Say 'Cheers!' to the Spurs with the right Texas suds
Published: April 25, 2012
It felt like déjà vu when Manu Ginobili collided with Tyreke Evans in the fourth quarter of an otherwise meaningless April 18 game against the basement-dwelling Sacramento Kings. Flashback to last year’s regular season finale in Phoenix when Manu broke his arm, prematurely ending a 61-win season. Fortunately, it looks like the collision left Manu relatively unscathed and ready to right last season’s postseason wrongs Spurs fans are eager to bury.
This weekend, the NBA Playoffs tip off. The story lines are aplenty: Does the Spurs’ “Drive for 5” finally come to fruition? Can LeBron and the Miami Heat win it all? Are Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder prepared to take over the Association? Will Kobe Bryant and the Lakers play spoiler and return the title to its Los Angeles lair?
Instead of prognosticating the fate of the Spurs, per usual, let’s talk postseason brews. For some San Antonians, the NBA Playoffs mean heading to a favorite watering hole with fellow fan friends. Others, whether influenced by financial reasons or preference toward the friendly confines of home, will opt to watch the Spurs duke it out in the playoffs from the couch.
Several local beer specialists agreed to offer their beer expertise on the matter with some selections that may not offer postseason promise, but at least you’ll be satiated with sessionable suds. As Current beer critic Travis Poling points out, there are several strategies to exercise in narrowing down what beers to select. For example, the Spurs play in the Western Conference, and more specifically, in Texas, so why not opt for a Lone Star selection? Or, if you’re hoping to mimic the international grouping of the Spurs roster, journey south toward Latin America or across the Atlantic with a European draft?
Both Poling and Central Market’s beer buyer Kristopher Rojas recommend Ranger Creek’s hometown hops, which can be purchased at places like Central Market, select H-E-B locations, Gabriel’s Superstore, Spec’s, and Whole Foods Market. You can’t buy them in six packs, but at least the 24-ounce bottles feel like a suitable precursor to some postseason champagne.
So you can’t root for the Houston Rockets and certainly not the defending-champion Dallas Mavericks, but don’t let that dissension dissuade you from delighting in those towns' brews. Houston’s St. Arnold’s Brewery offers refreshing sessionables like the crisp Summer Pilsner. And Rojas points out that even though its brewed near Dallas, Fort Worth’s Rahr & Sons sweet Blonde Lager packs a winning punch.
A specialist at Gabriel’s Superstore and Whole Foods Market staff suggest Fireman’s #4 owns the top spot due to its crispness. It’s a nice Hill Country selection that’s drinkable for several rounds of the playoffs. Have fun with it. Step away from the beers that Rojas says San Antonians are all too familiar with — Bud Light, Dos Equis, and Shiner Bock.
Type in “Manu Ginobli” in Google, it recommends “Manu Ginobili Injury Update.” God forbid that happens, but if it does keep a good beer nearby. Say, Southern Star’s Bombshell Blonde?
Ryan Sachetta covers the Spurs with Manuel Solis for the Current. Follow them online at blogs.sacurrent.com and catch their print column here every other week.