Sports & A Beer – All Star Games

All-Star games in the U.S. have morphed quite a bit in the last few years alone. Who would have thought that there would be flag football played with NFL players or that the NBA would have playground style captains picking teams.

Overall an All-Star game has turned into a weekend of entertainment and not a true celebration of the best players and it has suffered along with awards shows like the Oscars and Grammys with what is the best anyway.

Injuries and just being worn down also play a role. NBA players with a third of their season still in front of them just don’t want to aggravate anything and thus no read defense is played and the NBA finally had to change the rules to a first to this point total rule. The NFL plays after a long season, that is now even longer right after the Super Bowl so no Chiefs or Eagles are going to play.

My idea is to put the game at the start of the season. Have the sportswriters choose the starting line-ups and give the fans and coaches input on reserves. Make it a shortened game and have each team play for a charity with the winning team donating a larger amount. Add in three point shooting or field goal kicking contests to round it out.

This would hype up the coming season and add a little competition back into the event.

On the beer side, choose your beer rating app of choice and find a starting five of the best ranked beers. Saison Dupont. Pliny the Elder. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Those would be on my list.

A Podcast & A Beer – The Brief Case

It is NBA season and time for this beer blogger to root for my Portland Trailblazers, and to do so effectively I will be turning to this new podcast, The Brief Case

These are bite sized, under twenty minute podcasts from long time Blazer writer Holdahl. It is a nice behind the scenes soundbite from players alongside some betting information which is a bit incongruous to me. The episodes that I have listened to thankfully do not veer in the rush to analyze each game as a momentous occasion that troubles some sports podcasts.

To pair with this podcast, I would recommend alighting upon a favorite brewery to match with your favorite team. Choose a starting line-up of core beers, then find a bench of five more beers and taste through them all to re-acquaint yourself with why that brewery is your favorite.

In the Rafters

NBA Season is fast approaching and as I fervently wish that my Trailblazers start strong one team in the Association has finished strong, the Boston Celtics (my Dad’s favorite team).

They also have a great beer partner in Jack’s Abby that has a Celtics beer with a great name….

Maybe a Portland brewery will be able to create a Second Banner Belgian Dubbel in the future.

A Podcast & A Beer – Jacked Ramsays

Time to dig into early season NBA basketball and my favorite team, the Portland Trailblazers. What better way to dissect each game and player? Jacked Ramsays.

For those who have yet to join the Blazer Bandwagon, Jack Ramsay was the coach when Portland won its only NBA championship in 1977.

Host Danny Marang talks all things Blazers from recaps of games to interviews with players. Hopefully, this season won’t be as up and down as the past few but then again, a podcast about a team that never loses would get old, right?

For the beer to pair with it, you could choose one associated with new coach Chauncey Billups or a Philly special since Portland is a rumored destination for disgruntled 76er defensive star, Ben Simmons.

But let’s throwback like the City Edition jersey and scream Rip City with a Riip Beer Co. beer from Huntington Beach. Order up a Krimson Killa Red Ale as Logo Lillard hits another deep three to down the Lakers.


You may have seen the 2021 NBA Hall of Fame inductees announced this month (if not check HERE). But the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame also announced a partnership with the White Lion Brewing Company. The brewery will release a beer “with a commemorative collector’s label designed to capture the imagery of the Hall of Fame’s annual Enshrinement Program.”  

“The Class of 2021 will be enshrined on Saturday, September 11th at MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield.”

No Blazers entering the hallowed halls this year but when they do next, I might need to get my hands on this beer to toast them.

NBA Playoffs Brewery Tour # 2 – Talisman Brewing Company from Utah

Every team needs that player that takes the last shot, for the Utah Jazz that talisman is Donovan Mitchell, so let’s head to Ogden and see what Talisman Brewing has on tap for the recently eliminated #1 seed, Jazz.

Coming in Hop Session IPA – “In an effort to make beer not war, we decided to drop some hop bombs… look out, we’re Comin in Hop! This refreshing well balanced wheat based IPA is crisp and full of amazing cities and pine hop flavor and aroma.”

Bel’s Fury Irish Red Ale – “Bel, the Celtic Sun God was believed to ride the blazing sun across the sky in a horse-drawn chariot. The slightly sweet, well balanced Red Ale has moderate malt flavor coupled with caramel and toasted notes for a smooth finish.”

