For the prolonged cheering required for the Super Bowl, I say skip the high ABV craft brews and grab something sessionable. Here are five picks to try.
A session beer is one with a moderate alcohol level of between 4% and 5.1%. In other words, just enough alcohol to get you buzzed but not so much that you'll be flat on your back by halftime. They're specifically brewed this way so that you can drink several over a long beer-drinking "session".
There was a time when lower-alcohol meant less flavor. Malts have a direct relationship with flavor; more of them means more flavor, but also more alcohol. Less malts helps to keep the ABV more reasonable, but then you sacrifice flavor. But this doesn't necessarily have to be true.
Perhaps in response to the ever-climbing alcohol level of the top craft brews, more brewers have started playing around session beers. It's a challenge to craft something that has just as much tasty appeal as a big malt-bomb without the corresponding booziness.
Pick up one of these beers this weekend and see if they don't keep you in good cheering form all the way to the fourth quarter:
• Bitter American Extra Pale Ale from 21st Amendment Brewery (4.4% ABV)
• Levitation Ale from Stone Brewing Co. (4.4% ABV)
• Donnybrook Stout from Victory Brewing Co. (3.7% ABV)
• Session Lager from Full Sail Brewing Co. (5.1% ABV)
• Avery Joe's Pilsner from Avery Brewing Company (4.7%)
Any other great session beers to suggest?
(Image: Full Sail Brewing Co.)