My Team Is In The Sweet 16! What Should I Drink?

Each year, 16 teams make it to the Sweet 16. Each year, you’re faced with the same old dilemma – what kind of beer should I be drinking?

Yes, it might be time to put the Bud Light and PBR off to the side. Your team is making big moves, so you should take that leap into craft brews. Why? Because you support local, which is always rad. Also, craft beers are usually pretty tasty.

Wisconsin Badgers

Spotted Cow Farmhouse Ale, New Glarus Brewing

Spring is just around the corner. Well, technically it’s already here, even if it’s still pretty chilly up in Madison. The point it, it’s time to gear up for gameday with an appropriate beer – the Spotted Cow farmhouse ale. With an ABV of 4.8%, you’ll be able to enjoy a few of these regardless of how the game goes.

Florida Gators

Wild Night Honey Cream Ale, Swamp Head Brewery

The name says it all. Win or lose, you should be willing to have a wild night. Gators fans, go ahead and crush a few of these like you’ll crush your foes. That is, unless you don’t crush your foes. But you can always still crush beer.

Baylor Bears

Lux Lager, Bare Arms Brewing

Support tradition, support local, support your liver. Bare Arms Brewing is the oldest brewpub in Waco, and it’s an ideal place to find beer. Also, Lux is an easy 4.2% ABV, perfect for a relaxing day of screaming at the refs on TV. If that doesn’t have you sold, then nothing will.

South Carolina Gamecocks

Mexican Cake Imperial Stout, Westbrook Brewing Co.

Let’s be honest, Gamecocks: it’s been a wild ride up to this point. Nope, light beer isn’t going to get it done. Time to break out the Mexican Cake Imperial Stout, an easy 10.5% ABV. Win or lose, you’ll win with this one.

Gonzaga Bulldogs

Born & Raised IPA, NoLi Brewing

This is sort of the official-unofficial beer of Spokane, Washington, and Gonzaga is sort of the official-unofficial team of the city as well. These are born to be paired. Zags fans, time to support your team by supporting a local brewery.

West Virginia Mountaineers

Coal City Stout, Morgantown Brewing Company

Mountaineers fans, you know that your team is a little…unconventional. Here’s an unconventional pick: a gameday stout! What? Yes! The Coal City Stout has a not-too-shabby ABV of 5.6%, and you should be able to “press” a few of these into your gameday schedule (get the joke? No? Ok).

Xavier Musketeers

Rhinegeist Café Ink Imperial Stout, Rhinegeist Brewery

Xavier, did you know you’re an 11 seed? You probably did. Why not celebrate a Sweet 16 appearance with an 11% ABV beer! There’s really no other logic to this pick, but hey, maybe 11 is going to be a lucky number.

Arizona Wildcats

Two Sons Citra Imperial IPA, 1055 Brewing

Nothing beats the hot, hot sun like a nice citra. Ignore the fact that the Two Sons Citra is 8.5% ABV and consider that this beer pairs nicely with Wildcats basketball. This is also a local brewery, and supporting local is always pretty neat.

Kansas Jayhawks

Ad Astra Ale, Free State Brewing

Are the stars aligning? Are the Jayhawks ready to make it on to the Final Four? Or are you just seeing stars from having too many Ad Astra Ales? Maybe one, maybe none, but hey, this beer is pretty good, so drinking it won’t do any harm to the Jayhawks.

Purdue Boilermakers

Phantom Assassin White IPA, People’s Brewing Co.

The Boilermakers are looking to be a sneaky pick to take the Midwest. Nothing is sneakier than an assassin (go with it), so you should grab a pint of the Phantom Assassin White IPA. Or you could just drink a boilermaker (a pint of beer with a shot of whiskey). Either works.

Oregon Ducks

Total Domination IPA, Ninkasi Brewing

Ducks fans, if you’ve been near or around Eugene recently, then you’ve probably heard of Ninkasi Brewing. If you’ve heard of Ninkasi Brewing, you’ve heard of the Total Domination IPA. If you’ve heard of the Total Domination IPA, you’ve probably had it. If you’ve had it, you’d probably like to have it again on gameday.

Michigan Wolverines

Bam Biere, Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Jolly Pumpkin makes some pretty good beers, including the Bam Biere. Yes, this is artisanal and yes, this isn’t a normal gameday beer. But the Wolverines have already exceeded expectations in the tourney, so maybe a mini-celebration wouldn’t be so bad.

UNC Tar Heels

Sky Blue Golden Ale, Carolina Brewery

Nothing is sweeter than revenge after losing in the championship round last year. But the flavor of the Sky Blue Golden Ale is probably a close match. At a cozy 4.8% ABV, you’ll able to enjoy the game without forgetting too much (except for last year’s results).

Butler Bulldogs

Sunlight Cream Ale, Sun King Brewery

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Butler fans know that they’re in the most blue-blood-bracket of the bunch, but that doesn’t mean they’re the worst. Act like a champ with the Sunlight Cream Ale, an award-winning beer made not so far from campus.

UCLA Bruins

Wolf Among Weeds IPA, Golden Road Brewing

Hey Bruins, you might not have noticed but UCLA’s offense is pretty strong. The Wolf Among Weeds IPA is also strong, boasting an 8% ABV. Like a wolf hunting prey, UCLA pounces on defenses and scores points. Just like a wolf.

Kentucky Wildcats

Dunkel, Blue Stallion Brewing

As a fan of a storied basketball program, you need to have a beer with its own history. Try Blue Stallion’s Dunkel, a spin off the classic Munich beer. Have one or five of these and you are prepared to watch one of the most anticipated rematches of the year!

Can’t get to this beer in time for the Sweet 16? Grab the closest beer to you, put on your favorite fan t-shirt and enjoy. Cheers!

Thomas Short
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