Roundtable Discussion | Favorite Football Teams & The Beers That Represent Them
Since we’re right around the halfway point of the 2013 NFL season, I decided to ask our staff who their favorite football team is, why, and if they had to choose one beer to represent their team, which would it be. Some of our finest gents rose to the occasion.
Justin: My favorite football team is the Cincinnati Bengals. My father was born and raised in Springboro, Ohio and his family watched the Bengals. So, when I was growing up 75 miles south of Cincinnati, it was either watch Bengals football or watch no football. I watched in 1989, when Joe Montana became Joe Montana against my beloved Bungles in the Super Bowl. “Down 16-13, San Francisco got the ball on their own eight-yard line with 3:10 on the clock and marched 92 yards down the field in under three minutes. They then scored the winning touchdown on a Joe Montana pass to John Taylor with just 34 seconds left in the game.” (Big ups to the writer of the Bengals Wikipedia page for that excerpt).
At that moment, whilst crying because my team lost, my Dad taught me 2 very valuable lessons. He said to keep watching Joe Montana because that guy will become a legend and that the Bengals will always let you down. And they have ever since… I can still do the Ickey shuffle and I will argue that Akili Smith was a good pick. So much time & money invested, I just have to keep rooting for them. I have a Rudi Johnson jersey and I wear it on game days.
If the Bengals were a beer, then they would have to be Little King’s Cream Ale. Partly because it is a local beer. Mostly because it is that beer that convinces you that it is delicious and totally worth the money you spent on it, but then in the moment of need, it will let you down. Whether it is the 7oz. bottles & you needed 12oz.; or whether it’s the taste… Little King’s and the Cincinnati Bengals: smooth, deceptive, & disappointing…
Scott: Favorite team is the Bears. I grew up in Chicago, and the 85 team is still the biggest thing to happen to the city. I remember that the only time I’ve seen my dad cry was when Walter Payton died. I get really passionate about my Bears.
The beer would be Old Style. Old and cheap. Workmanlike, I guess. It works better since it’s been disowned by the Cubs.
Chase: Growing up in northern Indiana, I had to choose between the Bears and the Colts, and for better or worse, I went with the Bears. In my 26 years, 30 different quarterbacks have started a game for the Bears so there have certainly been some rough times, but like any self-respecting, irrational football fan, I always think – This is our year. I would like to say that PBR is the beer that represents the Bears since that’s what I grew seeing my Grandpa drink as he was cursing at Jim Harbaugh through the TV, but since hipsters have completely changed the perception of that beer in recent years, I don’t think that would be appropriate any longer. In fact, in the picture attached, you’ll see the face I still make when hipsters try to claim the PBR is actually a decent tasting beer. So with that said, I probably have to agree with Scotty and go with Old Style as the beer of the Bears for all the reasons he mentions.
Cory: My favorite team is the Oakland Raiders. Being from Colorado, lots of folks scoff at this. Not only because I am not rooting for the home team, but because I am rooting for the archrival. In the AFC west, it has been a showdown between the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders and the Denver Broncos for decades. My parents are Bronco fans. Born and raised. So why was my choice of team so different? It HAS to be the angst-y side in me; always trying to go against the grain. Not accepting the status quo of my folks, or the rest of Colorado, for that sake. And sure, we are not playing amazing football right now (probably haven’t been since the beginning of the millennium) but I am far from jumping the proverbial ship. When I was young, it wasn’t how well they played that drew me to the team. It was the black and silver colors. It was the amazing imagery and branding of the pirate and cross blades shield. It was the fans dressing up and rooting for their team whether they were winning or losing. It was the franchises ‘Commitment to Excellence’ that pulled me in. It’s these reasons why I will continue to promote the black and silver and till the day I die. As the late Al Davis would say, “Just win, baby!”
Justin: Cory, Terrell Pryor set the Oakland Raiders team record for longest run from scrimmage yesterday! Things are turning around for y’all. How awesome were those days of Marcus Allen, Tim Brown, & Bo Jackson?!?!
Cory: Justin, right?!? That was a sweet run! I am holding my breath for a good season. Bengals aren’t doing so bad either!
Jason: I, too, am of that hapless breed known as a Cincinnati Bengals fan. This is an organization and a fan mentality into which you are born because let’s be honest who would “choose” the life of a Bengals fan? To echo Cory’s sentiment, I too have inextricable memories of the Bengals losing not one but two Super Bowls to the 49ers in my lifetime (that is a lie I as 7 months old when they lost the first time). The 1989 Super Bowl was like a Lemony Snickets book, and here are the list of unfortunate events that led to the Bengals’ demise: 1) starting fullback Stanley Wilson decided it would be more fun to snort up all the cocaine in Miami than to play in a Super Bowl (thus beginning a well-documented history of Bengals with legal troubles; 2) DLTim Krumrie mangled his leg on the third play of the game rivaling the historic Joe Theisman broken leg; 3) DB Lewis Billups dropped an interception in the end zone that would have sealed the win for Cincinnati. (That is my version of the Wikipedia “game summary.” For better and mostly worse, I followed them thru the dark ages of the 1990s and early 2000s, and became a season ticket holder when I landed my first real job. I drove to Cincinnati from Lexington for three seasons for every home game before financially divorcing Mike Brown for good. (I have been to one game since because I got a free ticket). Looking like staying away is helping because the Bengals are on their way to a third straight playoff appearance. Who Dey!
