Craft Brew of the Week - Week 1, Murray State

I will be profiling a quality craft brew each week prior to the game, one that fits with the theme for the week. To me, beer and gameday go hand in hand. I will share some of my favorite craft breweries and some of my favorite beers, and line them up with the FSU football season. There will be a new brewery listed for each gameday, with a selected beer, but also other options from that brewery presented. The list doesn’t have to be followed by any means, this serves merely as a springboard for discussion about your favorite game day brews. Please chime in with your own ideas. Some of you may more knowledgeable on this topic than me, and I'm always down for learning about new brews.

My criteria for developing this list is:

A) use a combination of foreign and domestic beers that are generally available this time of year
2) only high quality beer (a good rule of thumb is that if it is served in mass quantities by a place that sells ‘loaded’ anything as an appetizer, it probably isn’t going to be high quality)
D) beers from a variety of U.S. regions for domestics
gamma) present a variety of styles, with attention to the season, and do both classic styles and offbeat beers
flag day) in general, bigger beers for bigger games

These might not all be ideal for tailgates, at least not in great quantity, and some might be more for the watch at home types. I will try to roll these out by mid-week each week so that if you are interested in the beer I exhibit you have time to procure it. Apologies as this week is a bit late; I came up with this idea on Thursday as I was planning the brew selection for the weekend. Finally, I will provide a list of the beers I intend to enjoy that week (in some cases I may profile these later in the season).

So, let's get right to it:

Sept 01 – Murray State 6:00 p.m.
Brewery of the Week: Stone Brewery
Selected Beer: Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale

This is the perfect brew for the first game of the year, because... we’re better than you. A lot. We’ve spent the whole off-season convincing ourselves as fans that ‘this is the year’ and we're ready… but we don’t want to be too smug about it. You are Murray State after all. “Murray State has a great team, your boys are disciplined, and I’m sure they’ll fight hard [turns head, chokes back laugh]…”

This is a fairly dark brew from a rapidly growing and quite popular brewery in San Diego. It is similar to a porter in color (think weak coffee), but unique as it displays a heavy dose of hops (which add floral, spice, and fruit aroma and taste, as well as strong bitterness). Expect a lot of caramel, spice, and toasted grain in the malt background. While this beer is malty (toasty/roast flavors), it does not have a lot of residual sweetness. If you like a little hop, this beer drinks easily. Enjoy.

Alternate Brews – if you prefer less subtle, go full bore and be an Arrogant Bastard about this game, or be adventurous and seek out a Vertical Epic, a beer produced annually with a different beer brewed each year. The Epic was first released on 02-02-02, then 03-03-03, then on 04-04-04, etc, and expected to cellar age to perfection until 12-12-12 when the last of the series is brewed and released. You can explore this cool concept series on their website.

What I'll (probably) be drinking: Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, Widmer Nelson Imperial IPA, Uinta Labyrinth, Bell's Two-Hearted, and any of a host of homebrews.

What do you like from Stone, and what will you be drinking on gameday?

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