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Ranking: Football finishes and beer

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This past weekend, one of the most stunning finishes to a football game played out when Auburn returned a missed Alabama field goal for a 109-yard touchdown. It was definitely a crazy ending, but was it the craziest ever in football?

There’s no way to measure the amount of crazy in a football game. So, to put things in perspective, here’s how I rank Auburn vs. Alabama against some of the greatest college football finishes—in relation to a few of our top-scored imperial IPAs, of course.

Game: Auburn vs. Alabama, 2013
Beer: Great Divide Hercules Double IPA
Score: 95

Game review: A missed field goal turns into a last-second touchdown return to upset top-ranked Alabama and dash their national championship hopes.

Beer review:
Hercules glows a spectacular apricot hue as orange and grassy hop scents sing in the air; sweet, bready wafts underscore the hoppy aroma. Playful, sweet orange hop notes dive into the beer’s biscuit base, drawing out the malt’s subtle caramel notes. Dank, resinous pine swirls in the middle, thickening the mouthfeel to a near-barleywine viscosity. Still, distinctly smooth bitterness lifts Hercules from the tongue, marking a surprisingly dry, quaffable finish for such a powerful brew.

Game: Boise State vs. Oklahoma, 2007
Beer: Epic Hopulent IPA
Score: 96

Game review: David vs. Goliath in a shootout during overtime of the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. A surprise touchdown’s capped off by a—wait for it—surprise marriage proposal.

Beer review: This slightly hazy orange brew’s soft white head lets loose a hop-forward aroma: Pithy grapefruit blends with fresh pine, while bready malts lend roundness to the otherwise sharp smell. Despite its high ABV and hop presence, Hopulent runs smooth over the tongue. Toasted malts reach from front to back while a wealth of juicy grapefruit notes add a sharp counter. Pungent pine notes swell in the middle, picking up a bit of sugary sweetness as the beer rolls toward the swallow. Hefty bitterness cleanses the mouth, while fruit and pine notes endure on the tongue.

Game: California vs. Stanford, 1982
Beer: Bear Republic Racer X
Score: 97

Game review: Cal upsets Stanford in a last minute kick-off return that features lateral passes and the entire Stanford marching band.

Beer review: A knee-buckling aroma shoots out of the glass: Dank pine, grapefruit and catty scents showcase the exceptional aromatics of hops. Rich and thick, Racer X coats the tongue with hop oils while a layer of sweet, toasted malts spreads out above. Orange and nectarine dodge through the swallow, filling the mouth with fresh citrus, while nutty malts add earthy contrast in the back. An expertly hidden ABV and smooth bitterness cement this as one of the most drinkable imperial IPAs ever brewed.

Honorable mention: Doug Floutie’s “Miracle Pass.”


Chris Staten is DRAFT’s beer editor. Follow him on Twitter at @DRAFTbeereditor and email him at chris.staten@draftmag.com.


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