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Game day beer picks: Syracuse vs. Bye Week

We don’t take weekends off around here.


Just because the Syracuse Orange football team is off this weekend faces the Bye Week Fightin’ Byes, that doesn’t mean we’re on a bye. Whether you’re enjoying college football action from around the country or not on Saturday, there’s nothing wrong with adding a beer to the experience (within reason, of course).

So as you plan out your activities, here are some adult beverages to consider. Fair warning in advance: You won’t be able to find at least one of these near you.

Syracuse Area Beer Pick: Skaneateles Brewery Willow Glen IPA

It’s a bye week. Between raking leaves, you’ll have time to do and do something else in the area. Why not head down to Skaneateles Brewery, which also shares a space with Last Shot Distillery (recently featured on Discovery’s Moonshiners) for a pint. A solid selection of options, the Willow Glen is their American IPA that errs closest to a west coast style with Zeus, Cascade and Chinook hops. They’ve also got lager and haze options that hold up to a lot of the area’s breweries. It’s located off the Charlie Major Nature Trail as well, so you can get a nice walk in between pints.

Nationally Available Beer Pick: Allagash Hoppy Table Beer

At least a few of you have asked that we highlight some beers that you can actually acquire at a store near you (wherever you may be), so your wish has been granted... with a caveat. Until pretty recently, Allagash’s Hoppy Table Beer WAS available everywhere. But it’s been pulled from the year-round schedule. If you can locate a fresh enough bottle, however, it’s an enjoyable example of the Belgian “table beer” style — low ABV, subtly hoppy, infinitely drinkable and just the right amount of citrus and pine bitterness. When this beer was everywhere, it was a no-brainer purchase. Hopefully it goes back to being a full-time staple again soon.

Los Angeles Area Beer Pick: Mumford Material Element

Located right in the heart of L.A., Mumford’s a very cool spot that’s grown like many local breweries have — with a strong selection of IPAs (both West Coast and hazy). But Material Element is actually a Pilsner, in keeping with the area’s more recent beer style love affair. You could argue this is an IPL, in the sense that it’s clearly hop forward. Whether you’re a stickler for that designation or not, however, it has a crisp and bitter finish for a light and enjoyable brew, and that will keep you coming back for more.

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