Alright Alexa, hit us with “…Ready for it?” by Taylor Swift. With Super Bowl 58 almost here (add a day if you’re reading from Tokyo, Japan) there’s only one question left to ask: who’s going to be the X-factor in this San Francisco 49ers vs Kansas City Chiefs showdown? To answer that question, we’re opening beers in addition to playbooks. So crack open a cold one and let’s see which beer styles best match up with the “ones to watch” in this NFL season finale.
Travis Kelce | Blonde Ale
I’m sure Travis would agree that it’s hard not to fall for a tall Blonde… Ale. It’s easy-drinking and approachable, much like this Tight End who’s emitting major “golden retriever” vibes. But don’t be fooled by the beer’s approachability — brewing this slightly sweet ale is no easy feat. You know, kind of like scoring two touchdowns in the AFC championship. For Kelce and this beer style to take home the trophy, both will need to be flawless.
Patrick Mahomes | Gueze
A mixture of young and old Lambics, the Gueze undergoes secondary fermentation when blended and bottled. And speaking of transformation, this young QB seems to go through his own “secondary fermentation” once the post-season arrives. #PlayoffPatrick is not to be underestimated yet many still do (guilty as charged, see final predictions below). I’m sure that leaves this top-tier Quarterback with a Gueze like tartness taste in his mouth. On Sunday, Mahomes will have to pull out that funky scrapy game play to do what he does best — snatch a win.
Chris Jones | American Imperial Red Ale
Defensive Tackle Chris Jones has one mission on Sunday: make sure Purdy and the rest of the 49er’s offense are seeing the kind of red that gives this beer style its name. Like an American Imperial Red Ale, Jones’ NFL future might be slightly hazy but the goal for Sunday is crystal clear: pave the way for his third Super Bowl win with the Kansas City Chiefs. How do the American Imperial Red Ale and the American IPA stack up against each other? Well, an American Imperial Red Ale is typically more flavorful than an American IPA. Is that a sign of Jones’ ability to outshine his opponents? Only time will tell.
Christian McCaffrey | American IPA
This player and this beer style need no introduction. If you walk into a brewery, chances are you’re going to see a few IPA’s on the menu. And if you tune into a 49ers game, you’re probably going to see this guy scoring a whole bunch of points. I mean, CMC all but carried my fantasy football team this season. The Running Back – like the beer – packs a big flavorful punch, making them both wildly popular among football and craft beer fans alike. If McCaffrey brings his A-game on Sunday, he’ll dominate the field just like the American IPA has dominated the American craft beer scene.
Brock Purdy | ESB
Ah, Mr. Irrelevant. Some might say it was a touch of magic (read tay-vodoo) that got this #13 wearing QB to the Super Bowl. From the last pick of the draft to a Super Bowl MVP contender, Brock has certainly come a – well – Purdy long way. With a lower ABV and IBU, the ESB (and Purdy) can sometimes fade into the background compared to their McCaffrey and American IPA counterparts. I mean, The ESB is about as flashy as Purdy’s game-day fits. But – if you’re anything like me – there’s a certain charm to Purdy and a good ESB that you just can’t help but appreciate. And if Purdy rides off into the sunset joining the elite few Mr. Irrelevants who’ve clinched a Super Bowl win, it might just be my second favorite feel-good story to come of this NFL season. I’m sure you can guess what #1 was.
Brandon Aiyuk | Non-Alcoholic Beer
Stay with me here. On the heels of #DryJanuary and the constant quest for a healthier lifestyle, Non-Alcoholic beers are rising in popularity and changing the industry game. And speaking of changing the game, did you happen to catch that momentum shifting play made by Aiyuk late in the NFC Championship matchup? Non-Alcoholic beers – and this Wide Receiver — might not be on the top of your list when thinking about Sunday, but you might find yourself nursing a loss or a slight headache if you count either out completely.