On New Year’s Eve, the highly anticipated college football playoffs will commence. The four-team tournament will surely receive attention from rabid fans all across the nation, and this year, teams in the playoff truly span the entire country, from North Carolina to Ohio, Alabama to Seattle.
But what about fans of beer? Where is our tournament? How can we watch a playoff unfold between a plucky underdog and an established powerhouse? We’ve got you covered.
The college football playoff involves four teams:
- Alabama Crimson Tide
- Clemson Tigers
- Ohio State Buckeyes
- University of Washington Huskies
Our beer tournament, representing those four teams, will involve these beers:
- Budweiser Lager
- Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
- Newcastle Brown Ale
- Fremont Interurban IPA
Here’s our reasoning:
- Budweiser is the perennial favorite of American beer drinkers. It checks all the boxes: availability, widely known, versatile and established and recognizable with those red cans. Just like the SEC darling Alabama team, which perennially with coach Nick Saban always finds itself around the championship game.
- Clemson is an established team in the ACC but that doesn’t mean it’s always talked about as a national favorite. Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale, which basically started the hop revolution in America, is an orange-hued brew with punch, a star element (like Clemson quarterback and Heisman Trophy hopeful, Deshaun Watson) and has a chance at winning the title for best beer.
- Newcastle is an amazingly satisfying beer. It’s tasty, nuanced, been around a while and wins the hearts of many beer drinkers, even when they don’t expect it. Much like Ohio State, which won the playoff in recent history. Also, the Buckeye logo is a giant nut, so it makes total sense to have a nutty brown Ale represent the school.
- UW is located in the heart of craft beer company: the Pacific Northwest. And what style is the champion and darling of craft beer culture? That’s right! The IPA! And which IPA is both well known and caps bale of knocking off the champ? That’s right, Fremont’s star. The Interurban.
Round one, game one:
Action kicks off for the Peach Bowl at 3 PM ET between the heavy favorite, Alabama Crimson Tide, and the underdog, Washington Huskies — Budweiser vs. Fremont IPA. There will be a strong contingent of hopeful Husky fans cheering, and likely many will be swigging IPA’s in solidarity. Sadly, though, the big business of Alabama football (aka Budweiser) is too much for the quirky darling. It swarms the little-IPA-that-could, swallowing it up.
Winner: Budweiser (aka Alabama).
Round one, game two:
The Fiesta Bowl begins at 7 PM ET between Clemson and Ohio State – er, Sierra Nevada and Newcastle. These two are very evenly matched though their styles couldn’t be more different. Sierra Nevada takes an early lead with its bright first sip but Newcastle hangs around, undeterred. In the end, the Pale Ale wins a tough battle but the Brown should hold its head high.
Winner: Clemson (aka Sierra Nevada).
The much-awaited rematch of the 2015 college football championship, Alabama and Clemson, now features an additional rivalry: the favorite, Budweiser Lager, and championship contender, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. The game, slated for Jan. 9 at 8:30 PM ET, has Budweiser coming out of the gates strong and cocky but Sierra Nevada hangs around and makes its fans grin with potential and hope. The score is tied through three quarters and late in the fourth, Sierra Nevada comes out with the winning touchdown, showing it’s the football team – and beer recipe – that’s right for the future!
Winner (in a surprise!): Sierra Nevada (aka The Clemson Tigers).