For obvious reasons, the Denver Broncos are unexpectedly fun to watch this year, especially with a glass of locally brewed goodness. It's yet another reason Colorado is such a cool place to live. And that will serve you well over the next two weekends, while the Broncos are on the road. But if you want to see the action live, you'll be disappointed in the decidedly weak selection of local beers at Sports Authority Field, a travesty considering we live in the Napa Valley of beer.
In the midst of a craft beer revolution, restaurants and bars are definitely stepping up their game, and it's about time our football stadium does the same. Last year, the stadium added the Wynkoop's Rail Yard Ale to its lineup, but it is gone this season.
Here are five Colorado beers that should be on tap at Sports Authority Field:
5. Dry Dock Brewing's Hefeweizen The style appeals to both women and men alike when done right. Easy to drink, flavorful and full-bodied, Dry Dock's version is perfectly executed and would be the perfect beer to drink while you wait for Tebow to light it up in the fourth. Speaking of which, given his lack of consistency, awkward throwing motion and boyish behavior in the pocket, it's pretty obvious that dude needs to get laid. Having access to a beginner-friendly beer like the Hefeweizen might tempt him to let down his guard and take one for the team.
4. Rotating tap from Denver Beer Co This brewery's commitment to an ever-changing seasonal lineup is fitting to the current scenario at Sports Authority Field. There's something exciting about uncertainty. It presents the opportunity to live in the moment, and when the outcome is good, it's very fulfilling indeed. Since opening earlier this year, Denver Beer Co has consistently brewed a quality product, which is more than we can say about the Broncos. At least they have a shot this season, though, and that's certainly worth toasting.
3. New Belgium Brewing's new winter seasonal, Snow Day As football approaches the colder months, a nice, warming winter ale is the preferred beer of choice amongst fans of both. Most winter offerings are best enjoyed indoors, but Snow Day's bright, bitter hop profile and reasonable ABV make for an ideal beer at a chilly outdoor event, when you're in the mood for something roasty. And let's be honest, infiltrating an established market such as sports, one so dominated by macro-brews, is not an easy task. If any craft brewery can make a difference, it's New Belgium.
2. Odell Brewing's IPA If green chile is Colorado's signature dish, then a hoppy IPA is the quintessential beer pairing for it. The style was honed in the Rocky Mountains, as is evidenced by Odell's award-winning version of it. Why, then, should we not brighten our palates with one while cheering on our state's most significant team? At 7 percent ABV, it can definitely catch up to you if you're not paying attention, much like the Broncos themselves. And even if they don't pull it off, it'd be nice to get properly buzzed before the third quarter cut-off.
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1. Wynkoop Brewing's Railyard Ale Wynkoop was Denver's first brewpub, and no other brewery has had more of an impact on the community. When John Hickenlooper and his business partners opened the brewery in an old mercantile in 1988, LoDo was a fairly desolate neighborhood with a sketchy reputation. The economic development of the now-bustling-heart of Denver had a lot to do with the fact that Wynkoop was in the thick of it, something that helped Hickenlooper eventually become governor. It's a shame their flagship ale is no longer available at the stadium. The malty, balanced ale embodies the American craft beer dream: commerce through good cheer, and it's perfectly paired with America's game.