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Sure, we’re excited to watch the Denver Broncos dominate the Carolina Panthers this Sunday, but if we’re being honest, we really can’t wait to gorge ourselves on snack foods and beer. Considering that Colorado is a craft beer mecca, we’re keeping things local for Super Bowl 50. We’ve picked five of the Centennial State’s latest bottled (or canned) brews perfect for sipping as you cheer on the home team.
For the Hop Head: Ska Brewing Company‘s Modus Mandarina IPA
This recent release has the hops you need with a touch of citrus. Modus Mandarina was born from Ska Brewing’s classic IPA, Modus Hoperandi, but unlike its parent beer, Mandarina is dry-hopped with heaps of Mandarina Bavaria hops and brewed with orange peels. This recent release strikes a nice balance between light and hardy with plenty of citrusy hop flavor and a 6.8 percent ABV. Plus, the bright can is a fun nod to the Broncos’ Orange Crush days.
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For the Sour Lover: Grist Brewing Company‘s Tartanium Berliner Weisse
Grist Brewing Company’s new Tartanium might just be Highlands Ranch’s most valuable export. This medium-bodied wheat beer will make you pucker up like a Warhead candy, but it will reward you with a sweet finish. It’s not as carbonic as a typical Berliner Weisse, leaving much-needed room in your belly for wings and cheese dip. And, at just 5.4 percent ABV, you can sip a few of these during the game without getting too sloshed.
For the Nostalgic: Odell Brewing Company‘s Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout
OK, so Odell’s Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout isn’t all that new, but this seasonal brew (which just recently returned to the shelves) is worth seeking out if you haven’t had it before. Named for a local farmer who has fed his dairy cows Odell’s spent grain for more than a decade, this brew’s sweet story and gentle taste will give you the warm fuzzies. Reminiscent of chocolate milk, there’s nothing overpoweringly sugary, malty, or milky about this dark beer. Watch out, though—at 8.5 percent ABV, Lugene isn’t as innocent as it tastes. Get it while you can, because this brew will be gone by May.
For the Connoisseur: Liquid Mechanics Brewing Company‘s Saison
Are you above bean dip and Coors Light? Want your friends to know it? Bring a bomber of Liquid Mechanics’ saison to the party. The Lafayette brewery’s French-style saison has been on the shelves for less than a year, but it’s already made quite a name for itself. It took home silver at the 2015 Denver Beer Competition, and for good reason. It’s sweet, smooth, and light-bodied with a touch of earthy bitterness and notes of peppercorn, making it the perfect accompaniment to a wide variety of foods. As far as saisons go, it’s not terribly complex, meaning it’ll play nicely with typical game day eats like wings as well as fancier fare like charcuterie and stinky cheese, too. And at a reasonable 6 percent ABV, you can still keep your focus on the game.
For the Reluctant Beer Drinker: Mama Bear’s Brewing‘s Mama Bear’s Brew
Dreamt up by brother-sister duo Craig Brooks and Jackie Ross of Boulder, Mama Bear’s Brew is the Arnold Palmer of craft beers. This refreshing mix of slightly tart pale wheat ale and iced black tea is best enjoyed in a chilled glass, served with a long spoon for stirring (lest the iced tea settle at the bottom). Clocking in at just 4.1 percent ABV, it’s perfect for casual afternoon sipping throughout the game.