San Diego, California, recently announced it now has an official beer. Light, refreshing, and citrusy, “72 and Hoppy” is produced by the local brewers at Bay City Brewing, who had the genius idea to team up with the San Diego Tourism Authority to create a beer that perfectly reps the city.
So genius, in fact, that it got us here at The Beer Necessities thinking: doesn’t every large metropolitan area deserve a beer that communicates to visitors what the city is all about? We think so. So we’ve taken the initiative to create and declare official beers for some of America’s greatest beer hubs. Here’s what we came up with:
New York, NY
Bitterness Personified English Bitter
Much like any New Yorker -- beaten down from years of cramming into sweaty, delayed subway cars without air conditioning and paying $9 for Gatorade Fierce at the local bodega -- this beer opens strongly and magnificently, but finishes with a bitter aftertaste. Most people who drink enough of this beer will eventually swear it off altogether, and switch to L.A.’s signature brew (see below).
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Los Angeles, CA
Pained Yoga Smile Radler
Finding this lemonade-beer-blend is easy. According to the map, the brewery that makes it is only like, ten minutes away! But then, somehow, ten minutes always turns into sitting in your car for an hour. Once you finally get the beer, it tastes like refreshing California citrus...and like you just lost an hour of your life sitting in a car.
Oh God, I’ve Eaten Too Much IPA
Some beers just beg for food -- and this is one of them. Luckily, Chicago has no shortage of the good stuff. The only problem is that with every sip of this beer, you’ll eat more. And more. First Chicago-style dogs; then deep-dish pizza; eventually, Italian beef. CAUTION: Drinking this beer will cause your blood to run green with sweet pickle relish.
The dank, resinous hop aroma coming off of this beer is crazy strong. And because it’s from the Mile High city, you might assume it’s brewed with a controversial, illicit substance -- but it's not. Denver only mixes America’s favorite sometimes-legal green plant into brownies, gummy bears, chocolate bars, sodas, tinctures, mints, lotions, kombucha, pizza, lemonade, pita, falafel, tahini, chicken, and water.
San Francisco, CA
You Can’t Afford This Pale Ale
This pale ale is more expensive than the same pale ale you’ll find in nearly every other American city...but hey, it’s a San Francisco pale ale. The serving size is also way smaller, too. When you finish the beer, the bar will rent out the pint glass for $1200 a month. Four hundred people will apply to live inside of it.
Dry Heat Stout
Served at a temperature far above any other beer on the face of the planet, this stout can basically substitute for hot cocoa. And that’s not just because of the roasty, chocolatey malt notes -- it’s because it’s that fucking hot. Nuked for six minutes in a microwave-safe bottle prior to serving, the liquid is so scorching that it has been known to give out-of-town imbibers dry heaves.
credits:"CGP Grey / Flickr"
Don’t worry -- the beer doesn’t taste like eagle. But once you take a sip, you’re filled with the inexplicable desire to shout E-A-G-L-E-S from the top of your lungs before breaking the bottle over your own head. Even weirder is that anyone around you will immediately grab a beer and join in, too. (NOTE: the equally ubiquitous E-A-G-L-E-S Light Lager will instead merely inspire you to sing the phrase “Fly Eagles Fly” at top volume.)
Breakfast Taco Mexican Lager
Mexican Lagers are all the rage these days, and you’ll get no complaints from anyone at The Beer Necessities about that. Hell, we’ll even drink ‘em in a Michelada. Austin’s take on the style is meant to be enjoyed in one hand as you simultaneously shovel a breakfast taco into your mouth with the other. Every one of your friends who’s either in a band or works for a tech company drinks this beer religiously every March.
It’s Not What You Think It Is Coffee IPA
Coffee IPAs are never what you think they’re gonna be. The beer is, by definition, pale, and more or less translucent -- so why the hell does it taste like coffee? Just like when you visit Houston for the first time, your brain won’t be able to comprehend the many seemingly contradicting layers of this beer until you actually drink it. Then, once you do, the beautiful mash-up makes perfect sense. (Just ask Anthony Bourdain.)
Not Corporate Gose
Seattleites have a serious independent streak, and are wary of anything manufactured by a large corporation -- especially beer. That’s why this salty, sour beer is brewed locally in Ballard and distributed solely through a modest hometown company called Amazon.
credits:"FCB Excalibur / Flickr"
Blue Dream Blueberry Ale
Walter White might not have gotten himself into so much trouble if he had just opened a brewery, instead. Legend has it that Jesse opened a brewery with all that cash he got away with and brewed this blue beer as a tribute. Legend also has it that Breaking Bad isn’t based on a true story, but STOP TRYING TO HARSH OUR BUZZ, MAN!!!
This Song’s For You Hefeweizen
Like many of the people who end up in Nashville, this beer is a transplant. It’s brewed in a rural town you’ve never heard of, but promises to one day become a household name. It’s also best paired with a back road, a pickup truck, and a cowboy hat. Hey, that’d make a great song….
There’s Always Someone Cooler Than You Blackberry Sour
Portland’s signature brew is known to cause whiplash -- it’s impossible to drink this beer without looking around to see if someone else is drinking an even rarer, more exclusive barrel-aged sour nearby. This is Portland, after all, where everything cool is invented...before it gets co-opted by the rest of America and/or parodied on Portlandia.
Las Vegas, NV
You Had a Beer But Now You Don’t Pilsner
The bartender places the beer in front of you, and you take a sip. The crisp, refreshing pilsner is delicious. You don’t normally drink lagers, but hey -- when in Vegas! Then the bartender asks if you want to open a tab or pay for the beer now, and you run. You run fast, all the while cursing the roulette ball that never hit black 26 and the Astros for not covering the goddamned spread. But hey, that one sip was pretty good!
If you’re reading this and you live in Anchorage, you’re probably a moose. Did you know that Anchorage is made up of 95% moose and only 5% humans? Moosehead Porter is the only porter strong enough for a moose, but made for a human.
Got any suggestions of your own? How about cities we missed? Let us know by leaving a comment below.