Suds With Securb: Superbowl XXXIX Beers

Suds With Securb Logo

It is actually painful writing my Superbowl column this year simply because I am a Dolphins fan. Yes you heard me right. Even after this depressing year I still lay claim to my dismal Dolphins.I haven’t missed a Superbowl in years. Year after year I watch the greatest game on earth yet still I have not had the chance to watch the Orange and Teal hold the coveted Lombardi trophy over their heads in victory.

A Dolphins fan watching the Superbowl is like Star Jones watching the Miss America pageant. Every year when the winner is crowned there is a sadness and envy that takes over. As you sit on the sofa with beer stains running down your shirt you think why can’t that be me? Why can’t I be the pretty girl? You ask yourself as you gently weep into your bowl of Doritos.

I am sure Star Jones has plenty of heavyweight friends to share her sorrow and her bowl of Doritos with her. Me, I stand alone.

I am a Dolphins fan living in New England, home of the NFL Champion Patriots. Tooling around New Hampshire on game Sunday with my Ricky Williams shirt on has generated everything from dirty looks to people screaming “Dolphins Suck!” as they drive by in their cars. In most cases if a Pats fan goes the extra effort of rolling down the window to give me their opinion of the Dolphins, the insult is punctuated with and empty Milwaukee’s Best can thrown in my direction.

This abuse does not stop when I get home. Mrs. Securb and all of my friends are hardcore Pats fans, so sitting in my living room on Sunday surrounded by red, silver and blue shits emblazoned with the names Brady, Law, and Vinatieri isn’t much fun. The two Patriots/Dolphins games per year I must endure with these people has not been amusing the past few seasons. I have been ridiculed by my spouse and friends as I watch the dynamic duo Wannstedt and Fielder flounder over and over again.

Being a lone Dolphins fan in a room bursting with hammered Patriots fans makes you ripe for the picking. The only other Dolphins fan in the house on game day to take the abuse is Ginger. Unfortunately Ginger doesn’t have a middle finger so she is of limited help.

I am telling you now: if the Pats win the Superbowl again I won’t be able to deal with the abuse. I feel like skipping the Superbowl and jumping right to the draft. You heard me right. Skip the Superbowl, lets go straight to the draft.

I can’t wait to see Utah QB Alex Smith holding up that orange and teal jersey. Not since 8-time Pro Bowler Bob Griese has the Fins had a QB with Alex’s talents. I know what you are going to say, don’t even mention Marino to me. Dan was the king of chocking in the post season. The two times he did finally make it to the Big Show he got his ass handed to him.

Rumors have been abound that the Dolphins are going to use their first good pick in years to replace Ricky Williams with Texas running back Cedric Benson. The chances of the Dolphins drafting another RB from Texas with dreadlocks are none to slim. There’s a better chance of liberating that bowl of Doritos from Star Jones’s chubby little sausage-like fingers than convincing Dolphin’s owner Wayne Huizenga to go down the dreadlock running back road again.

The Dolphins don’t need a RB anyway when they already have one. Ricky will be back next year, despite most critics putting the blame of last season’s tragedy squarely on his shoulders. It’s not his responsibility alone; there are many more people to blame. Lets start with my buddy Dan Marino that took the GM job and then quit before the paint was dry on his parking spot. Or how about over-inflated wide receiver David Boston excessively conditioning and blowing out his knee. Having a cheerleader for a coach didn’t help last I checked.

The whole problem with the Dolphins and Ricky is the coaches didn’t get Ricky good beer. If Ricky had some mind blowing beer he would have no need to do bong hits or gobble up medication for his social anxiety disorder. I’m not talking 7 – 8% ABV here. I am talking real deal beer with double digit ABV!

After a couple of good beers Ricky would have relaxed and taken his helmet off during interviews. It worked for Joe Namath – just ask ESPN’s Suzy Kolber. Again, keep in mind I am not talking about Steel Reserve or Colt 45 here. Ricky needs a quality high gravity beer.

Making a high ABV beer is harder than you might think. Sure there are beers and malt liquors out there that crank up the volume but a lot of them do this by sacrificing the taste.

The yeast strain in a beer is where the true flavor and profile comes from. Just because a yeast strain is powerful enough to crate a high gravity beer doesn’t mean the end product will be worth drinking.

The way alcohol is created in beer is fairly simple. Before the fermentation of the beer begins it is referred to as “wort”. Single-celled organisms called yeast are added to water, malt and hops. Fermentable sugars in the wort are eaten by the yeast, releasing a byproduct of alcohol and CO2. In a nutshell we are drinking the waste of these tiny animals. As the alcohol is produced, all kinds of enzymes and byproducts are created giving the beer a palate of flavors ranging from bread dough, apples and bananas to sour milk, dust or mold.

There are tons of different yeast strains out there. Most brewers have their own proprietary strains. Alas even the best strains can only do so much. These little alcohol producing wonders can only process so much sugar before they are totally spent and die. So what is a brewer to do? In most cases they ferment the beer again.

There are a ton of beers on the market that are fermented two, three maybe four times. You have most likely seen these beers before with the names Double, Triple and Quadruple plastered on their bottles. Weyerbacher Quad is a good example. It is quadruple fermented giving us a mind blowing 12.1 AVB Belgium style beer. There are a few other styles of beer out there that will make you feel like Dallas Clark after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from John Lynch. For that desired effect you might want to try some Imperial Stouts, Imperial India Pale Ales or my all time favorite, Barleywines.

