How to Pick the Best Beers for the Big Game


The Big Game is just over a week away, and if you haven’t started party planning, we’ve got your back. This year, SpartanNash beer specialists can help you make a beer list that wows your guests. Keep reading to learn how we can help you put together a viewing party worthy of this year’s big football showdown. 

Choose Options That Appeal to Your Guests’ Palates and Reflect Your Menu 

Most people associate the Big Game and other sporting events with traditional lagers like Budweiser and Coors Light. Not excited by light beers? You’re not alone. People’s tastes in beer are much more diverse today, and IPAs, wheat beers, and stouts are all very popular.  

While you may not want to offer craft beers at your party exclusively, don’t be afraid to push the envelope.  

By stocking a variety of beers at your Big Game watch party, you can cater to a wide variety of tastes and even do some menu paring with your apps. Here are a few popular pairings recommended by our beer specialists for the Big Game. 

  • Spicy chicken wings: There’s nothing quite like beer, hot wings, and football. For this classic game day selection, we recommend Bell’s Brewery’s Lager of the Lakes, a hoppy pilsner that’s herbal and crisp, or the classic Founder’s All Day IPA. Feeling ambitious? Amp up the heat with a michelada, a beer-based cocktail that’s a bit like a Bloody Mary. 
  • Chili: A strong porter has been known to hold its own when paired with a hearty bowl of chili. For ultimate winter watch-party coziness, consider Atwater’s Vanilla Java Porter or Great Lakes Brewing Edmund Fitzgerald Porter  
  • Tacos and nachos: To compliment your tacos and nachos, keep with the south-of-the-border theme and look for Mexican amber lagers like those from Dos Equis and Negra Modelo. If you want to add a twist of lime, choose the Modelo Especial.  
  • Salty snacks: Low-key snacks call for low-key beer. Pretzels, potato chips, and popcorn pair perfectly with easy-to-drink lagers. Look for PBR, Miller High Life, or Stella Artois.  
  • Barbecue: Balance the smoky richness of barbequed meats with lighter beers with flavors that compliment and not compete. Try Red Stripe, Dos Equis Amber Lager, or load your plate up with smoky-sweet BBQ sauce with a Bell’s Winter White Ale on the side. 
  • Pizza: It’s hard to go wrong when you’ve got pizza and beer together, but there are a few stand-out combinations that can take your Big Game party to the next level. Choose a dark beer like Guiness to compliment a meat lovers’ slice, and a lager like Heinekin to go with sausage and peppers.  An earthy ale like Newcastle Brown Ale is perfect for a mushroom pizza, and a Kolsch or lager like Founder’s Solid Gold for a veggie-laden slice. Have a Hawiian pizza fan in the mix? Look for a hoppy golden ale like Sierra Nevada Beer Pale Ale. 

If you need help with other beer pairings, just swing by one of our SpartanNash stores and chat with a beer specialist! 

Consider Session Beers and Other Lower-Alcohol Options 

After watching more than three hours of championship football on a Sunday night, Monday morning might come much too soon. Do your friends and family a favor and offer options with 5% alcohol or less. Look for “session beers,” which typically deliver less alcohol but just as much flavor as their high-ABV counterparts. Bell’s Oarsman is our local favorite. 

On Sale This Week: Corona Extra 

Corona Extra is one of the world’s top-selling beers for good reason. It’s also a great Big Game party option thanks to its refreshing and well-balanced flavor and its 4.6% ABV. Corona Extra is on sale at our SpartanNash stores this week, so stock up and don’t forget the limes!