Something changes when you watch major sporting events while in a neutral country. The ugly, tribal aspects of sports-watching can be dispensed with. Instead spectators take more genuine pleasure in the sport and the occasion and competing supporters seem to get on better when they’re in a neutral place.
It’s apparent when you see New Zealanders and Australians watching a trans-Tasman rugby test in a third country.
And this effect may be why we always find screening the Superbowl very enjoyable. It’s unlikely that the self-esteem of anyone joining us on Monday afternoon will depend on the outcome of the game. A gloom won’t descend on the homes and workplaces of supporters of the losing side. Instead everyone can just enjoy the spectacle, the sense of occasion, possibly some athleticism and drama and the fact that it’s a holiday.
Oh yeah – did we mention the holiday? Once again America’s biggest sporting event lands in the middle of the afternoon on a New Zealand holiday.
To help turn Superbowl into a festival of civil sports-watching we’re reaching into our repertoire of great comfort food and comfort beer. In a nod to the host city of Houston, there’ll be both beef and vegan chillies, served with sour cream, corn chips, cheese and white onion. There will also be hot dogs, chilli dogs and pulled buns (with pork, chicken or jackfruit).
On the taps we’ll have the last keg in New Zealand of Modern Times’ wonderful, Mosaic-accented IPA called Orderville. We've also found a keg of Modern Times Fortunate Islands with Grapefruit. We’ll have many people’s favourite amber ale in the form of Speakeasy Prohibition. And we’ll have Speakeasy’s luxurious Imperial IPA Double Daddy.
We’ve also learned that the Atlanta Falcons are sometimes known as the Dirty Birds, so we’ll be doing specials on bottles of Pelican’s Red IPA called Dirty Bird. There will also be specials on Pelican Umbrella, Coronado Islander, Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye, Karl Strauss Tower 10 and Rogue Shakespeare Stout.
For the record, Superbowl LI (51) is on Monday the 6th and we think that kick-off is at 12:30pm our time, although with all the ceremony it's sometimes difficult to tell.
We'll be doing our best to blend ESPN/Sky's broadcast of the game with a feed off the web of the advertising, including Budweiser's latest attempt to offend consumers of the breweries that they've been buying out.
It's being staged at NRG Stadium in Houston and the Atlanta Falcons play the New England Patriots.
Here's a little in-joke about what happened the last time the Patriots contested the Superbowl.
On Tap Now
- Modern Times Aurora Red Rye IPA
- GP/Mata/Kereru/Tiamana Banaenae
- Freigeist/NØGNE Ø Best Brewjob Ever
- Townshend BlitzGreig IPA
- Te Aro Fred's US IPA
- To Øl Frostbite APA
- Mikes Hopstock & Two Smokin Barrels
- Twisted Hop Nokabollokov
- Townshend Old House ESB
- Tiamana Pilski
- Tiamana Quincee Jones Gose
HighlightsThere's still a rare chance to enjoy the legendary Frostbite, To Øl's pine needle and orange peel infused APA.
And the beer that won the voting in last night's tasting happens to be on tap right now. that's Freigist's surprisingly smokey Imperial Alt beer called The Best Brewjob Ever. (We aren't fans of the name.)
At the moment we're continuing to work through many of the not so conventional beers of Denmark's To Øl and Germany's Freigeist. In the queue to come on is To Øl's Sur Amarillo, which was one of the hits of last night's To Øl/Freigeist tasting. It's a kettle soured IPA packed with juicy Amarillo hops.
And returning soon, after its appearance a couple of Fridays ago, is the radical Freigeist Pfefferkorner, which is so peppery it's thought to induce sneezing.
Waitangi DayWe'll be open as usual with absolutely no public holiday surcharge. (Does that still even exist?)
And as mentioned nearby, we'll be spicing things up in the afternoon with our screening of Superbowl.
New Release TuesdayTo Øl's Sur Amarillo is mentioned elsewhere here. Another in their series of sour mashed hoppy pale ales is Sur Simcoe. It came as a surprise to us that we hadn't had this beer before, having worked through Sur Citra, Sur Amarillo, Sur Galaxy and one or two others already.
Sur Simcoe is classified as a "session IPA", being just 4.5%. And the only hop in it is the pungent, sometimes sweaty and much loved cornerstone of many an-American IPA - Simcoe. We expect earthy deliciousness.
Finally, new bottles from To Øl, Freigeist and The Monarchy have reached our fridges. Some of these were in last night's tasting. But not all were, so regardless, we all have homework to do. And remember - 20% off for takeaways.
To Øl Totem Pale Ale
2.2% Gluten Reduced Pale Ale / $10
To Øl Brett & Butter
3.6% Bretted Table Beer / $10
To Øl Gose to Hollywood
3.8% Gose w/oranges / $11.5
To Øl Santa Gose F&#%! It All
4% Gose w/ Passionfruit, Guava, and Mango / $10
To Øl Ginie in a Bottle
4.2% Gin-Inspired Gose / $10
To Øl Surt Til
5% Sour Mashed Table Beer (750ml) / $30
To Øl Surt Til Hibiscus & Cran
5% Sour Mashed w/Hibiscus & Cranberries / $18
To Øl Sur Yule
5.4% Sour Mashed Winter Pale Ale with Cherries / $12
Freigeist Miss Florida
5.5% IPA w/Oranges, Citrus, & Blood Orange / $13
To Øl Frost Bite
6% Winter Pale Ale w/Orange Peel & Pine / $12
To Øl Sur Galaxy
7% Dry Hopped Sour Black IPA / $14
To Øl Sur Amarillo
7.5% Sourmashed IPA / $14
To Øl F%$^ Art Winter Is Coming
8% Tripel w/Cardamom, Coriander, & Orange (750ML) / $35
Freigeist Mango Unchained
9% Mango Gose Eisbock / $28
The Monarchy Methusalem Holunderheimer
10% Imperial Altbier w/Elderberry / $18
To Øl Shameless Santa
10% Belgian Strong Ale (750ml) / $36
To Øl Jule Maelk
15% Imperial Sweet Stout w/Lactose / $25