For diehard fans, even preseason football is something to get excited about. Wins and losses mean nothing, sure, but the preseason allows coaches to take a good look at new talent before assembling their final rosters. Think of it as enjoying a flight of beers before committing to a full pint or six-pack.
Now the preseason is over, and a real-life, honest-to-goodness football game is upon us as the Carolina Panthers are set to take on the Seattle Seahawks in their opener this Sunday. It's a new season with some new players, so let's celebrate that with a new brewery.
Hi-Wire Lager - Hi-Wire Brewing
The rich get richer, right? In July, the Asheville beer scene welcomed yet another brewery to its already impressive ranks as Hi-Wire Brewing moved into the space left vacant by Craggie Brewing. They have a small tasting room where they serve their four "main attraction" series: Hi-Wire Lager, Bed-of-Nails Brown, Prime Time Pale and Hi-Pitch IPA.
Some beer geeks turn their nose at anything bottom-fermented, but lagers take exceptional skill to brew. Without the big, bold flavors that come from an abundance of malt, hops or other ingredients, brewers have no way of masking any underlying flaws. The Hi-Wire Lager is everything you want in the style: it's crisp, clean and something you can drink during a full four quarters.
How it relates to the game
In their 18 years, the Carolina Panthers have only won their opener six times, yielding them the worst opening day winning percentage in the league. To say they have their work cut out for them against a Seahawks team that excels on both sides of the ball is an understatement.
If the Panthers any shot at winning, they should take a page out of Hi-Wire's playbook. Even though the brewery just opened in June, they started strong by immediately offering six-packs of their four core beers, each of which is a perfect example of its respective style. In football parlance, you'd say they got the fundamentals right.
A sense of balance goes a long way on the high wire as well as the football field. The Panthers will have to exhibit this same balanced approach if they hope to beat a Seahawks team with few flaws.
Price Point / Availability
Hi-Wire's beers are distributed throughout North Carolina, at around $10-11 a six-pack. Check their website to find a retailer near you.
Looking to drink craft beer at the game? Here's a list of craft beers in Bank of America Stadium.