Presenting the ultimate list of draft picks only featuring brews from Colorado and Carolina breweries. And, by “draft picks”, it’s which beers best represent the lineup… Imagine the Broncos and Panthers getting set for the first play of the game on Sunday.
Now, picture Peyton Manning in the center as a big, tall Great Divide Titan IPA and across from him is Carolina’s defensive tackle, Star Lotulelei, lined up in a three-point stance as Foothills Brewing Company Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout.
- Quarterback: The most popular beer; the No. 1 draft pick when you belly up.
- Wide receiver: The brew that’s widely available.
- Tight end: Might not be the most popular beer at the moment, but it’s reliable and always available.
- Safety: Your final beer, the safety net choice, before last call.
- Defensive tackle: The high-gravity beer to represent the monsters who play the spot.
- Kicker: The low-gravity pick for when the overly competitive bar game is on the line.
- Benchwarmer: The beer that is good, but it hasn’t garnered any big, national attention yet.
- Hail Mary: Big. Bold. Unexpected.
- Quarterback: Great Divide Titan IPA – A perennial champion and the true King of Beers at 7.1% ABV, this aggressively hopped IPA will get you downfield in a hurry.
- Wide receiver: Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale – With plans for a third brewery to open in Texas this spring, there’s no doubt this namesake beer has shrunk the playing field.
- Tight end: Avery Brewing Company White Rascal Witbier – You can have all the confidence in the world that you’ll be received well when you show up to the party with this one. Light, refreshing and “deviously, delicious;” everyone loves the Rascal.
- Safety: Breckenridge Brewery 471 Small Batch IPA – Say what you will about who owns what, when the beer is this good it speaks for itself. This Double IPA is full of that mountain high hop resin and the 9.2% ABV will have you feeling all kinds of worry free.
- Defensive Tackle: Odell Brewing Company Russian Pirate Imperial Stout – A 13.3% ABV Imperial Stout aged in Rum Barrels, this is smash mouth craft beer and the best way to blank your opponent on the score board. Not much can beat this one.
- Kicker: SKA Brewing Rudie Session IPA – You need to be able to nail it between the uprights so keep the ABV low and the hops electric. This 4.5% ABV Session IPA is the go-to from first to fourth quarter.
- Benchwarmer: Upslope Brewing Company Craft Lager – Brewing a solid lager is what separates the pros from the amateurs. Craft Lager offers an outstanding example of the everyday session beer of old. Lagers have long been railed against in the craft brewing community where hop rules. Expect this one to come off the bench and score the winning points.
- Hail Mary: Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project Nightmare on Brett – If you’re just going to throw it up there and hope for the best, this barrel aged Imperial Porter is the absolute best chance you have. It’s been aged in a few different barrels but by far the Leopold Bro’s whiskey adds the best compliment. Completely fermented with Brettanomyces you will find flavors of bourbon, vanilla and sour cherry.
- Quarterback: NoDa Brewing Hop, Drop ‘n’ Roll IPA – After scoring a gold at the GABF in 2014, this IPA has taken the Carolina’s by storm and put NoDa Brewing in the national spotlight.
- Wide receiver: Red Oak Brewery Vienna Lager – No matter what bar, airport or gas station you go to you can be certain to get your hands on this craft.
- Tight end: Highland Brewing Gaelic Ale – For years this has been a Carolina go-to beer. Always consistent and always available from our friends in Asheville.
- Safety: Triple-C Brewing Bourbon Barrel Aged Up All Night Breakfast Porter – Despite the name, this bourbon barrel aged porter is brewed with loads of chocolate and honey. Coming in at 10% ABV it’s certain to be the last one of the night.
- Defensive Tackle: Foothills Brewing Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout – The highly anticipated release of this Imperial Stout weighs in at 10% ABV. Brewed with dark fruit, molasses, and cocoa nibs, this is likely to knock you on your butt.
- Kicker: Lonerider Brewing The Hops You Rode In On IPA– Loaded with hops, this session IPA comes in at 4.4% ABV, but has the flavor, body, and mouthfeel of much more. Perfect beer that you can trust from the start to end of your night.
- Benchwarmer: Asheville Brewing Ninjabread Man Porter– This gold medal winning porter still hasn’t gotten the recognition it deserves from the masses. Brewed with cinnamon, raisins, and vanilla beans, this delicious porter is a must try.
- Hail Mary: Wicked Weed Brewing Black Angel Cherry Sour – This highly sought after sour ale is reminiscent of cherry pie. Aged in Four Roses bourbon barrels with hints of marshmallows and graham cracker, the flavor is bold and delicious.
Guest Writers Marc Castaldo and Erik Hodgeman
Erik Hodgeman is general manager at Flying Saucer in Charlotte and Marc Castaldo is known as the “beer czar” of the Flying Saucer empire, sharing his extensive knowledge of the beer industry with all 16 locations.
About Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
Flying Saucer has been a pioneer on the craft beer scene since we opened the doors of our original location in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1995. Flying Saucer expanded to North Carolina more than 15 years ago, now with locations in Raleigh and Charlotte. The family-owned beer joint has 16 locations throughout Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Missouri. Flying Saucer offers more than 250 beers with a full spectrum of brewing styles handpicked for each unique market. “We do not franchise because we want it done right.” Learn more at www.beerknurd.com.