Best drinks for ‘Beer Bowl’

Seattle Seahawks

seattle-seahawks-running-back-marshawn-lynch-l-carries-the-football-as-he-attempts-to-break-free-from-dallas-cowboys-anthony-spencer-during-the-fourth-quarter-of-their-nfl-football-game-in-seattle-washington-september-16-2012

Running back Marshawn Lynch in “beast mode” making Swiss cheese of the Dallas Cowboys’ “D”

Coach: Pete Carroll
Quarterback: Russell Wilson
Key players: Marshawn Lynch, Percy Harvin, Golden Tate, Richard Sherman, Bobby Wagner

The “away” team for the big game and the most formidable defense in the NFL at the moment, their secondary, known as the “Legion of Boom”, gave up just 231 points in the entire season.

Look out in particular for cornerback Richard Sherman who has quite a reputation, both for his playing prowess and his on-field trash talk. He stirred up a media storm recently when he referred to himself as the “greatest” cornerback in the game and San Francisco wide receiver Michael Crabtree as “sorry”.

He can back up his words with actions though and it was his play in the dying moments of the NFC Championship game against the 49ers that led to a turnover and Seattle’s trip to New Jersey.

When it comes of offense, the Seattle Seahawks have a fearsome run game thanks to powerful back Marshawn Lynch but are not as pass oriented as some teams.

They don’t have to be though when Lynch is the top running back in the league with 301 carries for over 3,000 yards and 12 touchdowns. When he begins running he’s very difficult to stop and is said to be in “beast mode” when he pounds the turf.

On the other hand, the Broncos and Seahawks’ defensive lines allow just 101.6 rushing yards per game on average, bad news for the run-heavy Hawks. Then again, Denver gives up far more passing yards so Wilson may have to switch to his receivers.

It’s good news then that star receiver Percy Harvin has been medically cleared for the match.

During the regular season the Hawks won their division and were the first seed in the NFC with a 13-3 regular season, with losses to the 49ers, Cardinals and Colts.

Quarterback Wilson is part of what is generally termed a “new breed” of QBs, that is to say he’s as happy running the ball himself as sitting back to play a pass or a rush.

He’s over a decade younger and nimbler than Broncos QB Peyton Manning as evidenced by the 531 rushing yards he’s managed to pick up against Manning’s -31.

In the playoffs they had homefield advantage and saw off the New Orleans Saints and their bitter divisional rivals the San Francisco 49ers in one of the closest games in playoff history.

NFL Seahawks fans

Earthquake machine – the 12th man in action (picture: seattlepi.com)

The Seahawks have lost just once at their home stadium, CenturyLink Field, in two years and their fans, known as the “12th Man”, are the noisiest in the league.

The 12th Man gained headlines around the world when the Hawks played the New Orleans Saints back in December when they caused a small earthquake with their jumping and shouting.

Their cheers were registered at 137.6 decibels during the match – a pneumatic drill is around 55 decibels.

The Seahawks will be without the 12th Man advantage this time out but will have to hope enough fans will cross the country to cheer them on MetLife Stadium.

This is the first time the Seahawks have been to the Super Bowl since 2005 when the team lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers and no current Seahawks player has experience of such a big game.

As sports fans will know, ignorance of such an environment can be either a blessing or a curse.

Beer

pyramidWashington is one of the craft beer capitals of the US, “Beervana” some call it, and one of the first “brewpubs” in the US opened in Seattle in 1982.

Top local producers include Pyramid Brewery which is located just a block away from CenturyLink Field, try its hefeweizen or imperial IPA.

Redhook Brewery has an “Audible Ale” which is appropriate considering Seattle’s fans and the beer was made with sports watching in mind.

Even more suitable but probably only available to anyone in Seattle is a new beer brewed especially for fans by Hilliards called (wait for it), “The 12th Can“.

There is also, confusingly, a “12th Man” pale ale made by Dick’s Brewing Company in partnership with former Seahawks kicker Norm Johnson.

The beer went on sale last December and is widely available around the Puget Sound area.

Other notable Washington breweries to consider are Pike Brewing, Hale’s Ales, Big Al Brewing, Elysian Brewing and Georgetown Brewing are all good bets and wealth of further suggestions can be found here.

From IPAs to stouts, pilsners, witbiers, amber ales and German-style Helles, Washington has it covered.

hillard_12th canAny Seahawks fans in neighbouring Oregon or even over the border in British Columbia also have a wealth of local ales to try.

Portland residents live in a state which is 3rd in the US for breweries per capita and can also tuck into Pyramid beers as the brewery has an outlet there but if you’re after Oregon-brewed and bred why not try Hopworks Urban Brewery?

See Portland Beer for more info

Vancouverites can turn to Red Racer, Red Truck, Steamworks and Main Street Brewing. See Craft Beer Market Vancouver for more suggestions and a Big Game-themed event

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