Super Beer Bowl 2015: Who Has Better Brewing Culture, Seattle or Boston?
This weekend is Super Bowl XLIX, where a showdown will happen between the defending champion Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots. There’s more to the overall storyline than a confusing and extremely underwhelming conspiracy surrounding deflated footballs and Marshawn “Beastmode” Lynch’s refusal to answer any questions ever.
The Seahawks are vying for their second championship in a row. The last team to win back-to-back championships was the aforementioned Patriots in 2004 and 2005. Tom Brady is the only player left from that team that defeated the Panthers and Eagles, respectively. I’m sure it would make Brady and Belichick very happy to stop the Seahawks from becoming only the eighth team to win back-to-back championships. Brady would rather not have wunderkind Russell Wilson join the ranks of a club that includes himself, Troy Aikman, John Elway and Joe Montana.
Related: Super Bowl XLIX Drinking Game
On top of football, this weekend will feature an epic battle for beer supremacy. With the boom of the craft brewing, Massachusetts and Washington State are two of the best places in the country to grab a pint of the frosty brew.
Washington State is more than rain, the space needle and Pike Place Market. The area is also home to a booming brewing culture. Washington has way more beer to offer than Olympia Beer and Starbucks. Elysian, despite being recently purchased by Anheuser-Busch, is one of the most beloved and inventive breweries in the Pacific Northwest. Redhook and Pyramid are two of the most well-known breweries in the country.
Why Seattle Should Win:
Elysian – Founded in 1995, Elysian was the brainchild of friends Joe Bisacca, Dave Buhler and Dick Cantwell. Cantwell was renowned throughout Seattle for his home-brewing prowess and wanted to grow his hobby into an actual business. The first location, opened in 1996, was in the Capital Hill area of the city and only had the ability to brew twenty barrels at a time. The trio made their beer available at their various brewpubs while continuing to grow the business before finally opening a 35,000 square-foot production facility in Georgetown.
Elysian is well-known for their interesting and flavorful brews including Avatar Jasmine IPA, Dragonstooth Stout, Space Dust IPA and the amazing and delicious Superfuzz Blood Orange (blood orange pale ale).
Redhook – Founded in 1981 by Paul Shipman and Gordon Bowker, Redhook is known for its Redhook ESB (Extra Special Bitter), Long Hammer IPA, Big Ballard Imperial IPA, Winterhook (Winer Warmer) and Copperhook (Copper Ale).
Pyramid – Founded in 1984 as Hart Brewing, Pyramid is regarded as a beer pioneer in the Pacific Northwest. They first launched their famed Pyramid Pale Ale, followed by a wheat beer in 1985, well before the craft beer boom hit the rest of the US. Their beers include Pyramid IPL (India Pale Lager), Hefeweizen, Apricot Ale, Thunderhead IPA and Outburst (Imperial IPA).
In the past decade, Boston has overtaken New York City as the epicenter of sports. The Red Sox finally ended the “Curse of the Bambino” by winning the 2004 World Series. They ended any doubt by followed this accomplishment by winning the 2007 and 2013 World Series’ as well. The Celtics won the NBA Championship in 2008 and the Bruins won in 2011. The Patriots have annoyed fans from Buffalo to Miami with their dominance since Tom Brady Took the helm in 2001. They were crowned champions of the NFL in 2001, 2004 and 2005.
Even though sports seem to dominate much of the Boston area landscape, the area also has a booming beer culture. While watching every one of their teams constantly winning, Boston fans have a lot to choose from. Boston Beer Works, Backlash Beer and Cambridge Brewing are just a few of the names that dominate Boston’s healthy beer scene.
Why Boston Should Win:
Trillium Brewing Company – Trillium is a family owned craft brewery located in the Fort Point area of Boston. They are drawing praise for their creative and unique beers. You might have to take trip to Boston to try one of their brews because I’m fairly sure you will have a hard time finding them outside of Bean town. Their beers include Wake Robin (Farmhouse Red Ale), Pot & Kettle (Oatmeal Porter), Fort Point Pale Ale and Trillium (Farmouse Ale).
Boston Beer Company – The company known for Samuel Adams was founded by beer pioneer Jim Koch in 1984. The brand was named for Founding Father and Boston’s own Samuel Adams. The first beer, Samuel Adams Boston Lager, was brewed by Koch in his kitchen using a family recipe. Samuel Adams has since become one of the most popular brands in the US and is now the largest American-owned beer maker.
Their beers include the aforementioned Samuel Adams Lager, Cold Snap (White Beer), Summer Ale, Octoberfest, Winter Lager, White Christmas and Samuel Adams Rebel IPA.
Harpoon Brewery – Founded in 1986, Harpoon was the first company to get a permit to manufacture and sell alcohol in the state in almost thirty years. A much smaller operation than Boston Beer Company, Harpoon is the twelfth largest craft brewery in the US. The brewery is well-known for the festivals that are held at the brewery. They invite fans of the beer to visit and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Oktoberfest and their own Harpoonfest. The festivals are highlighted by sampling of their tasty brews along with food and live music.
Their beers include Harpoon IPA, The Long Thaw White IPA, Winter Warmer, UFO (wheat beer), UFO White, Czernobog (Russian Imperial Stout) and the recently released UFO Gingerland (a gingerbread wheat beer).
The Winner: Boston
Boston wins because of the brewing tradition of the area that reaches all the way back to the founding fathers. Plus, this city is due for another big win. If it isn’t on Sunday, it might as well be now.