North Carolina drinking rules for the Super Bowl

Big Boss Brewing
Big Boss Brewing

A gas station in Georgia recently banned people from buying Sam Adams beers.

It’s not one of the political arguments that have recently ensnared other breweries from Pennsylvania to California.

Nope. This was about something that way more people care about than politics: The Super Bowl.

This Sunday, Atlanta is playing New England, so the reason for the ban is obvious. (I haven’t heard of any angry Bostonians dumping kegs of Atlanta’s finest Sweetwater beer into the harbor in retaliation yet, but I’d love to see some video if I missed that.)

In the meantime, I’m here to tell you what you should be drinking if you aren’t a fan of either team.

There are plenty of great North Carolina beers for you to drink while being sad that the Panthers couldn’t make it back to the big game this year.

This is important. My in-laws recently made fun of me for choosing PBR to make beer-can chicken – since as the craft beer columnist I’m supposed to always be particular about my drinks. Now I’m here to save you from a similar fate. I even made you a schedule.

And please know that these are absolutely serious rules: If you deviate from them at all, it makes you a bad sports-watcher.

Super Bowl drinking rules

Have a few Pre Game Session IPAs from Charlotte’s Unknown Brewing Co. before the game starts. They’re pretty low in alcohol content, can be found around the Triangle and are good for either sipping while you cook or chugging on the porch.

The game starts at 6:30 p.m. on Fox. I’m sure both coaches are going to give us some typical sports cliches about going hard right out of the gate, so you need to match their intensity (to use another tired sports phrase). I’m partial to Devil’s Tramping Ground, a Belgian Tripel from Aviator Brewing in Fuquay-Varina that will deliver a nice, 9.2 percent ABV stiff arm to your tastebuds. Or dial it down just a notch with the 7 percent ABV Rocket Science IPA from Fullsteam Brewery.

The halftime entertainment is Lady Gaga, so you definitely can’t go wrong with a weird beer here. Maybe the weirdest brewery around – in a good way – is Haw River Farmhouse Ales. They’re creative and different, like the singer, or their baklava beer.

Everything is Belgian-inspired and sold in large bottles, which are good for sharing. They also have several sour beer options. Even if you’re like me and are not a huge fan of sours, this is as good a time as any to drink one. No one will be able to tell if your face is screwing up from the beer or whatever wild costume Lady Gaga is wearing.

On the other hand, Gaga is very political, especially when it comes to LGBT rights. If you feel the same, crack open a Don’t Be Mean To People saison from Ponysaurus Brewing and belt out the lyrics to “Born This Way.” The beer was initially brewed as a protest to the controversial House Bill 2 and raised money for LGBT groups, but it’s now being sold year-round.

And let’s not forget the commercials.

There surely will be some sort of Budweiser commercial. You can break out your favorite funky Brettanomyces beer here if the commercials involve the famous Clydesdale horses, since “brett” gives funky beers what brewers refer to as a horse blanket taste.

If the horses don’t make an appearance, instead drink a Thrilla In Vanilla from Smithfield’s Double Barley Brewing. The dark porter is the antithesis of domestic light beers. Plus it has a sports pun for a name.

At some point, the second half will start.

If Tom Brady is dominating, you need some beer from Big Boss Brewing. I recommend the Blanco Diablo wit ale in honor of how Brady tortures defense. Plus it’s a bit – ahem – deflated, at less than 5 percent ABV and not much in the way of hops.

If the Patriots are losing to the Falcons, however, you’ll want to grab a Hoppy Ki Yay from Lonerider Brewing Co. – because they’ll probably only be in that position if quarterback Matt Ryan has been doing his best gunslinger impression.

And whatever you do, just hope it doesn’t go into overtime. By that point, you’ll probably be out of beer.

Doran: 919-836-2858; Twitter: @will_doran

Upcoming beer events

▪ Saturday Feb. 4: Flying Saucer in Raleigh is hosting “Barleywine & Swine,” which will feature barbecue and flights of different barleywine beers. It’s 3 to 10 p.m. at 328 W. Morgan St.

▪ Saturday Feb. 4: If barbecue isn’t your thing, head to The Glass Jug at 5410 N.C. 55 in Durham. From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. they’re having a Girl Scout cookies and beer pairing. Cost is $13 per flight.

▪ Sunday Feb 5: There are a million different Super Bowl watch parties at breweries around the state. If you didn’t like my suggestions, you can find a list of all the parties at