Football is back. In case you haven’t heard, the Seahawks kind of kicked ass last year. The Packers are in town tonight for the NFL Kickoff for 2014, and the whole country will be watching. Whether you are going to the game, or you are just coming down to enjoy the free concerts and be a part of the festivities, you are going to need some good beer. It’s going to be crazy busy everywhere, so good luck.
Options for good beer around the stadiums seem to be continually expanding. Here are just a few places I’d suggest hitting before the big game (or during).
Collins Pub – This has been my pregame go-to for a long time. You are guaranteed to find a hop-heavy tap list, with plenty of other quality beers mixed in. Boneyard Hop Venom, Chuckanut Pils, Black Raven Trickster and a few offerings from Green Flash are gracing their tap list right now. Solid food as well.
Hooverville – This is a no bullshit kind of place. Good beer and plenty of booze. Peanuts on the floor. They almost always have Chuckanut Pils on tap as well (obviously the sign of a good bar in my eyes). I suggest not sitting in the small stools at the end of the bar that make you feel really small.
Elysian Fields – If you can get in, you are guaranteed to find some great beer here. They are typically pouring several special release beers, ranging from light and hoppy to dark and sour. This is the closest bar from the stadium…it’s right across the street.
Quality Athletics – This new sports bar from Josh Henderson (Skillet, Westward, Hollywood Tavern, Cone & Steiner) is set to open today in the new North Lot construction. I’m not sure it’s a great idea to go today….it is probably going to be a clusterfuck. That said, it can’t hurt to walk by and see how it looks. I strolled by last night and the crew was still hard at work getting things set up for their debut.
Altstadt – Lots of quality German beer and really good sausages, frites and more.
Honorable Mention: Pyramid, Henry’s Tavern
Place to Avoid: The Lodge Sports Grille – I’ve had several “bad beer” quality experiences here. A visit about a month ago will be my last. I had ordered a popular IPA from around these parts that I’ve never had quality issues with elsewhere, and it was very badly infected (sour, funky). I kindly asked the bartender for something else, and suggested that he should taste that beer himself and pull the keg from the lineup. Literally 30 seconds later, I saw the bartender pouring a pint of that beer for another customer. He caught me staring at him in disbelief and he just shrugged. Again, this is just the worst example from my few visits there.