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Game day beer picks: Syracuse vs. Bye Week

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We don’t take weekends off around here.

CANADA-BEER-LIFESTYLE Photo by ANDREJ IVANOV/AFP via Getty Images

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?