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Game day beer picks: Syracuse vs. NC State

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Yes, you’ll need a beverage for this, regardless of the outcome.

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

Chances are you needed a beer or two after last week’s disastrous showing for the Syracuse Orange football team. But now we turn the page, to what’s hopefully a more positive outcome — and more positive beverage consumption.

Syracuse won’t be favored against the NC State Wolfpack on Saturday, but bowl chances aren’t lost just yet. If they can win, or at least inspire hope of winning the following weekend, that’s a step in the right direction for this team.

Whether you’re drinking before, during or after Saturday’s 4 p.m. ET kickoff vs. the Pack, here are our local beer recommendations for the week. Fair warning in advance: You won’t be able to find at least one of these near you.

Syracuse Area Beer Pick: Aurora Brewing Der Rauchgarten

We’re into Syracuse-adjacent categories with this one, but Aurora, located in Kings Ferry is too good to go a whole season without mentioning. This is their take on a traditional German rauchbier, or smoked lager. German yeast and smoked malt give the beer it’s unique character. Aurora has a ton of other diverse offerings as well, locally distributed at most of the bottle shops in the area (another shameless plug for Branching Out if you’re on the west side of the city).

NC State Area Beer Pick: Clouds Hop J.A.M.

While Clouds is German-inspired, they dabble plenty in the styles that Americans are well accustomed to. Hop J.A.M. is an IPA double dry-hopped with Jarrylo, Amarillo, and Mosaic hops, and bringing with that plenty of fruity tasting notes you’d come to expect with that. Rather than bitterness, it’s a more mild drink that floods your nose with tropical aromas. Even if you’re potentially reaching for something to warm you up this time of year, you can’t go wrong with a well constructed IPA like this.

Los Angeles Area Beer Pick: HopSaint Pure Intention

Conveniently within a 10-minute drive of John, HopSaint’s a great spot with a knack for refreshing pale ales and IPAs. This pale ale, Pure Intention, is a staple in L.A.’s South Bay coming in hot with tropical and hoppy notes the whole way. It’s a dry-hopped with mosaic and el dorado hops, and is a great blend of citrus notes and a sturdy (but not overpowering) malt backbone. You’re getting some bitterness, though not so much that it takes away from anything. It’s an easy drink — and one you don’t feel too bad about at 5.7% ABV.

How about you, though? What are you enjoying this weekend?