How To Pick The Best Beers For A Super Bowl Party

Thanksgiving may be noted as being the most food-centric day of the year, but we think Super Bowl Sunday could give it a run for its money. The game, the commercials, and halftime show are exciting, but it wouldn't be a Super Bowl party without game day snacks and copious amounts of beer. 

If you're hosting Super Bowl LVIII this year, choosing the right brews to go with your food might seem stressful, but it can also be a fun challenge. Naturally, you want to think about the types of beers you and your guests enjoy, but offering a variety of tried-and-true favorites, plus some unexpected options, will give everyone a chance to drink adventurously.

To plan a game day beer menu, consider using something lighter, like American lagers, to make up a majority of your stock. There's a reason why brands like Bud Light are so associated with sporting events. Clean in taste and body, light beers won't fill you up too quickly, are not terribly high in alcohol (around 4% to 5% ABV or alcohol by volume), and taste great with all kinds of foods. To round out your menu, think about the food you'll be serving, and don't forget to include a stock of alcohol-free choices for designated drivers and others who are abstaining from booze.

Seek out local lagers and take inspo from your food

Light beers like may be seen as boring, but shop wisely, and they're anything but. For brews more interesting than generic, mass-marketed beer, consider stopping by a local brewery. A smaller company will often allow you to taste its selections before you buy, and you may be able to purchase cans, bottles, or growlers for your party. You could also take a cue from the Super Bowl LVIII game and get your hands on beers from San Francisco and Kansas City areas. Pour some blind samplers of each for your guests, and see if their favorite comes from the city whose team they're cheering for.

It also helps to think about the food you'll have at the party. Pizza is a hugely popular choice on Super Bowl Sunday, and pilsners happen to taste fantastic with a pie or two. They are typically dry and crisp, which works well with gloriously greasy cheese, and have a nice malty flavor that mirrors the pizza crust. Pale ales are a good choice to go with buffalo wings, because the bitterness will cleanse your palate of the heat, and the citrusy notes of these ales also complement the spiciness. And like light beers, pilsners and pale ales aren't likely to get you drunk quickly, with both styles having an ABV of about 5% on average.

Stouts, seltzers, and non-alcoholic options

Fans of stronger beers don't have to go without them on game day. If you're planning to serve a pot of chili, consider some stouts to go with it. Stouts are exceptionally smooth, which pairs well with chunky chili, and these beers tend to have nice, roasty flavors that add richness. As for another party favorite, nachos, try partnering them with Hefeweizen. These beers have a subtle sweetness and a hint of fruit, and give salty nachos a nice balance. The ABV for both stouts and Hefeweizen can vary, so be aware of how strong they are.

For your non-alcoholic selections, there are more options today than ever before. Popular brands like Corona, Heineken, and Guinness now sell alcohol-free beverages, but plenty of smaller craft breweries make booze-free beers of their own. You get all the nuances of a tasty, well-made beer without the hangover the next day.

In the event that your guests don't care for beer, spiked seltzer is a popular option for parties: They're crisp, cold, and go down easy. As for how much beer you'll need for your party, a good rule of thumb is that you'll need two beers per person for the first hour, and then an additional beer per person for the remainder of the game. Finally, when you pick up your beers from the store or brewery, get them in the fridge right away and keep the bottles out of the sun to avoid skunking.