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From the high-flying Broncos to the lowly Steelers, all NFL fans can find a perfect beer here

By: R. Scott Rappold
September 25, 2013 Updated: September 25, 2013 at 12:36 pm
photo - For you Denver Broncos fans, try Westvleteren Abdij St. Sixtus.
For you Denver Broncos fans, try Westvleteren Abdij St. Sixtus. 

Beer and football go together like ham and burger.

But so much of the sport's connection with the drink seems to be about mass-produced domestic swill, either on television commercials during the game or sold for $8 in plastic cups at the game.

It's time to bring a little beer diversity to the gridiron. So here are my recommendations for perfect brews suited for fans of every NFL team.

AFC West

Denver Broncos: Westvleteren Abdij St. Sixtus. Beer raters consider this the best beer in the world and, with Peyton Manning at the helm, these Broncos might be the best come February. So, go ahead and enjoy the best ... if you can find it.

Kansas City Chiefs: This team is surprising a lot of football pundits. Its fans get KC's Boulevard Brewing, which has come seemingly out of nowhere to become the 12th best-selling craft brewery in the country.

Oakland Raiders: What to say about the Raiders? The most penalized team in history (fans of which also try to live up to the reputation) gets one of the beers a recent study found led to the most emergency room visits: Steel Reserve.

San Diego Chargers: Fans might be smarting after the Chargers blew a 21-point, second-half lead in Week 1 and then lost another lead Sunday. But hey, your town is home to the magnificent Stone Brewing Co. and some of the best weather on the planet so how bad do you have it?

AFC East

New England Patriots: Samuel Adams Boston Lager. Yeah, it's been America's top-selling craft beer forever and maybe doesn't even belong in the craft beer category, but you can't argue with success.

Miami Dolphins: Corona. Warm beaches and hot weather. But I couldn't name a single South Florida microbrew so here we are.

Take a sip of the most controversial beer I know - Ghost Face Killah by Boulder's Twisted Pine Brewing Co.

New York Jets: The Jets recently have been engulfed by controversy, from the hiring and release of Tim Tebow to the eternal debate about Mark Sanchez. Take a sip of the most controversial beer I know - Ghost Face Killah by Boulder's Twisted Pine Brewing Co. It uses ghost peppers and has been called undrinkable. But it will wash out the taste of a disappointing season.

Buffalo Bills: These fans deserve a strong winter warmer - such as (no longer available, unfortunately) Bristol Brewing's XXX Warlock, 18.4 percent alcohol - because it's always cold in Buffalo and because they have to root for the 1-2 Bills.

AFC North

Cincinnati Bengals: Nobody knows what to make of the Bengals. Are they good? Can they repeat last year's playoff appearance? Find a home brewer who just made his first batch and have an uncertain beer for an uncertain season.

Baltimore Ravens: National Bohemian. Baltimore fans get this cheap local beer because the Orioles wouldn't alter their schedule to let the Super Bowl champions start the season in their own stadium, leading to a humiliating loss in Denver.

Cleveland Browns: Why a sorry team deserves such a loyal following I have no idea, but the Pikes Peak Brown Backers club draws a crowd each game day at Southside Johnny's. Will this season signal a change from the prior 46 years of futility? Of course not. But misery loves company so join the fun at Johnny's.

Pittsburgh Steelers: I'm pretty sure only people from Pittsburgh think this team is any good, kind of like their beer, Iron City.

AFC South

Houston Texans: I've long argued that no good beer, or professional football, comes from Texas, but recently was proven wrong by Houston-based Saint Arnold Brewing Co. The Texans proved me wrong by going 12-4 last season so don't mess with Texas and have a Bishop's Barrel oak-aged beer.

Indianapolis Colts: Manning had this team on top for so long that it's still finding its way with the new guy, but after an impressive road win against the 49ers, have a Stone Lucky Basartd (not a typo) Ale in honor of Andrew Luck.

Tennessee Titans: I couldn't name a player on this team. Nor could I ever recall drinking a beer from Tennessee. But Nashville has eight breweries and six more in development so take your pick.

