Beer and Hockey: We Know You Enjoyed The Outcome

This hockey season, I’m pairing a different craft beer with each Blackhawks game in the hopes of expanding my horizons as I root my team on to a repeat of last season…I call it my “quest for a cup”. I’ll post a quick recap of the each brew in quasi-weekly round-ups, depending on how the games are spaced. I’ll also keep the list up-to-date on Pinterest, if you’re a pinner.

Wild Onion Pumpkin Ale Game 12 vs. The Wild, 5-1 W

The Hawks came back with a vengeance in this game after their loss to the Wild on Saturday. It’s as though the boys woke up and discovered they knew how to play three periods of offense as well as good D and special teams. My crush on Brandon Saad was renewed after his spin-o-rama pass to Kane. Love the fancy skating.

I liked, but did not love, the Pumpkin Ale from Wild Onion Brewing that Twitter follower @YAC117 suggested. It was a light, malty brew with a hint of pumpkin in the aroma. I tasted the pumpkin mostly on the back-end and was pleased that it wasn’t overly sweet. My quest for pumpkin perfection continues.

Sneaky Pete Imperial IPA Game 13 vs. The Senators, 6-5 W

I picked up this bottle of Sneaky Pete from Laughing Dog Brewery in the hopes of getting back into the groove with IPA’s. Pouring this brew out, the yeasty, caramel notes were strongly pronounced. I would characterize the flavor as toasty and sweet all the way through, without the hop-kick I was searching for. A pleasant beer to watch with the game, but not one I’d seek out again.

The Captain rescued the game from bad first and second period goal tending with his third career regular-season hat trick. Shaw scored two goals, including the insurance goal the put the Hawks on top ahead of the Senators. It was a lot of fun to watch.

BTW, the Blackhawks close out October with 8W-2L-3OT. They’re number four in the Western Conference; however, they still have more points than anyone in the East. Let that soak in with the hops.

Begyle Don't Bring Me Down Zeus Game 14 vs. The Jets, 5-1 W

The thick, foamy head on Don’t Bring Me Down, Zeus, was the most impressive characteristic of this brew from Begyle Brewing. Which was a shame, because Comb the Desert was such a hit — makes me wonder if the talents lies in the brewery or in its choice of collaborators. It was such a downer that I’m hesitant to try anything else from this brewery.

The Hawks left nothing to wonder about as Coach Q rolled all four lines across a very weak looking Winnepeg team. It was nice to see contributions in the net from D men, too. If I can find a brewery that names beers based upon the exploits of the Hawks’ defense, I’m all over it.

Pour me another Hammer & Leddy, please!

Founder's Harvest Ale Game 15 vs. The Flames, 3-2 L in OT

I was impressed with Founders Harvest Ale from the moment I cracked open a bottle all the way to the last sip. The aromas from this wet-hopped brew are leafy, green, and citrus-y. Pours out with a golden straw color and a nice foamy head that settles down quickly. Lots of citrus up front, malty biscuit flavors in the middle and a strong finish of juicy hops. This is a seasonal ale to drink in the fall sunshine with bright yellow leaves cascading around your head. I’ll need to get more to be certain.

The Flames had a great work ethic in this game along with a shiny new goalie, so kudos to them for the effort. Having said that, the highlight of the game, for me, was the twelve seconds puck handling that Kane executed prior to his goal. Absolutely brilliant. I’d watch that every night, even it’s only for a point.

Have a game-winning beer suggestion? Let me know! The season’s barely started.