When these two teams met in November, Sir Pour recommended Mother Earth's Old Neighborhood Porter on the grounds that the Panthers were going back to their "old neighborhood" to battle their old NFC West rivals. Now facing a rematch in the playoffs, Sir Pour's turning to something a little stronger.
Black Ops - Brooklyn Brewery, NY
Brooklyn Brewery has been around since 1987, a lifetime in the world of craft beer. They brew an extensive selection of year-round beers, like their popular Brooklyn Lager and Brooklyn Brown Ale, and they also put out several great seasonals.
This beer doesn't actually exist. But if it did, I'd tell you that it is an imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels and then re-fermented with Champagne yeast when bottled.
It's a big beer that balances those bourbon flavors well with a strong base of chocolate and a bit of roast. I mean, if it existed, of course.
How it relates to the game
A covert black ops agency is nothing without its agents. And just as the very existence of this beer is up in the air, so to is the status of Agent 89, the Panthers' most effective receiver.
We know he will play, but how effective will he be coming off of the injury?
Looking back on the season, it is hard to believe the Panthers won a dozen games when the passing offense, on the whole, ended up ranked 29th in the league -- almost dead last. It speaks to a couple things: 1) that the defense was absolutely dominant and kept the team in games, and 2) that the offense did get it done when it counted, whether by land or air.
That being said, the team caught a few breaks down the stretch. The Panthers edged out the 49ers by a point when they met earlier in the season, but Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis were out. The Carolina secondary better be ready for them, and on the other side of the ball our receivers have to contribute more if the Panthers are to win this game, let alone the two that would follow it.
That starts with Agent 89. Even if he is not fully healthy, the man's very presence sets the tempo and also tasks the 49ers with accounting for him, lest
The threat is real. And if Smith can't take advantage of it due to the lingering injury, let's hope it means he's at least drawing coverage away from the other receivers, including Ginn -- who will no doubt bring his best against his former team.
Price Point / Availability
At around $20 a 750-mL bottle, this one's pricey. But if ever there were an occasion to splurge a bit, it's for the Panthers' first playoff game in five years. It can be tough to find being that it doesn't exist and all, but check with your local bottle shops and better beer stores.