While the Fantasy Football community eagerly awaits the season ahead, I’m excited about the beer! Below, you’ll find the Week 1 NFL 2021 preseason matchup schedule with the perfect food and beer pairings to enjoy during the games. Here’s to football and here’s to beer!
Thursday, Aug. 12
Washington at New England, 7:30
You can’t think of New England without thinking of clam chowder. What beer pairs best with chowder? Opt for a Stout or a Porter. DC friends recommend Atlas Brew Works and the Silent Neighbor American Stout.
Pittsburgh at Philadelphia, 7:30
Philly Cheesesteak pairs perfectly with a Pale Ale. For this matchup, I’m suggesting you crack open a Pedal Pale Ale from East End Brewing in Pittsburgh. Being that Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are both in the same state… you really can’t go wrong. With the eats, at least. The match-up? It’s not a secret… I’m no Steelers fan. :)
Friday, Aug. 13
Tennessee at Atlanta, 7:00
When I think of Tennessee, I think of Nashville. And when I think of Nashville, I think of Nashville Hot Chicken! Go with a sandwich and pair it with an American Pilsner. Live in Atlanta? Try the Anxiety Pils from Best End Brewing.
Buffalo at Detroit, 7:00
You can’t say “Buffalo Wings” without saying “Buffalo”! There’s a variety of sauces that one might order with wings in general. Let’s stay traditional and use Buffalo Sauce. Whether it’s hot, medium, or mild… Buffalo Wings pair nicely with an American Pale Ale or an IPA. Detroit fans can get both in the form of Space Shark, and American IPA from Brew Detroit.
Dallas at Arizona, 10:00
Dallas, Texas seems to be synonymous with Frito Pie (not actually pie). A proper Texan will serve Frito Pie right in its little bag, complete with chili, cheese, and onions. Frito Pie pairs nicely with a Lager. Being from Phoenix, I realize there’s a ton of craft breweries to choose from to represent Arizona. For this article’s purposes, I’m recommending the Arizona Light Lager from Huss Brewing Co.
Saturday, Aug. 14
Miami at Chicago, 1:00
The most authentic Miami dish is the Cuban Sandwich, made with fresh Cuban bread, yellow mustard, roasted pork, baked ham, pickles, and Swiss cheese. This sandwich pairs perfectly with a nice, crisp Pilsner as it won’t compete with the flavor of the sammy. If you’re in Chicago, enjoy Maplewood Brew’s Pulaski Pils.
Denver at Minnesota, 4:00
This matchup is a tasty one! We’re pairing Denver’s iconic Colorado Style Green Chili (aka Chilli Verde) with a Dopplebock. Never had one of those? The caramel-y notes and malt in the Dopplebock work so nicely with the heat in this meal! Minnesotans can find the Dopplebock at Fulton Brewery in Minneapolis.
New Orleans at Baltimore, 7:00
When cheering for New Orleans, you should probably be eating some gumbo, but because August is actually National Sandwich Month, I’m going to recommend a Po’ Boy. A traditional Po’ Boy is typically served on a French baguette with tomato slices, fried shrimp, and a remoulade sauce. Pair this slice of heaven with a Kölsch-style beer. Pro Tip: Kölsch-style beers pair with almost any kind of fried seafood. Baltimore’s Union Craft Brewing serves up the Thirst Monster Kölsch to locals.
Cleveland at Jacksonville, 7:00
You can’t think of Cleveland and not think of perogies! What are perogies you ask? Perogies are dumplings and could have a variety of fillings: mushrooms, potatoes, ground meat, and even fruit! But what beer pairs with perogies? The good news is this… almost any beer goes with perogies. The best would be a German Pilsner though. You can find one in Jacksonville at Jax Craft Beer. It’s called Lazy River.
New York Jets at New York Giants, 7:30
How can we go wrong with this battle in New York!? Let’s order a New York-style pizza, pull on our favorite sweatpants, and get comfortable! Word on the street is that a Pale Ale pairs best with pizza, but I personally prefer a Lager. It’s way too difficult to choose a craft brewery at random in all of New York… I’ll leave that to the locals. :)
Cincinnati at Tampa Bay, 7:30
Cheering for Cinci? Don’t forget to order-in a plate of Cincinnati Chili! My extended family lives in the Cincinnati area and I can’t go for a visit without a stop at Gold Star (or Skyline). Wash it down with an Amber Ale. This beer is easy to drink, smooth, and won’t compete with the spices in Cincinnati chili. Live in Tampa? Try the Wavemaker Amber Ale from Big Storm Brewery.
Houston at Green Bay, 8:00
Did you know that corn dogs were invented in Texas? They made their debut at the Texas State Fair in 1938. What beer pairs best with a corn dog? Several beers go well with this delightful fried favorite. Go for a Lager, Pilsner, or rye-flavored beer. In Green Bay, the beer choices are endless. I’m not sure I feel totally qualified to choose among the many local competitors there.
Kansas City at San Francisco, 8:30
Kansas City is hands down known most for its BBQ. Specifically, burnt ends. It makes me so hungry just typing this paragraph! The traditional beer choice for KC barbeque is an American Lager. If you like a more bold flavor, as I do, choose a Stout beer. The Internet recommends that you try Flying Cloud San Francisco Stout from Anchor Brewing when you’re in town.
Seattle at Las Vegas, 9:00
Lately, I’ve had an obsession with Oysters. Here in Phoenix, they don’t come naturally. I recently had some that were flown in from the Puget Sound and they were amazing. Beer and oysters is such a refreshing little appetizer! Classically, many people like a Lager with oysters. I’m going to recommend a Saison. The Lemondrop Saison from Nevada Brew Works doesn’t actually have lemon, but its dry, citrus-y finish is the perfect compliment.
Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams, 10:00
Most of the food blogs suggest that LA doesn’t have a specific, iconic food dish. However, tacos are the most often raved about. Beer and tacos sound like the perfect combination, so I’m here for it! Pair your tacos with an Amber Lager to make the most of the greasy, juicy, deliciousness. In Los Angeles, it’s easy to find the California favorite, Left Coast Brewing Co. Grab the Una Mas Amber Ale.
Sunday, Aug. 15
Carolina at Indianapolis, 1:00
The last matchup of the week brings us food from Charlotte, where the Carolina Panthers are based. There are tons of iconic soul foods the Queen City brings. We’ve already covered barbeque on this list, so I’ll go with a soulful side… fried pickles! Pair them with a hoppy IPA. In Indianapolis, try the Dock Seven IPA from Indiana City Brewing.