Photo |Dunkin’ Donuts
You don’t have to be a Patriot’s fan to enjoy Harpoon’s Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee Porter. It’s described by the company as “a malty tasting brew that has a smooth mouthfeel with aromas of espresso and dark chocolate.
While the game between the team-that-shouldn’t-be-there and the team-that’s-always-there might not excite everyone this year, most of us can at least agree that Super Bowl Sunday is a great time to watch commercials, eat chicken wings and drink beer. Even if you don’t care too much about who is playing, you can get into the spirit of the game by trying out some beers from the cities at the center of the game.
The most famous New England beer is, of course, Samuel Adams’ Boston Lager. When it debuted in 1984, it was at the vanguard of the craft beer movement, but today the ubiquitousness of Sam Adams has made people wonder if the Boston Beer Co. should still be considered a craft brewery. Still independently operated, it is the second-largest craft brewery in the U.S. (behind Yuengling) and still puts out some unique beers.
Samuel Adams’ new Sam ’76 is an excellent, light (4.6 percent alcohol by volume, or ABV) and flavorful beer. Billed as a combination of an ale and a lager in one brew, it tastes like a light West Coast session India pale ale, or IPA), with nice hop and citrus flavors, but without a bitter finish. A beer you could enjoy from kickoff until the final gun.
Also in Beantown, Harpoon Brewery, which has been around almost as long as the Boston Beer Co. (founded in 1986), produces a number of distinctive beers that can be found in our neck of the woods. Harpoon’s Craic Irish Red IPA (6.9 percent ABV) is a very flavorful beer with the maltiness of an Irish Red and the hops of an IPA. Different and definitely worth a taste.
Harpoon has also come out with a beer that is perhaps more Boston than bean soup— its Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee Porter, with (unsurprisingly) strong roasted coffee and chocolate notes. I found it on tap at my local Piggly Wiggly, but it is also available in bottles (unmistakable in Dunkin’ Donuts lettering and colors). One can easily imagine Gronk washing down a dozen assorted with a pint or two.
On the other coast, Los Angeles is lousy with small craft breweries, but not too many produce beers that are available in our area. One exception is Golden Road Brewing. Founded in 2011, Golden Road is now owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev and is the largest brewery in the city. Golden Road has 10 core beers, including its excellent Wolf Pup Session IPA, a very light (4.5 percent ABV) IPA with tropical zest. It regularly puts out seasonal selections as well.
Finally, for all those in Who Dat Nation who still might not be able to bring themselves to watch the game on Sunday, you might want to drown your sorrows in a Blind Pig IPA, a fantastic American pale ale from Northern California’s Russian River Brewing Co. (Niners territory), available at Whole Foods and O’Daly’s Irish Pub. Very hoppy and bitter, it’s stronger than its golden color would indicate, with some hints of grapefruit at the finish.
Enjoy the game!