If you’re going to steal, steal from the best.
That’s an indirect way of thanking Thorn Street Brewing for posting its 10 “Better Beers for the Super Bowl.” Intercepting this idea, I went one better — actually, two better. Here are a dozen outstanding game day brews, three for each quarter:
Pace yourself and start with easy-drinkers like SouthNorte’s Sea Señor Mex Lager (4.5 percent alcohol by volume), perfect with guacamole and chips; Mother Earth’s popular Cali Creamin’ (5 percent), with undertones of Madagascar vanilla; or AleSmith’s Nut Brown Ale (5 percent), whose light body and chewy malts play well with burgers and hot dogs.
If you’re a New England fan, hoist a beer from San Diego’s New English Brewing. The firm, toasty malt base of Explorer ESB (5.8 percent) is sharpened by a pleasing hop bitterness. Eagles fans? Raise a Pennant Pale (5.5 percent), a go-to beer from 32 North. Fruitier and more aggressive, Stone Ripper (5.7 percent) can launch a before-the-half rally.
Time to get serious — and for local beer fans, that means time for West Coast IPAs. Ease into this citrusy and piney style with 72 and Hoppy (4.2 percent), Bay City’s session IPA. Then graduate to full-strength models like Aurora Hoppyalis (7 percent) from O.G. brewery Karl Strauss, or year-old Burgeon’s impressively polished Treevana (7.2 percent),
As the clock ticks down, it’s time to celebrate — or mourn. Your team is sprinting to victory? Get the post-game party started with Novo Brazil’s Ipanema Double IPA (8.6 percent), its tropical flavors floating over a tongue-curling 103 International Bittering Units. Your hopes are fading like last Valentine’s Day bouquet? Grab a soothing, fortifying Tusk & Grain Coconut Stout (11.54 percent) from Saint Archer’s barrel-aged beer program. Too close to call? Shark Attack (9.5 percent), Port Brewing’s imperial red ale is a great either/or beer, sweet and sharp, complex yet simply enjoyable.