Well Sports-Fans, it’s that time again. The sun-kissed, smiling beach-dwellers all seem to have evaporated, and the clogged gutters of Fall have begun vomiting up their watery loads. Now the time of stews is upon us. The time of scarves, of hacking coughs, and the finest beer-pairing in existence: Football. (We all have our own code, but in my world – and articles – we’re talking about 100% pure USDA-approved American Football.) And in the descending grey gloom, it’s got me to thinking: why are The Twin Arts of watching sports and draining beers so magically entwined?
Corporate mega-breweries use the humble sport of football to tell us that it’s all about ‘being a bro,’ and swallowing a defensive line-man’s body-weight in wings and pizza, while we’re at it. But we all recognize advertising as the distillation of humanity’s flaws. And the beer/sport relationship goes deeper than inflated marketing budgets. Perhaps it’s because kick-off is around 10am, and the illicit draw of the pre-noon beer is simply too much for most men to withstand. Perhaps it’s because of the age-old adage that Sunday is the Drinkingest Day. In any case, sipping a cold one while watching men try to decapitate each other feels as necessary as the NY Jets completely imploding every season.
Beyond getting heinously drunk and waxing poetic about the finer points of the 4-3 defense, football has recently become even more of an interactive experience. The wild popularity of Fantasy Football is due to the creation of a ‘game-within-a-game,’ for all the Inceptionists out there. The Gist: A band of people of varying closeness get together pre-season, and contribute an ante in order to take turns selecting fifteen actual football players, forming their own Fantasy Football Team, which then requires a snappy pun as a title. These imaginary ‘Dream Teams’ then face-off against each other weekly, using a set points-system to determine the victor, which culminates in a finals series, wherein the winner takes the pot, and any concubines or animals that may have been additionally wagered as side-bets.
Now that we’ve long lost the attention of effete hipsters and stereotypical ladies with all this meaningless and asinine sportsball gibberish, we’ll bring it back to the Beer. To celebrate the return of the Season, I reached out to a few of Victoria’s finest purveyors of the Golden Nectar, to bring you: the inaugural ‘Fantasy Draught’. Each ‘Draught Manager’ has provided me with five beer selections that they believe best represent their establishment. It will be a serpentine, 5-round draught selection system, and any Manager who has selected a beer already taken by another Manager, will be assigned a beer from Auto-draught. Let the games begin!
Fantasy Draught Managers:
Fletch (The Beagle) – “The Philly Beagles”
Mike (The Drake) – “DeflateDrake”
Clay (Moon Under Water) – “The Rough Riders”
Brad (Garrick’s Head) – “G’Rickashaw Ferguson”
Andrew (Smith’s) – “Geno 911”
|Philly Beagles||DeflateDrake||Rough Riders||G’Rickashaw F||Geno 911|
|Rnd 1||‘Noble Pils’Stanley Park||‘Old Rasputin’North Coast||‘Potts Pils’Moon U.W.||‘Slipstream’Phillips||‘Hoppin’ Cretin’Tofino|
|Rnd 2||‘Sabotage ISA’Van. Island||‘Arrogant Bastard’Stone||‘Lightside’Moon U.W.||‘Heather Ale’Saltspring Isl. Ales||‘Sartori’Driftwood|
|Rnd 3||‘Critical Point’Category 12||‘Berliner Weisse’Four Winds||‘This is Hef’Moon U.W.||‘Fat Tug’Driftwood||‘Nectarous’Four Winds|
|Rnd 4||‘Jerkface 9000’Parallel 49||‘Number 6’Upright||‘Hip As Funk’Moon U.W.||‘Gypsy Tears’Parallel 49||‘Helios’Hoyne|
|Rnd 5||‘What the Huck’Fernie Brewing||‘Fresh Squeezed’Deschutes||‘Creepy Uncle’Moon U.W.||‘Brewer’s Choice’Lighthouse||‘Lime-A-Rita’A.B InBev ***|
What an exciting time that was! Am I right, ladies? Um…ladies…? Anyhow. A great medley of high-brow beer-snobbery and shameless self-promotion – the two most prominent attributes that we’ve come to know and love about the craft-beer world.
Interesting to see one IPA/ISA per team – a style that would have dominated the Big Board as little as three seasons ago. The roster additions that compensate seem a little more esoteric: Huckleberry Wheat, Berliner Weisse, Dunkel, Sour Ale, etc., which I think accurately reflect the direction of the industry. All in all, a pretty well-rounded, balanced and broadly-appealing list of beers. And all on our doorstep! These are heady times, indeed.
And with that, sportsfans, we’ll have to call it a night. The Packers/Chiefs Thursday night-er is kicking off in the background here, and my own fantasy team, ‘Dan Syndrome,’ is 40 points ahead, but facing Aaron Rodgers and Jamaal Charles. It’s going to take a lot of great beer to keep me from descending into a total nervous breakdown. But that’s what beer is for.*
*** Sorry, Andrew – Category 12’s ‘Critical Point’ was already taken in the third round – interestingly, the only beer out of the 25 picks that was doubled-up on. ‘Auto-draught’ will always give you the most popular pick, not necessarily the one you wanted…
* P.S. – Yes, I was slaughtered on that Thursday night matchup. Thank you for bringing that up. Glug glug glug fml.
words: Daniel Murphy
portrait: Freyja Zazu