The big daddy of the high gravity beers and still the ABV champion is Sam Adam’s Utopia. The Sam Adam’s website says, “The 2003 batch topped out at a record breaking 25% ABV” and “Due to legal restrictions, Samuel Adams Utopias can not be sold in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, and West Virginia.” Now we are talking beer!

This beer is categorized as a barleywine officially but closer resembles a cordial or fine cognac more than a beer. I am not and have never been a cognac fan but this is a great product. I spent a good 5 to 10 minutes just taking in the butterscotch aroma with hints of port and smoke and cask wood. It has a light, syrupy finish on the palette with a strong alcohol finish. The best thing about these high gravity or big beers is that you can you can lay them down of cellar the to enjoy them for years to come.

So you ask me how I can still be a Dolphin’s fan after this embarrassing year? The answer is easy. I have a lot of high ABV beer down in the cellar and I don’t plan on sobering up until the draft is over. Hell I might even stay drunk till preseason.

That said, here are the perfect beers for us 49ers, Browns and Dolphins fans getting ready to go on an eight-month tear. This weeks picks are:

EKU 28
This is a great beer for my buddy #28 on the Dolphins roster Travis Minor. Travis, Ricky will be back next year and hopefully he will be rip roaring drunk and ready to go, so seeing you will be spending Sunday afternoons on the bench again there is no problem with you pounding down a few of these killer brews every Saturday night. This is heavenly; the aroma is of apples and malt and the taste acts more like a wine on the palette than a beer. Did I mention it is 11% ABV? The color is a beautiful brown with a smooth, almost flat mouth feel. It is not extremely complex but do we need every beer to be a rainbow of flavors? This is a great beer to keep on hand for those cold winter nights.

Victory Old Horizontal
I am not suggesting this beer for the victor. This is for the QB that ends up on his ass all day long. This 10.5% ABV barleywine will not only dull the pains the linebackers inflict but it will also ease the sting of the loss. The alcohol is well hidden in the aroma and on the palette. It pours a deep mahogany/orange with a quickly disappearing tan head. There is a good alcohol aroma to the beer even so along with some big malt and earthy hop tones. The mouth feel is very full and at first you taste the hops but the malt quickly takes over and a bunch of dark fruit flavors come alive in your mouth. The finish has a nice hop bitterness that perfectly balance-out the malt in the flavor.
Commercial Description:
A luxurious, warming barleywine rich with aromatic hops and dark, candied fruit character that hides its epic strength masterfully. COMPOSITION Malts: Imported 2 row, Hops: American whole flowers, Alcohol by Volume: 10.5% AVAILABILITY Draft and bottles, Thanksgiving into January.

Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot
In the history of football a lot of people have said a lot of stupid things. But this year mouths have once again run amuck to a new level. Randy Moss, Vanderjerk and Ricky Williams have all given us quotes for the ages. As they sit on the sofa watching the big show they should down a couple of these 11% ABV barleywines as they reflect on the stupidity that flowed from their mouths. Enough with them, let’s discuss the beer. The color is a perfect looking cloudy medium brown with a thin off white head. The body has tiny bits of yeast suspended in it. The aroma is all about malt and spice with subtle fruit tones. The palette is full with huge yeasty spicy tone, almost peppery. The finish lets you know this is an 11% ABV with a bite that has a huge alcohol flavor in a very pleasant way, chased by a bread-like yeast flavor, and ultimately the quick return of alcohol.
Commercial Description:
At Weyerbacher, we prefer to brew things true to European style guidelines. Consequently our barley wine is on the malty side, yet not overly sweet. Notes of date or perhaps fig on the palate follow a pleasurably malty aroma to your taste buds. The finish is warm and fruity, and begs for the next sip. Lay a few down, aging only helps a barley wine develop more class. At 11.1 % ABV (alcohol by volume) this fine ale will keep for years. Our expected maximum shelf life is 2 to 3years. Although it might see a decade, beyond the 3rd year most barleywines have a tendency to decrease in complexity, so don’t wait too long!

This year’s Superbowl pick is:

Dogfish Head Olde School Barleywine
What I love is old school football with old school players like Broadway Joe, Too Tall Jones, Bob Greise and even O.J. before he had to spend all of his time on the golf course looking for the real killers. As I am watching old school football on ESPN Classics every Sunday from February to August, I will be doing it with this old school beer. Dogfish Head’s barleywine offering hits harder than old school players like Jack Lambert or Willie Lanier! This 15% bottle conditioned wonder is the strongest bottle conditioned beer on the planet. It pours a medium brown with a small light brown head. A beautifully bready, yeasty dusty aroma with hints of plum and raisins compliments an ultra smooth palette with lively carbonation and no overbearing alcohol aroma – surprising for a 15.5% beer.
Commercial Description:
The world’s strongest bottle-conditioned beer, fermented with dates and figs. November 15, 2004 release. (very limited availability) Bottled in 12 ounce bottles 15% ABV “Sweet aromas with hints of orange; orange-amber color. A liquid hop-bomb, but smooth, rich and well balanced. A delightfully long, lingering finish.”

Enjoy the game with some great beer and some great friends. Two years in a row now this Fins fan must once again chant out: Go Pats!