[OSBURN ON TAP] Basketball And Beer

Osburn on Tap by Chris Osburn

Excited for the big Christmas afternoon basketball rematch between the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat? If the NBA season isn’t cancelled, that will probably be the first time you will get a chance to see any professional basketball this year. Fear not, there is other basketball to watch. The best part is that it’s already on and it has been for a few weeks. Many people believe that college basketball is the more exciting, pure version of the sport anyway and they definitely won’t be in a lockout any time soon.

The sneakers are squeaking on the courts, the “Cameron Crazies” are still jumping around, Jim Boeheim is still crushing opponent’s hopes and dreams with his zone defense, and the sounds of dribbling continue to echo throughout arena’s all over the country.

To get in the spirit of the college basketball season, I took a look at some Division I programs and the breweries near them. You may already be a diehard Vermont Catamounts fan, but now you will know what beers to imbibe while you watch their December seventh battle with #23 St. Louis.

Syracuse University: The Syracuse Orange are currently ranked #5 in the country and have a deep and talented team. Many experts believe that ‘Cuse can make a final four run. Will watching Kris Joseph and company, you should make a run of your own to your local store to pick up any products brewed by the FX Matt Brewing Company (Saranac) or the Middle Ages Brewing Company.

Ohio State University: If you’re a true buckeye, you know that Ohio State is currently #3 in the national rankings. Forward Jared Sullinger leads the team with 20.5 points per games as they sit at 4-0. Why not try an Edmund Fitzgerald Porter or any other offering from neighbor Cleveland’s Great Lakes Brewing Company while you watch the boys rack up wins in the Big Ten?

University of Wisconsin/Marquette University: Jacob Leinenkugel would want you to enjoy one of his brews while you watch the Badgers beat up on the likes of Nebraska, Purdue and Iowa. Chris Farley went to Marquette and you can bet if he didn’t drink a Leinenkugel, he definitely imbibed a brew from Steven’s Point Brewery.

Stanford University: Tiger Wood’s Alma Mater’s teams are called “The Cardinal”. That is a reference to the color, not the bird. Also, since the campus is located in Palo Alto, California, the mascot is a giant tree. Things like this only happen in California. Because of this, it only makes sense to enjoy one of the many nationally recognized Golden State breweries. Sierra Nevada, Bear Republic and Lagunitas all fit the bill.

Boston College: Fans of the Eagles of Boston College are lucky to live in or near a city with a tremendous brewing tradition. Stop by the Boston Beer Works for a pint before that clash with Virginia Tech or try something from the Harpoon Brewery. Get in the true Bean town spirit by enjoying something from the makers of Samuel Adams, the Boston Beer Company.

There are many more breweries located near the epicenters of your favorite college basketball teams. Here are a few others to quench your thirst:

  • University of Missouri: Boulevard Brewing Company
  • University of Oregon:Deschutes Brewery
  • University of Texas: Spoetzl Brewery
  • University of Colorado: NewBelgium Brewing Company
  • University of Vermont: Magic Hat and Long Trail

If the team you root for isn’t on this list, don’t let that stop you from enjoying a good, local brew. Do a little digging and find the breweries nearby and grab a six-pack to enjoy during their next game. You’ll be happy you did and you’ll be supporting the home team in more ways than one.

*This article originally appeared on drinkingmadeeasy.com. I write an article every other week about beer, wine and anything else alcohol related that peaks my interest.

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