Game Day Slider Mania: Beer Review, Pt. 1

From left to right: Beef Smoke burger, Beef/Pork/Lamb Burger, Turkey Burger, Veggie Burger

From left to right: Beef Smoke burger, Beef/Pork/Lamb Burger, Turkey Burger, Veggie Burger

Are you as excited for the kickoff of football season as I am?! My schedule was changed around at work so that, for the first time in almost a decade, I’ll actually be home to watch the games. Stoked doesn’t even begin to describe it.

To celebrate opening day, I’m going to give my suggestions for food and beverage in three parts: two double-feature beer reviews and a food-and-beer pairing with a different slider for each brew. Jess and I love making sliders; being a vegetarian-“carnivore” household, they’re the perfect no-fuss meal we can both enjoy and they lend themselves perfectly to a make-your-own party with friends.

So the burgers are self-explanatory, being the quintessential game day food that they are. But why should you go the extra yard to drink good beer when watching football? This is a great time to sit around the TV and drink lots of cheap beer with questionable flavor, right? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!

When you’re watching football and you have your friends over, it’s the perfect time to break out a far better choice for beer. Not only will they pack a lot more flavor and pair better with your snacks, but you’ll also be a little more likely to nurse them and stay sober enough to enjoy the game.

The following are the first two beers we are going to pair up this week. I’ll be giving a full rundown of all the sliders and the beer they’re paired with at the end of the week so you’ll have plenty of time to prep for Sunday.

Devil’s Backbone Brewing Co. Eight Point IPA

This brewery is in Lexington, VA, and the Eight Point pops in at a respectable 5.9% abv.

Aroma: Very hoppy on the nose.  Citrusy grapefruit from the hops.  Not much maltiness, but some comes through.

Appearance: Golden sunset color, with visible carbonation.  The head is thin and lets go quickly.

Flavor: Lighter hoppiness than expected, but it allows the malts to come through.  The hops have a good grapefruit piney flavor on the front.

Mouthfeel: Medium weight, with strong carbonation.  The hops hit well and the malts aren’t cloying.

Overall Impression: Good for an East Coast IPA.  It doesn’t punch like the West Coast, where they are known for brewing up some serious hop-bombs, but it also doesn’t drift away like English IPA’s, where the British hops lack the serious bitter profile of American hops.  I really enjoy this beer, and it goes great with the really sweet flavors in the slider it goes with, lifting away the sweetness and getting you ready for another bite.

Pairing: We paired this with a beef, pork, and lamb mix slider flavored with brown sugar and maple syrup and topped with provolone, candied bacon, and roasted red pepper mayo. I’ll post a full run-down of the slider later this week.

Final Impressions:

Hops:                    mug rating 3.5

Malts:                    mug rating 2.5

Flavor:                   mug rating 4

Overall:                 mug rating 3.5

Label:                    mug rating 4

Joseph’s Brau Brewing Co. Hofbrau Bock

This brewery is located in San Jose, CA and their Hofbrau Bock hits up to 7% abv.

Aroma: Very malty on the nose, not much in the way of hops.  Hints of cider pops through.

Appearance: Deep gold with strong carbonation.  The head is light and fluffy with big bubbles.

Flavor: Very malty, with very little bitterness.  There are flavors of apples and honey.

Mouthfeel: Light and bubbly.  It has a strong carbonation.  It is almost cloying in sweetness, but holds itself together well.

Overall Impression: It is a good bock, deep and refreshing, and would be great in late summer and early fall.  This beer works well with the flavors in the Veggie burger, allowing for a great combination of flavors.

Pairing: This brew was paired with Jess’ Vegetarian black bean and rolled oats burger, topped with Muenster cheese, arugula, and a roasted red pepper guacamole.

Final Impression:

Hops:                    mug rating 1

Malts:                    mug rating 4

Flour:                     mug rating 4

Overall:                  mug rating 3

Label:                    mug rating 3.5

Tune in tomorrow for the next two brews in this wonder mix of deliciousness.

*Discussion Questions: What’s your team, and what’s your favorite beer to drink during the game?*
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