This Sunday, the New England Patriots will play the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. The game will take place exactly 17 years to the day of the two franchises’ first Super Bowl meeting when the Rams, then of St. Louis, were upset by the Patriots and their backup quarterback, a second-year player named Tom Brady.
Boston versus L.A. in the final of a major sporting event has become the norm in the past decade. The Lakers and the Celtics rekindled an 80s rivalry; The Red Sox upended the Dodgers in the most recent World Series. Now, the Patriots will play the Rams to complete the sports trifecta.
The last component of the coastal feud must be craft beer. Lets see how the long-established New England beers stand up against the upstart beers of Southern California.
Representing the Patriots from the AFC
Tree House Brewing Co. Julius: The flagship beer of the hottest brewery in the country. The brewery even stamped an homage to Brady on the bottom of its cans after the team won the AFC. Julius is built with all-American hops and, with a pillowy mouthfeel and perfect finish, is the standard by which New England IPAs are judged.
Allagash Brewing Co. White: Speaking of standards, Allagash—which we’ve generously called the GOAT New England brewery in previous articles—has perfected the Belgian White. Maine’s first hazy beer, it’s accessible, easy-to-drink, and a crowd pleaser—and it’ll be available in cans come February.
Notch Brewing The Standard: New to the constant beer fridge rotation is this Czech pilsner from Notch, a session-beer-only brewery in Salem, Mass. The malt character on this beer simply sets a standard (we’re seeing a trend here) for local lagers. Drinking a 4.4% ABV beer is a great way to ensure you’ll make it to the presentation of the Lombardi Trophy.
Foam Brewers Built to Spill: Vermont is renowned for its hops, but we went outside of the typical answer here. Whether it’s an experimental mixed fermentation saison or a hopped-up juice bomb like Built to Spill, Foam is killing it on the shores of Lake Champlain in Burlington. I tried to make this list as accessible as possible, but this one might be the trickiest to get. That said, it’s totally worth it.
Hill Farmstead Brewery Everett: I’m on the record—on this website—as calling this beer “perfect.” Everett, a porter, is big enough at 7% to pack some ABV punch, but delicate enough that its nuance and complexities are present the entire beer. Its great as a stand-alone drink and even better as part of a session. Again, perfect.
In the NFC, Representing the Rams
Highland Park Brewery Refresh: Let’s be honest: You’re going to Highland Park for the IPAs and we don’t blame you. Hello, L.A., brewed with Mosaic and Citra hops, has pretty much everything we want in a beer, but if you’re looking for some longevity in the all-day drinking event of a Super Bowl, make sure to grab Refresh, a German pilsner, lovingly referred to at Highland Park’s “house beer.”
Arts District Brewing Co.: Right in the heart of downtown is one of L.A.’s coolest breweries (especially if you like skee-ball). What makes Arts District stand out is its prolific output: saisons, pale ales, amber ales, and everything in between. Our pick: Hello Darkness My Old Friend, a schwarzbier.
Brouwerij West Mør Mør: The strategy for Super Bowl Sunday—especially if your team is playing—is to make it through to the final whistle in a good enough state that you see the confetti drop on the winning team. What then? Well, if you’re smart, you’ll pick up Mør Mør. Brouwerij (pronounced “brewery”) West’s Belgian Quad. At 10%, it’s a perfect post-game treat to celebrate or mourn.
Monkish Brewing Co.: I tried to resist. I assure you I did. I tried to find ways around to include that Monkish was originally a place that made yeast-forward beers. Alas, I can’t do it. Get in line. Grab a case full of hazy IPAs. Just make sure to get all those likes on Instagram before the game begins.
Cellador Ales: Cellador Ales are the beers you break out in celebration. You know, the fancy bottles of oak-fermented greatness that the brewery produces. As a fan of that exact style of beer (in addition to the esteem in which they’re held), Cellador is a bucket list brewery for me. However, in full disclosure, as a Patriots fan, I hope Rams fans have to hold onto these a little longer, but if not, please @ me.
Top photo via Flickr user Mustangmark.