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Craft Beer Pairings for the 2016 NBA Playoffs

Selections for every team in the first round + predictions.

 

 


WESTERN CONFERENCE


1. Golden State Warriors (73-9) – Speakeasy Ales & Lagers Untouchable
vs.
8. Houston Rockets (41-41) – Rogue Beard Beer

A Western Conference Finals rematch in the first round? Yes please! The only difference is this time, the Rockets are an 8-seed, barely scraping into the playoffs on the last day of the regular season, and the Warriors are an improved version of the team that clobbered the Rockets four games to one last year. So… there’s that.

In other news, the Warriors broke the 95-96 Chicago Bulls record for most wins in a season (73) and were basically untouchable, much like Bay Area brewery Speakeasy Ales & Lagers’ terrific Double IPA offering. The Warriors as a team are – truly – poetry in motion, and the Rockets have a goofy dude with a poofy beard. Seriously though, I have much love for Harden (represented here by Rogue’s funky and wacky Beard Beer, brewed with yeast from the beard of Rogue’s founder).

PREDICTION: Warriors in 4


2. San Antonio Spurs (67-15) – Founders Curmudgeon Old Ale
vs.
7. Memphis Grizzlies (42-40) – Tallgrass The Grizz

Despite Kawhi Leonard’s continued maturation into of the best players in the league, the splashy signing of Lamarcus Aldridge over the summer, and the almost unbelievable home record of 40-1 they accrued during the regular season, the Spurs still have the unofficial reputation as the most boring team in basketball. They’re a consistent playoff contender with team-oriented play dictated by their patently surly head coach, Gregg Popovich, with an almost robotic efficiency. So why not Surly? Because he bears a striking resemblance in both appearance and character to Founders’ own Old Curmudgeon.

Speaking of bears, the Grizzlies and their stable of veterans (Zach Randolph, Vince Carter, Matt Barnes) certainly bear the burden of doubt in this matchup, losing 10 of their last 11 to the Spurs, but despite the tall odds, you never know when you might be mauled by a Grizz, both in bear form and Kansas-based brewery Tallgrass’ Double IPA form.

PREDICTION: Spurs in 4


3. Oklahoma City Thunder (55-27) – Roughtail Hoptometrist
vs.
6. Dallas Mavericks (42-40) – Union Old Pro

In what might be the last playoffs that Kevin Durant and Russel Westbrook suit up together as members of the Oklahoma City Thunder, their first-round matchup sees the mad scientist of triple-doubles up against Dirk Nowitzki, one of the greatest shooters to ever play the game. Local Oklahoma brewery Roughtail’s Hoptometrist would suit Westbrook’s frenzied pace with its impressive hop bill and wild hoppiness, and the spritzy tartness of Union Craft Brewing’s Old Pro Gose would match up nicely with Dirk – the grizzled, salty German talisman (and consummate professional) for the Mavs.

PREDICTION: Thunder in 4


4. Los Angeles Clippers (53-29) – Bell’s Hopslam
vs.
5. Portland Trail Blazers (44-38) – Worthy Lights Out Stout

It’s Lob City vs. Rip City in this West Coast showdown. The Clippers have become LA’s chosen team, and with good reason. A bunch of talented players (and lots of off-court headlines), have put Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan in the spotlight and ready to do some damage this postseason. Bell’s hefty Double IPA, Hopslam, perfectly represents this team’s penchant for pummeling the rim with dunk after dunk after dunk.

Before the Clips can move on though, Dame has something to say about that. In the nation’s best craft beer city, the Trail Blazers were left for dead during the offseason after LaMarcus Aldridge skipped town for points south. Portland’s superstar Point Guarde Damian Lillard had other plans, however. Draining buckets at an alarming rate, Lillard and (the likely Most Improved Player) C.J. McCollum shot the lights out of Rip City (much like Worthy Brewing’s delectable and complex Imperial Coffee Stout) and torched opponents on the way to the 5-seed.

PREDICTION: Clippers in 5


Honorable Mention (Worst Record Game)


Los Angeles Lakers (17-65) – Good People Snake Handler
vs.
Philadelphia 76ers (10-72) – Smuttynose Rocky Road

The Black Mamba had a fitting exit to a legendary career, racking up a season-high sixty points against the Jazz, but as stalwart announcer Hubie Brown declared, Kobe’s last game acted as “the deodorant” for the worst Lakers season in history. The young team’s year was highlighted by in-fighting and a lack of chemistry, but even they managed to best the record of the abominably abysmal 76ers, who were one game away from tying the worst NBA record of all time, also set by the 76ers in the 72-73 season. It’s tough to say who would win, as the Lakers accounted for 10 percent of the Sixers’ wins, but we’ll give it to team with the third all-time leading scorer. The teams have no reflection on the quality of the beers, however, which both scored much higher than either team. 


Thanks for reading and feel free to share on any social media platforms you frequent with the button above. Cheers, and may your shot always find the bottom of the net.

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Comments

billzav's picture
Greetings, Unknown Brewing is based out of Charlotte not Toronto. Green Man is based in Asheville. A better alternative would be Unknown Brewing Vehopciraptor for the Charlotte Hornets and Bellwoods Brewery Witchshark Imperial IPA for the Toronto Raptors. Cheers, Bill Z.
billzav's picture
Ah, I see you want by name and not necessarily NBA city that brewery is based out of. My bad. Cheers, Bill Z.

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Comments

billzav's picture
Greetings, Unknown Brewing is based out of Charlotte not Toronto. Green Man is based in Asheville. A better alternative would be Unknown Brewing Vehopciraptor for the Charlotte Hornets and Bellwoods Brewery Witchshark Imperial IPA for the Toronto Raptors. Cheers, Bill Z.
billzav's picture
Ah, I see you want by name and not necessarily NBA city that brewery is based out of. My bad. Cheers, Bill Z.

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