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The Best Game-Day Beer

Get ready to toast the big game with the most popular beer in the world.


With football’s big hurrah quickly approaching, now’s the perfect time to revisit a first love: pale lager. You know, the most popular beer in the world—and often called, by beer snobs, “lawnmower beer,” aka the beer you drink while you’re pushing a lawnmower.

It’s hard to remember, but a lot of the world’s biggest mega-brand beers actually descend from a tradition of Czech and German brewers, who, centuries ago, developed a beer made by long fermentation in cold caves with special yeast. This long, slow, nearly ice-cold fermentation created beers of exceptional purity and clarity of flavor. However, after World War II, a series of corner-cutting tricks allowed lager to be made faster, cheaper—but not better.  

Now’s the perfect time for beer drinkers to rediscover lager—and fall back in love with a beer they thought they had outgrown. Why? Traditional, craft lager has the great crisp, thirst-quenching clarity you want after mowing a lawn, but nerve, zip and complexity to fascinate as well. Here are five great ones to stock up on for your big-game party—because there’s no love like a first love.

Bell’s Lager
Clean as a bell’s peal on a crystal-clear morning, and great with hot dogs!

New Glarus Totally Naked
Pure and light, crisp and clean—a real champ at pairing with nearly every game-day food under the sun, from loaded nachos to subs.

Full Sail Session Lager
The stylish crowd loves Session Lager because of its super-cute stubby little bottle, and beer-heads adore it because it’s a little floral, a little lemony and a little bit better than merely adorable.

Victory Prima Pils
A bit spicy, very clean, with a crisp finish, and especially nice with spicy cheese dishes, like pizza or salsa-tinged cheese dip.

New Belgium Shift Pale Lager
Delicate and subtle, with a bit of citrus and hay in the nose, this is an easy drinking beer that goes perfectly with brats. —Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl

Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl is senior editor at Mpls. St. Paul Magazine and author of Drink This: Wine Made Simple. She has won five James Beard Awards, the Oscars of the food world, for her food and wine writing; this is part of a continuing series of wine and beverage pairing stories she will be doing for BettyCrocker.com.

General Mills has no affiliation with any of the products mentioned in this article.
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