Jacksonville Jaguars: This team is so awful, its fans seem to have jumped ship. A rally to urge the team to sign Tebow drew only 20 people. Jags fans, have a Michelob, the beer the Wall Street Journal says suffered the biggest loss of sales between 2006 and 2011.

NFC West

Pabst Blue Ribbon for Packers fans.
Pabst Blue Ribbon for Packers fans.

Seattle Seahawks: This team is a force to be reckoned with at home, as are the beers of the Pacific Northwest, a region that tries (yet fails) to rival Colorado as the nation's craft beer capital. So have a delicious beer by Elysian Brewing, Seattle's venerable beer maker.

St. Louis Rams: The Rams have been pretending to be a big-league team for a few years now so have a Shock Top, a beer by hometown giant Anheuser-Busch that pretends to be a craft beer.

San Francisco 49ers: Despite the fluke appearance in last season's Super Bowl, the 49ers' best years are behind them. Their fans get an Anchor Steam, which has been brewing since 1896 but, thanks to the growth of local craft beer, is a brew I haven't drank since Steve Young was playing in San Francisco.

Arizona Cardinals: I can't name a brewery from that state so let's pick one at random: Lumberyard Brewing Co. in Flagstaff. That's a nice town.

NFC East

Shiner Bock for Cowboys fans.
Shiner Bock for Cowboys fans.

Dallas Cowboys: Shiner Bock. Texans like to think it's a quality craft beer, but it's really quite ordinary. Much like the Cowboys.

Philadelphia Eagles: Philly's own Victory Brewing Co., because the Eagles, despite showing occasional signs of promise, never have won a Super Bowl.

New York Giants: What to say about the 0-3 Giants, who got pasted by the Carolina Panthers on Sunday? Is this the same Eli Manning who won two Super Bowls? Upstate New York has a brewery called Rare Form Brewing. Seems to fit the younger Manning these days.

Washington Redskins: This was supposed to be a breakout season for Robert Griffin III, yet has proven disappointing. Kind of like the time I tried New Belgium's Coconut Curry Hefeweizen - three things I like that definitely don't go well together.

NFC North

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Chicago Bears: Fans of the Monsters of the Midway know the only beer a Chicago sports fan is legally allowed to consume is Old Style. Like the undefeated Bears and life in the Midwest in general, it's not the best but you could do a lot worse. Disclaimer: I have been a Bears fan since learning the words to the "Super Bowl Shuffle" in 1985 as a kid in the suburbs of Chicago.

Green Bay Packers: Sorry, Green Bay fans. You might have a good quarterback, but your Wisconsin beers are as ordinary as your team's record. Have a Pabst Blue Ribbon at Tony's. Did I mention I'm a lifelong Bears fan?

Detroit Lions: The poor Lions. Watching them lose on Thanksgiving has become a tradition since 2002, the last time they won on the holiday. So have some strong barleywine to go with your turkey, Lions fans. Maybe your team finally can beat the Packers on Turkey Day.

Minnesota Vikings: This team has done little since being one errant Brett Favre pass from the Super Bowl in 2009. Now the Vikings are 0-3. So visit Junkyard Brewery in Moorhead, Minn. You'll find the Vikings' season there.

NFC South

New Orleans Saints: Just as New Orleans rose from the destruction of Katrina, the Saints have risen from last year's suspension of their coach and a 7-9 season. So enjoy a Dixie beer. No, it hasn't been brewed in New Orleans since Katrina and legal battles cloud its future in that city, but if the Saints can bounce back, so can the iconic brewery.

Atlanta Falcons: The South isn't exactly a hotbed of craft brewing, but Atlanta's Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale is a worthy choice for fans of a team that continually has big ambitions but fails to deliver.

Carolina Panthers: I had to rewrite this one after the Panthers dismantled the once-mighty Giants on Sunday. North Carolina has a robust brewing scene. Try Trophy Brewing Co. in Raleigh and dream about the trophy the Panthers almost won in 2004 and might be able to aspire for again with Cam Newton at the helm.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Florida ranks 44th in the nation in breweries per capita (Colorado is 5th). Tampa Bay doesn't have a win and managed just three points against the Patriots on Sunday despite 323 yards of offense. Bucs fans, have some whiskey.

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