Sep 24, 2013

Guest Contributor - Beer and Sports, a match made in Heaven!

I am happy to present to you our latest guest contributor, Blake. A home brewer from upstate New York, Blake writes about two of his favorite things and how well they go together! Thank you Blake, and enjoy!

Beer and Sports, a match made in Heaven!
Fall is my favorite time of year for many different reasons, but when the leaves start changing and the air gets crisp, there’s one thing that I’m most excited about: sports. With football season kicking off and the MLB playoffs right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to get together with friends and enjoy some good old-fashioned American competition. Going to the game certainly has its perks, but what about bringing the game home, right into your living room?

There are a lot of things you’ll want to take care of before you get everyone together to watch the game, but the number one necessity for your party is beer. Besides being a great time of year for sports fans, fall also brings the release of some unique seasonal brews, so you’ll have plenty of choices when it comes to stocking up for the party. You can’t go wrong with a nice, malty Märzen to ring in the start of the new season. This is a good “entry-level” option for guests that might be intimidated by trying new beers, but will satisfy craft beer veterans as well. Another style that tends to be a crowd-pleaser during this time of year is pumpkin beer and you could stock your entire party with the choices available within that category alone!

Another great way to pick out beer for the event is to choose something that’s tied to the team/city/state that you support. So, if you’re rooting for the Patriots or Red Sox, embrace the spirit of Boston by picking up some Sam Adams and your guests will immediately get into the Boston groove. If you’re hoping that the Pirates will make a deep playoff run or that the Steelers will get back to their winning ways, shows your Pittsburgh pride by picking up some Iron City Beer. When getting your place ready for all of this beer, look for useful but festive accessories, like growlers, pint glasses or even some MLB baseball bat bottle openers. You’ll keep the theme of the day going, while giving your guests the right tools to enjoy their brews.

 At this point you’ve got the beer situation pretty much under control, but you can’t leave your guests’  stomachs empty. Baseball and football games are usually synonymous with eating greasy stadium food and abandoning any and all health-consciousness for the duration of the game. You can bring this tradition into your own home, by taking typical ballpark eats and making them more party appropriate.

Everyone’s favorite first course at the stadium is nachos, and there’s no reason why your guests can’t enjoy this too. Give your nachos a beer-infused twist by making some Beer Queso to put on top. You should be able to find a decent variety of tortilla chip options at your local grocery store, so grab some colors that show your team pride and drizzle on the cheese!

 Craving something else to go with those nachos? Take the all-time favorite ballpark franks and give them your own unique twist. Cut up some hotdogs, wrap them in cheese and biscuit dough, and after a few minutes in the oven you’ll have your very own pigs in a blanket. You can go with traditional dipping sauces like ketchup and mustard, but why not make some extra Beer Queso and serve that alongside the dogs as well? After all, if you’re going to do some damage to your cholesterol level, you might as well make it worth it.

In case anyone needs a pick-me-up after halftime or once the 7th inning stretch rolls around, you might want to have something a little sweeter on hand. At one of my recent get-togethers my wife was nice enough to make us some cake pops, and got creative by shaping them into footballs. I left the baking to her and don’t have the play-by-play details for this one, but I found a great step-by-step guide that shows how you can easily make some football-shaped treats of your own.

Hopefully these tips will give you some inspiration if you’re planning on having a sports-related party in the near future. Just remember that you can have a great time while keeping it simple and most importantly of all: don’t forget the beer!

Blake Daniels
Blake Daniels is a stay-at-home dad from Upstate NY that likes to keep things simple. You'll most likely find him brewing and enjoying beer, mowing his lawn or spending quality time with his family (but not necessarily in that order).

Thank you so much Blake, good stuff! Please help me in welcoming Blake to the Beer Czar. We hope to hear a lot more from Blake very soon, on a  regular basis!

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends

The Beer Czar

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