On the Super Bowl

There are few days so closely associated with beer as the Super Bowl--though most of America will be tippling tinny "lite" from a can. Here in Oregon, we eschew such indecency. Since allowing our TV to go dead with the transition to digital, Sally an I now end up in front of screens elsewhere when we wish to catch sports. (Preferences: Blazers, Red Sox, Badgers, Packers.) So tomorrow, we have a vast array of choices. We'll probably end up at the Bagdad, where the screen is large enough to make it feel live, and where the seats are aplenty.

(That denizens of other cities toil without a theater-pub seems inconceivable. It has become old hat to me, but I was reminded of what sporting bounty we enjoy when Sally's brother, a fanatic fan from Boston, visited us a couple years ago. The Ducks had their season opener, and he wanted to sample some local culture, so we headed over to the Mission. His eyes were golf-ball wide as we came into to the theater proper and he said, "this is tremendous!" Oh yeah, I thought, I guess it is.)

But I digress. I started this post with the idea of commenting on beers of the competing states. Oon the one hand, Indiana, we have a fairly nice little state for beer--32 breweries in all. Far and away the most famous of these is Three Floyds, which currently has four beers ranked in the top 26 on BeerAdvocate's highest-rated list. On the other hand we have Louisiana, with a more modest nine breweries. Dixie is the most famous, but Abita the most admired. (Unfortunately, Dixie was ravaged by Katrina and is no longer brewing beer; the brands are contract brewed elsewhere.)

By any measure, the edge must go to Indiana (even if Beervanians have a reason to harbor suspicions about the devotion provoked by Three Floyds). Except: I've never had a beer from Three Floyds, but I have had a Turbodog from Abita. I live very near the Screen Door, a southern restaurant on 24th and Burnside, and the first time I went, an aficionado told me, "you must have the Turbodog." I did, and now I pass along the wisdom whenever we return with newbies. It is not the most accomplished beer made, but it somehow beguiles, not unlike a wet lab fresh from a river--wet and aromatic, but infectiously enthusiastic. Tomorrow I will be rooting for the little team from NOLA, whom all the critics say is inferior to the team from Indy. Three Floyds is a better beer too, say the critics, but I'll be thinking of Turbodog.

Plus, Drew Brees is way cooler than Peyton Manning.