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Game day beer picks: Syracuse vs. Pittsburgh

One way or another, you’re going to need a drink for this game

Artisanal Beer Brewers Find Growing Niche In Berlin Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images

Chances are after a regrettable season opener, you at least wanted to drink a beer or two. But now that we’ve put some distance between the Syracuse Orange and last Saturday’s result, time to give it another go with this football team.

This weekend, we’re up against the Pittsburgh Panthers. And whether you’re starting early for the noon ET kickoff, or waiting until this game wraps up to start partaking, you’ll find beer picks for the weekend below. At least one of these is going to be very hard to acquire. Sorry in advance.

Pittsburgh Area Beer Pick: Allegheny City Oceanic

Allegheny City excels with both experimental beers and more standard styles, and Oceanic falls under the latter category. It’s a hazy IPA with a few of John’s favorite hop varietals — citra, galaxy and motueka. It’s balanced, tropical and doesn’t hit too hard on the back end. And at just 6.6% ABV, there’s room for a couple during a busy afternoon of football and maybe sobbing if we’re witnessing another SU loss at Pitt.

Syracuse Area Beer Pick: Talking Cursive Zero Dark Thirty

I’m a downright sucker for a schwarzbier. Give me Kostrizer, give me local favorite Saranac Black Forest, give me whatever black lager you want if it’s quality. In the pre-COVID era, I had grabbed a Zero Dark Thirty when stopping by Talking Cursive (when that was a thing). It ticked all the notes. Malty, dark and flavorful, but still light on the palate. Always one of the first beers I’ll have someone try when they “don’t like dark beer” as well.

Lately Talking Cursive has been upping their game as well. You can find some of their stuff in cans from the brewery or at local bottle shops, as well as crowlers and 500ml bottles right from the shop. They just put out a Dickel barrel-aged stout named (BA) Baracus that I may have to find a way to grab a bottle of as well, now that we’re in stout season.

Los Angeles Area Beer Pick: Smog City Hoppy Pilsner

Pilsners have spent the last couple years having a little bit of a resurgence, and in L.A., many breweries have at least one or two hoppy options that drink like a pilsner but actually taste like more of a West Coast IPA or pale ale. Smog’s entry is the descriptive “Hoppy Pilsner,” which brings tropical fruit and pine flavors to the forefront with Idaho 7 hops, and gives off a bit of a German pilsner feel as well. It’s a very manageable 5.2% ABV, and comes off as crisp and refreshing drink that accompanies a relaxing afternoon in the lingering summer heat.