We don't know what it is about football but to us, no football party is complete without beer. It doesn't have to be fancy beer (although that's becoming increasingly popular and easy to do), but there has to be beer. So we turned to Brewmaster Andrew Bauman of The Perch Pub & Brewery for some expert advice on how to offer a wide range of beer options that will appeal to a crowd.
This is Andrew cozy-ing up to his beer making tanks (we don't make beer, we just drink it)... he's legit, so take note!
The big game is coming and you’ve been assigned the task of getting the beer. Considering that your crowd will be a mix of guys and gals, of beer drinkers and non-beer drinkers (though you want them to have options,) which beers should you select for the crowd and how many?
If you can, it is always a good idea to run to the corner brewery and grab a couple of growlers to show people that you support AWESOME beer and local beer. Your crowd may not have known that brewery was in the neighborhood and you’ve provided more than just liquid joy- you’ve enlightened your friends to a new experience!
Sometimes though, time escapes us and it’s a panic situation. In that case, what can your local grocery store provide? Since having a wide variety of flavors is always thoughtful, here are my suggestions:
Starting with an easy drinking lager for the “Bud/Bud Lite” crowd- offer OskarBlues “Mama’s Little Yella Pils”. This quaffable canned beverage looks great and goes down easy.
Hefeweizen are beers which people naturally turn to if they want to step it up a bit in the flavor category. In this case, Goose Island 312 is a solid pick. Also available in cans, this is an American style wheat beer so it doesn’t have those banana and clove notes which can be off-putting to some new craft beer drinkers.
The classic American Pale Ale is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. This is a phenomenal beer for crowds. Craft beer drinkers respect this beer as one of the originals. If you want to go a bit “easier to drink” for new beer drinkers, try Full Sail Pale Ale.
IPA. IPA. Everyone wants an IPA. In this case, there are so many excellent options available, it's tough to choose only one. After careful consideration and sampling, the best choice is Firestone Walker’s Union Jack. This beer has a fresh, hoppy nose to it, malty flavors, crystal clear appearance, and is a consistent crowd pleaser.
Dark beers can be a tricky thing. They tend to be heavier and more difficult to stay with for a long party. However, if you choose to bring Deschutes Black Butte Porter to the party, you will win the beer award of the year! Medium bodied to be a long- haul drinker, with roastiness and sweetness as the hallmark of a great porter.
So now that you know what to buy for your Superbowl crowd, Andrew has advice for how much of it to purchase: The more tricky question is how MANY beers should you purchase for the party. If you know the “beer-savviness” of your group, edge further over to the Pale Ale/IPA/Porter side. If your crowd is more novice in their beer drinking, purchase more of the Pilsner/Wheat. For every 10 beer drinkers, assume 1 beer per hour. If the party is 4 hours long, with 10 beer drinkers, try for 40 beers. Since the Big Game tends to draw more beer drinkers or draw people who would otherwise drink wine or spirits, be generous. In this case average up to 48 beers from 40. Of the 48 total beers, I would select 18 Pilsner, 12 Wheat, 6 Pale, 12 IPA, and 6 Porter.
Remember, you can never have too many beers. Keep them cold and you're sure to have delicious libations on hand!
Wouldn't you love to go to his Superbowl Party? Andrew, thanks a ton for your recommendations!
Andrew is the Brewmaster at The Perch Pub & Brewery located in Chandler, AZ and was recently awarded the ASH Best Arizona Brewmaster of the Year, or as we like to call him "Best Brewing Big Brother Ever" (he happens to be Football Betty Kelly's brother!).