The end of the 2015-2016 NFL season is upon us.  Though most of us are sad to say goodbye for 7 months, we also realize that the playoffs afford us one last chance to throw an amazing party.  A great football party won’t just have huge TVs, great sight lines, and plenty of yelling, it will have great food and beer.  Here are some recommendations for your Super Bowl party.



1) Nachos – Nachos are a classic staple of Sunday afternoon football nourishment.  Nachos can be dressed up or stripped down depending on how messy or flavorful you like them.  We recommend using shredded chicken, salsa, shredded cheese, black beans, and healthy dose of sour cream.  But remember, nachos are a blank canvass on which to paint, creativity can be key.  If you need to paint by numbers, check out this recipe:

Pairs well with:

Great Lakes Elliot Ness Amber – Great Lakes describes the flavor of this beer: “Rich, fragrant malt flavors balanced by crisp noble hops.”  The malt flavors will provide a backbone for the flavors in the nachos stand out against, while the light hop finish will help cleanse the palate for the next bite.

Ommegang Hennepin Farmhouse Saison – A hearty and rustic golden ale.  This full bodied saison is slightly hoppy and crisp.  Would pair well with nachos containing limited spice.

Dos Equis Ambar – Just think, you can sit in your house in Minnesota and drink a Vienna-style lager that was made in Mexico.  So why not spice up your nachos with some flavors from around the world.  Adding spicy peppers, avocado, or chorizo is a great way to make Minnesota seem little more tropical.

chicken wings

2) Chicken Wings – Buffalo Wild Wings certainly helped us Minnesotans to consider the chicken wing a regular part of our diet.  But there is no reason why you can’t make your own for the big game.  With a wide variety of sauces and rubs available, don’t be afraid to try something new.  Also, this is a very cost effective way of feeding a large group of people.  Just be sure to have plenty of napkins available.

Pairs Well With:

Spicy – If you wish to choose a beer that will help cut through the spice and dampen the effects slightly, we recommend Stella Artois or Pilsner Urquell  Both are classic lagers which work well to offset the heat without overwhelming the flavor.  If you want to make things interesting, IPAs will often accentuate the heat already found on your wings.  So if you want to take things up another notch, we recommend Ballast Point Sculpin IPA, Surly Overrated IPA, or Sierra Nevada Torpedo.

Sweet – As with desserts, it is important to remember that pairing a sweet beer with a sweet food with not always end in perfect harmony.  That is why we recommend a wheat beer or a Belgian witbier as a pairing for sweet wings such as honey or teryiaki.  Boom Islands The Witness is a wonderful example of a Belgian-style Witbier.  Also recommended is the Brooklyn Sorachi Ace.  Made with a rare Japanese hop called sorachi ace, this beer has strong flavors or lemon zest/lemongrass.


3) Pizza – Perhaps no food is so readily identified with football parties.  Why?  Because people bring it to you!  What a wonderful idea.  Also, with variations on crusts, toppings, cheese, sauce and quanitity, pizza is the perfect crowd pleaser.  Though there are variations on this basic template, we will focus on pizzas that skew heavily toward meat toppings.  Pepperoni, sausage, chicken, bacon, etc.

Pairs well with: A Berliner Weisse.  For those who are unfamiliar with the style, a Berliner Weisse is a cloudy, sour, wheat beer of around 3% abv.  Typically the sour note is more of a suggestion than dominate, and the light body couple with low alcohol will help cut through the grease and leave room in your belly for at least one more slice of pizza.  Try a Berliner Weisse by White Birch, Ayinger, or Schell’s.  Also, a Belgian dubbel can also be a great pairing.  With a strong malt backbone containing flavors of caramel and dark fruit, this beer will add some flavor to the pizza, especially highlighting the crust.  Excellent suggestions include Rochefort 6, Chimay Red, and Westmalle Trappist Dubbel.

If you don’t like any of these suggestions, that is okay.  Parties are a great time to experiment, but they can also be a great time to stick to the basics.  If you have that dish or drink which has been a staple of your football viewing for many years, no need to change now!  Just stop into an MGM Wine & Spirits and I am sure we can help you find whatever it is you need.

Enjoy the game!