Uplifted Export Style Scottish Ale – “As a tribute to the 5,000 year old tradition of brewing in Scotland, we brewed this classic 80 Schilling Export Scottish Ale. This Ale features a malt forward, lightly-roasted, and caramelized flavor incorporating faint hints of smokiness.”

Hazards Triple IPA – “Hazards Canyon on California’s Central Coast is a surf spot that Head Brewer, Dusty, grew up surfing. This majestic stretch of coastline is know for some epic surfing, but its beauty can be deceiving. Beneath the waves is a treacherous reef that demands respect. This IPA represents big tropical, citrus aroma and flavor.”

NBA Playoffs Brewery Tour # 1 – Circa Brewing Co. of Brooklyn

Don’t count me a fan of two thirds of the Brooklyn Nets superteam. Durant I like though so let’s talk Brooklyn beer for him…

Below are some beers that I would like to sample at Circa Brewing Co.

Desperate Pleasures – “Get a taste of summer with this red(ish) ale with a hint of strawberries.”

Spacelab Weisse – “We straddle the European continent with this brew. Combining the grist bill of a Belgian Wit with the yeast and fermentation of a Bavarian Weiibier, this beer bursts with orange peel, banana, nastercium, and vanilla.”

In Defense of the Genre – “Believe it or not, there was a galaxy long ago where double IPA’s were bitter. Like tongue coating, face puckering, eye watering IBU levels that dared you to have another. This beer is the modern mutation of that bygone era. Aggressively triple dry hopped with Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, and Columbus, this brew bursts with pine, citrus rind, and juicy fruit flavors and aromas. Hints of toasted sugar and honey smooth out the high octane ABV.”

Next Season

The NBA season was steamrolled by the virus but that may have been for the best considering how my beloved Blazers were struggling and it gave time for Deschutes to craft a new lager with the red and black color scheme to prepare for the draft.

Rip City Brewery # 1 – Ruse Brewing

Portland has not blazed out of the NBA gates to start the season but a brewery that has gotten a lot of buzz is Ruse Brewing. Founded by Shaun Kallis and Devin Benware they are deep into the yeast having “custom Brett strains called Stargazer and Suburban Brett”

Here are the beers that I would put into a first taster tray…

Evertide Helles Lager, Phantom Shore Citra Extra Pale Ale, Dreamscape Blended Saison, Dream Language Vienna Lager and Stages of Sundown Imperial Stout.

NBA City Brewery # 3 – Bellwoods Brewery in Toronto

Our last NBA city to visit is Toronto, home of the Kawhi’s. Sorry, Raptors. Before the season began there was a lot of back and forth about making the coaching change and adding Kawhi Leonard. But so far, so good for the team that always seems close but hasn’t gotten over the hump.

The brewery for the purpose of this post is Bellwoods. They have grown to two breweries as well as bottle shops. Below are my choices for an initial taster tray before or after the Raptors play.

Jutsu – “an American pale ale made with a blend of two different yeasts. This APA is highly drinkable with low bitterness and refreshing citrus and melon notes.”

Bring Out Your Dead 2018 – “Our annual (so long as we didn’t open a production facility that year) imperial stout aged in cognac barrels has emerged from oak classy as ever, ready to impress in a glass near you.”

Goblin Sauce – “a huge imperial IPA that utilizes a simple pale malt bill while harnessing the unrivaled intensity of Lupulin Powder – a magical, concentrated hop potion that contains exponentially more alpha acids and way less vegetal matter than regular hop pellets. And we loved the first dry hop round so much that we decided to double up.”.

Grisette – “earning the esteemed title of our very first beer fermented entirely in oak (aka The Foeder Pyramid™). It’s a low ABV, refreshing sipper dry-hopped with French Strisselspalt hops (a variety that’s as fun to say as it is delicious). The beer itself is dry, with soft brett aromatics, and complementary herbal, floral, and citrus notes.”

Hoppy Table beer – From the Ossington brewpub comes a sessionable, refreshing beer brewed with wheat and pilsner malts, that we lightly dry hop with a mix of noble varieties (and a pinch of citra). Quenching, subtly fruity, and incredibly easy to make disappear.