Hudepohl is the beer that reps the Bengals, as it was brewed here, and they made a commemorative “HuDey” beer cans for the 1982 and 1989 Super Bowl. They are now owned by Christian Moerlein, and still continue to make recipes that have been around for over 100 years (one of which is Little Kings, aka huge hangover).
Drew T.: Jeeeeeze, Jason, that’s quite an explanation.
I’m a Packers fan (sorry Cincinnati, but I bleed green & gold). I inherited my team from my dad’s family – it seems I’ve been wearing Packers gear since before I can remember. The 1997 Super Bowl (1996 season) was the first sporting events I ever remember watching, and the Packers handily beat the Patriots.
As for bear, there’s no explaining this since it’s brewed in Texas, but for my money it’s gotta be Shiner Bock. Maybe it’s because I have memories of having a Shiner with my dad while watching the Pack, or just because it’s a very drinkable beer which I associate with football season.
Again… sorry, Bengals. I love you guys. But roundtable rules say I can only pick one team.
Nate: Denver Broncos fan here! It was awesome being a kid in Denver. Besides Cory, I’m not sure of many kids that grew up in Colorado don’t love the Broncos! I mean, how could you not? With TWO Super Bowls right at the peak of my childhood, it was a match made in heaven. I remember wanting a Denver Broncos winter coat for the longest time growing up, but my mom had heard of some story about a kid being shot in Oakland over his Raiders coat. It took much convincing, but I got one! Loved that damned coat.
Now, if I had to choose some sort of beer to represent, I think I’d have to go with some sort of barley wine, because the Broncos are a team that gets better with aged quarterbacks.
Tristan: Nate I really like what you did there!
I feel like my beer tastes and my football fandom align pretty cohesively (is that a word?). Growing up I wasn’t a fan of any one team because Kentucky didnt have any pro teams. Similarly when I first started out drinking craft beer I was open to most styles as long as it was great beer. Lately I’ve become a Bronco’s fan since moving to Denver, while still appreciating great football. And now I’ve taken a greater appreciation for my local breweries while still appreciating the greater craft beer scene.
Cory: I got so excited I forgot to link my team to a beer . . . I choose Black Cannon. The ‘Piratey ‘ folks at Heavy Seas make this Black IPA dark by adding a grip of malts including 2-row, Munich, Caramalt, Blackprinz, and roasted Barley. On the hops side they add Warrior, Simcoe, Centennial, and Amarillo. Needless to say, they have a lot going on but bring it all together in a tasty, tasty Armada of flavor explosions.
Drew D.: Go Pack Go. As I consider myself of two hometowns, I support two teams. I am a fan of the Bengals (as hard as that is), but my team is the Packers. Growing up primarily in Milwaukee, it was almost a way of life. And it would be easy to say Bengals vs Packers, Drew just chose the winning team. Not so fast my friend (channeling my inner corso). I selected the Packers as my team when I went to my first game at Lambeau in the midst of a the dismal 4-12, 1991 season. I looked around at the crazy fans there cheering on the team, calling practically every player by first name including o-linemen and being supportive despite the horrible play on the field and thought, ‘yup, this is for me.’
When 1992 rolled around and they added two players from my favorite college team in Edgar Bennett and Terrell Buckey, joining fellow former Seminole LeRoy Butler on the team (I once had delusional aspirations of playing for Bobby Bowden at Florida State. Those quickly ended with my average high school football career).
Then, that same year, I went to my second game at Lambeau. There I saw something happen that I’ll never forget. I watched our starting qb, Don “The Majik Man” Majkowski go down with an injury. “Oh no, there goes the season” was the consensus throughout the season as we watched some guy named Brett “Fave-rr” come into the game. ‘Who is this guy?’ we all thought. Well, turns out his name was pronounced “farv” not rhyming with “favor,” he had a cannon for a right arm and would become a legend (somewhat tarnished by his antics at the end of his career).
The beer I most associate with the Packers has to be Brandy. Yeah, I know, I’m cheating, it’s not beer, but if you’ve ever been to a game in the frozen tundra, you know you need something stronger than most beers. Brandy is a Wisconsin favorite and it certainly warms you up during those frigid games. That’s why GB needs an asterisk next to it and deserves the hard stuff as it’s “beer.” Sure there are high alcohol beers that you may be able to find, but those are likely too high-brow for the working class city of Green Bay.
Phillip: I’m a two team supporter as well. Seahawks (home team) and Broncos (adopted home team). With a very real possibility of the two playing each other in the super bowl this year, I am overly excited. As a beer for the Seahawks I’d either have to go with Pyramid Hef or Elysian Zephyrus Pils. Both breweries have pubs in the Sodo District of Seattle just outside the stadium and either place is prime tailgating space. In terms of a beer pairing for the Broncos I have to go with The Banquet Beer – Coors Original. As a second option, the most appropriate beer, and certainly most enjoyable would be Cigar City Jai Alai – I don’t know of another beer that resembles “Orange Crush” better. This pairing is obviously a long shot because of the lack of availability in Denver. When Denver plays in the superbowl, which writer in the Southeast wants to send me a 4-pack?
In a non hometown team, I have become a fan of the Bengals. This is mostly because AJ Green is my keeper in my fantasy league and legitimately one of my favorite players – until Andy Dalton throws 4 TDs the other direction and I’m at at a 2-game losing streak…