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2015 NCAA Lacrosse Tournament: Your Semifinal Saturday Beer Selections


Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

We're not condoning overconsumption. We're condoning appreciating fine American brewing. Don't be an idiot, especially if you're going to get in a car and pilot it after drinking.

There's no reason to put Bud Light in your body when there are fine American beers that snap Bud Light's neck without an ounce of mercy. With a weekend as big as the one that college lacrosse is about to feature, your beer consumption should match the quality of play on the field. Consequently, I've offered a dozen beer recommendations for Semifinal Saturday, providing three options for each region represented at the Final Four (I've allocated the Midwest to Notre Dame mostly because Indiana is not a real place that exists). Drink the regions and the seasons, people.

Local Options

Much of Pennsylvania's craft profile is localized without Philadelphia proper, but the city has a fairly well established local brewing scene. Interestingly, the beers that are coming out of Philadelphia aren't as angry as D Battery Night at Veterans Stadium, and that's a good thing.

Brawler Pugilist Style Ale -- Yards Brewing Company
Beer Advocate Rating: 83
ABV: 4.20%
A solid year-round option from arguably the strongest brewery in Philadelphia. Toasted malts and hopped sensibly, the Brawler Pugilist Style Ale is a solid session-type ale that will get your motor going. A solid complement to salty snacking.

Fleur De Lehigh -- Philadelphia Brewing Company
Beer Advocate Rating: 77
ABV: 4.50%
It's not the most advanced spring seasonal and is a secondary option behind Ithaca Brewing Company's Flower Power, the Fluer De Lehigh is a decent amber with heavy notes of lemongrass and blooms. It's spiced and isn't fearful of that, which could turn off some palettes. Essentially a short-stick midfielder on a kamikaze run.

Dreamin' Double IPA -- Manayunk Brewing Company
Beer Advocate Rating: 85
ABV: 8.50%
It's marketed as a punch-you-in-the-face west coast IPA, but despite its ABV rating, it's not as aggressive as some of the insanity coming off of the Left Coast. Definite citrus taste on the nose and extremely drinkable, even for anti-IPA knuckleheads.


Denver isn't exactly Ground Zero for craft, but Colorado is creating a ton of amazing beers. Coors still dominates the perception of Colorado brewing (the company did invent a beer train that defies space and time), but outfits like Great Divide, New Belgium, Breckenridge, and Oskar Blues (among others) are establishing a new way to enjoy beer in the Rockies.

Yeti Imperial Stout -- Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer Advocate Rating: 94
ABV: 9.50%
You're not stocking your entire cooler with this beauty, but it should find a place at the table. A powerful, perfect stout that's big, malty, and rich with caramel flavors. It's dense, but so are your friends that want to drink Natty Boh instead.

Milk Stout Nitro -- Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer Advocate Rating: 93
ABV: 6.00%
It almost feels like the Milk Stout Nitro is a macro given its wide availability, but that doesn't pull back on the smoothness that the Milk Stout Nitro runs with. It isn't overly complicated, making it a worthy second stout option from the Centennial State.

G'Knight Imperial Red Ale -- Oskar Blues Brewery
Beer Advocate Rating: 92
ABV: 8.70%
The can looks like something that was made in some jerk's garage. What's inside the can is a Thelonious Monk opus.

Notre Dame

Chicago is no longer Old Style and regret. Chicago is ripe with breweries with over four dozen calling the town home. The Midwest isn't a total wasteland of bad beer thanks to the region's cultural center.

Two Hearted Ale -- Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer Advocate Rating: 95
ABV: 7.00%
I'm your private dancer, a dancer for money,
I'll do what you want me to do.
I'm your private dancer, a dancer for money,
And any old music will do.

Matilda -- Goose Island Beer Company
Beer Advocate Rating: 90
ABV: 7.00%
InBev's purchase of Goose Island has been a glowing transaction of misery in a lot of ways, but Goose Island is still pumping out some amazing beers without the ruinous touch of the world's largest garbage dump. The Matilda is one of the Goose Island's most decorated beers and the pale ale deserves its praise.

Sidekick Extra Pale Ale -- Two Brothers Brewing Company
Beer Advocate Rating: 88
ABV: 5.10%
An American pale ale that won't sap you dry. Very light color and aroma and not too bitter. Balanced well, but it doesn't have a ton of depth.

Maryland // Johns Hopkins

Natty Boh is a fancy sewage treatment facility.

Bad Moon Porter -- DuClaw Brewing Company
Beer Advocate Rating: 85
ABV: 5.10%
I have a difficult relationship with DuClaw's Bad Moon Porter, but it's still a solid move for an American porter. It's robust and dark, not unlike your first college roommate.

Double Dog Double IPA -- Flying Dog Brewery
Beer Advocate Rating: 88
ABV: 11.50%
This is one of the most bitching double IPA's I've ever had. Its IBU is high but the bitterness is well hidden. This beer does not mess around, just like Maryland's defense.

Small Craft Warning -- Heavy Seas Beer
Beer Advocate Rating: 84
ABV: 7.00%
An imperial pilsner with potential. The brewery suggests pairing it with shortbread cookies, and anything that requires eating cookies to make things better is okay in my book.