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Considering the commercialization of the big game, it seemed like the right time to crack open this Costco beer, the last IPA in the fridge. Photo by Ryan Woldt
Cheers! North County Columns

Cheers! North County: An OK beer for a forgettable game

The Super Bowl was less than super this year — a blowout whose most memorable moments came on incomplete passes and penalties. It is always an odd sporting event where there are more corporate ticket fans in the stands than actual followers of a given team and more commercials than there are breweries in San Diego County, making for a somewhat anesthetized viewing experience. This year people have latched on to sports as a way of regaining some normalcy, but for me, unless my team is in the game it is just a reason to open a beer.

This year I found the beer that perfectly matched my Super Bowl experience, Costco’s Kirkland Signature Citra Hop Session IPA. I know, I know, a beer from Costco isn’t the normal local beer that I’d encourage you as the reader to support. Shop local!

This particular beer was left for me to try by a socially distanced patio guest. Considering the commercialization of the big game, it seemed like the right time to crack it open. Also, it was the only IPA left in the fridge, and we went on a first-half drive together (obligatory football pun).

Here is a recap:

  • Oh hey, the game is about to start I need a beer (grabs can of Kirkland Citra Hop).
  • Poetry is back. Amanda Gorman, you’re crushing it.
  • That’s a subtle hint of Citra wafting out of the can. It’s light and refreshing and …
  • Brad Pitt’s voice is so soothing. I wonder if he’s on Cameo? How much is too much to pay him to wish someone happy birthday?
  • Why isn’t that ref wearing a mask? It seems like a lot more than 20,000 people in those stands.
  • I wonder who makes this beer. “Brewed & Bottled by Hopfen Und Malz Brewing Co., San Jose, California.” Googling. Googling. Oh, Gordon Biersch Brewing Company.
  • Congrats to the first female Super Bowl ref, Sarah Thomas. That’s cool. Did you see that nonsense about her ponytail?
  • There is a sweetness to this beer that I don’t dislike. Not terribly hop forward. I almost don’t taste the hops.
  • Oh my god. Mahomes is running for his life.
  • We need food (takes beer and phone into the kitchen).
  • Andy Reid’s face mask looks like a homemade undergarment.
  • Brady to Gronk.
  • Beep, beep, beep. Time to flip the potatoes and shake the pan of roasted veggies.
  • Brady to Gronk again. Ugh.
  • ANOTHER FLAG!
  • Timeout? Why are they calling timeouts?
  • Hey! I like Brussels sprouts. That’s unexpected.
  • I wonder what Twitter is thinking about this game. Checking. Whoa. Mahomes’ pre-game three-piece suit attire kind of makes me want to wear a suit, but not if it means taking off this fleece onesie.
  • Hey! My beer is gone. What happened to my beer? It just sort of disappeared. Kind of like the Chiefs’ hopes at becoming a dynasty, am I right?

Just like that it was halftime, and the beer was gone. It was a fine beer, I think. Unoffensive and seemingly designed to appeal just a little bit to every beer drinker without offending anyone. Kind of like the game itself. Kirkland Citra Hops Session IPA is a commercialized version of craft that perfectly matched the mood of the game. I don’t have more tasting notes because nothing about it was terribly memorable, which isn’t great, but it isn’t bad either.

A year from now, when I’m hopefully at a huge post-pandemic Super Bowl party dipping tortilla chips into a homemade chili dip, meeting new babies and trying to avoid that one close talker while grabbing a local craft beer out of a cooler, I probably won’t remember much of anything about it, or the game.

Do you listen to podcasts? Are you interested in interesting things being done by interesting people in North County San Diego. Be sure to check out the most recent episode of the Cheers! North County podcast with Nick Hammond, the founder and head distiller of Pacific Coast Spirits in Oceanside. Stream it now on The Coast News online or search for it on your favorite podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Thanks for listening, and for following Cheers! North County on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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