoy.
One of the simplest and most common types of winter beers to introduce you to is the Russian Imperial Stout, or simply, Imperial Stout. No this isnâ€™t a Russian beer as the name suggests. Itâ€™s actually English and now reproduced by many American breweries. Because it was originally transported across the freezing Baltic, Russian Imperial Stouts were brewed with a high level of alcohol. The high ABV helped keep the beer from freezing and preserves them during the long trip to Russia.
Some other examples of winter beers are Barley Wine, Imperial IPAâ€™s and Trappist Ales. While I will visit all of these styles in the upcoming months, itâ€™s now time for my Superbowl Picks using the commercial descriptions from the brewerâ€™s websites. First up are the heavily favored New England Patriots and their beloved local brewery.
Samuel Adams Double Bock “ Sam Adams was a patriot from Boston so naturally this beer is the pick for you New England fans. Commercial Description: Despite the malt quantity, Samuel Adams Double Bock is uniquely smooth. The deep brown-ruby color is all made in the kettle — no black malt is used. As a result, the rough taste of burnt malt is absent.
Samuel Smiths Imperial Stout – Have you seen Carolinaâ€™s D? I think it is safe to call 300 lb. guys like Julius Peppers, Brentson Buckner and Kris Jenkins stout so my pick for you Carolina fans is Samuel Smithâ€™s Imperial Stout. Commercial Description: Rich, flavorful, deep chocolate color, scented and roasted barley nose. Complexity of malt, hops, alcohol and yeast.
Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA – A football game has roughly 90 minutes in a half. Dogfish Head has a 90 minute IPA. Coincidence? I think not. If you have plenty of this beer during the first half you might be able to get through the P. Diddy, Kid Rock, Nelly and Janet Superbowl XXXVIII Halftime Show. Commercial Description: An Imperial I.P.A. brewed to be savored from a snifter. A big beer with a great malt backbone that stands up to the extreme hopping rate.
And my number one pick for the game is¦
Chimay Red No matter what team youâ€™re rooting for, you tailgaters will find that Chimay Red is the perfect compliment to a finely grilled tenderloin or burger. In my opinion it has the best price point of any of the authentic Trappist Ales so you can buy plenty to share with your friends. Commercial Description: An authentic Trappist beer that is it is brewed within a Trappist monastery, under the control and responsibility of the monastic community. Topped with a creamy head, it gives off a light, fruity apricot aroma produced by the fermentation. The taste perceived in the mouth is a balance confirming the fruity nuances noticed in the fragrance.
Enjoy the game everyone. I hope to discuss your Superbowl beer adventures with you in the forums this upcoming week.