If any of you follow me on Twitter, you probably see some Untappd badges from time to time. Alas, I am a responsible fan of craft beer. Anyway, that leads us to today’s post: if every Mountain West team was a type of beer, just what type would they be? For some comparisons, I asked my buddy and fellow beer enthusiast Casey over at OBNUG for some assistance. He was happy to oblige.
We did these types of posts a few times last season, comparing the teams in the Mountain West to different things. Here’s the links to some of them if you care to revisit them. Teams as their Power 5 counterparts, and MWC Grades/What Type of College Student is Every Team?
They run your grandfather’s offense, so they are your grandfather’s beer. A good pilsner is hard to find but when you do, it’s really good.
Air Force is predictable. You know what’s coming and sometimes it’s freshening and hits the spot. Other times, it’s blah and easily overshadowed by other beers.
Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout
They release a new version or variation every single year. Some have vanilla, maple, or chocolate. They are always good, but some are better than others.
That’s Boise State. You know they are going to be good, it’s just a question of how good they will actually be each season. “Average good” of 9-10 wins or especially good, going to a big-time bowl game?
There are a lot of good pale ales out there. There are a lot of average or below pale ales out there. It’s a broad category to be sure, and there’s so much room for variance beer to beer. If nothing else, an average pale ale is a pleasant boost in taste for the macro beer drinkers and there will be at least one in every bar or restaurant for craft beer drinkers.
Has any team been more of a “stand-out” middle of the road team than the Rams? In the past six seasons, besides from one outlier in either direction, they’ve had seven or eight wins in every other season. There are a lot of teams that would take that every year, so they are better than many teams but they’ve never risen to the top of the MWC either. Still if they are on, they are usually exciting enough to watch.
IPAs (or Indian Pale Ales for those who don’t know) are classic and popular. They are a staple at every brewery and for those new to craft beer, that’s often what they associate craft beer being.
The Bulldogs are the new, popular, and good team in the Mountain West. They don’t appear to be going out of style anytime soon and they are versatile enough be either a running, passing, or defensive team depending on the season.
Sour beers are tart and fruitful. No two sours are alike who you really don’t exactly know what you’ll be getting when you order one. They’re light and fun, but drinking too many in a row can be a little too much. A bit gimmicky, but when it works, there’s no denying it.
The Rainbow Warriors and their fun, up-tempo offense keeps you on your toes. You never know what you’ll be getting going into the game. One week they look unstoppable and the next week, they can be in total disarray. A bit gimmicky, but when it works, there’s no denying it. A very unique style of play.
India Pale Lager
IPLs are, as you might assume by the name, a more hoppy version of a lager. It still finishes like a lager but has the various hop flavors that are vastly popular in today’s market. IPA lovers can handle these from time to time but they aren’t as widely favored. Still, if you are getting into beers and like drinks with a good amount of taste, this may be one to check out.
Likewise, Nevada is a lighter but still exciting version of offense. They run the air-raid, made famous at Washington State. While not quite as efficient yet, it’s still provides a fun and up-tempo scheme in line with the popular spread concepts in today’s college game. When it works right, it’s made for highlight reels to be enjoyed by all.
Barley Wine is kind of the biggest outlier in the world of beer. Many of the biggest beer connoisseurs don’t drink it or sometimes don’t even know what it is. It has a strong taste that is usually fruity and always strong in taste and high in alcohol. Usually an afterthought in the beer world however, as few drink it consistently.
The Lobos are an outlier and often an afterthought in the world of college football. Many college football fans, and many of their own fans would struggle to define their style these days. They aren’t a true triple-option team anymore, but still break it out sometime. Their roster is unpredictable year to year due to so many JUCO players coming in. Even if you cheer for them, they are an acquired taste.
San Diego State
Porters and stouts are very similar, but porters came first. They have a long history, a tried and true flavor, malted barley which makes it darker in color. Fun fact: the name porter is said to have come from the style being popular with street and river porters, who carried objects for others.
If there is one team in the Mountain West that is built on and prides itself on sticking to their traditional style of play, it’s the Aztecs. Even with formation changes, coming this season, they believe in the run as much as possible. And they don’t deviate much from their 3-3-5 defense either. Coincidently, they have something in common with those English porters, as they (running backs) carry objects (footballs) for others.
San Jose State
These are the macro, massed-produced beers like Bud Light, Coors Light, or Busch Light. Technically they are beers, but they barely qualify, and true beer fans don’t drink them.
Unfortunately, this describes the Spartans pretty well. They are a D1 football program, but may not look like it from week to week. People who like they really like them, but general college football fans likely wouldn’t be caught watching them on tv.
Brown ales are a bit odd in that they aren’t hoppy enough for hop heads and not malty enough for the stout/porter lovers. Not to say they don’t have a fanbase, but it doesn’t cast a wide net.
The Rebels likewise are often stuck in the middle. Certainly not in the top tier or two of the conference and most season they win enough games to distance themselves from the bottom dwellers of the conference.
This one is apparently not a set style of beer, but more of the time of year they are made. Still, they are usually lagers, more malty in flavor, and lots of people want to drink them when it’s that time of year again. It’s lighter in color but higher in alcohol percentage and overall is a unique beer.
The Aggies embody the spirit of an Oktoberfest. They are seasonal in their own right. Utah State hasn’t been good year in and year out. Recently, they have one great season every few years, followed by some mediocre or poor years. However, when they are good, they capture everyone’s attention, both in the conference and a bit in the national scene. When they are having an up year, they sneak up on people with their talent level, but when they are down, they don’t often cross your mind.
Bocks aren’t the best or worst beer out there. It’s a German style lager and has a strong following in the craft beer world, with some breweries specializing in mainly those beers. Though there are a few variants, it is characterized by a strong malt backbone, making it more brown in color as well as a sweeter type of taste (as opposed to bitter).
What comes to mind when you think of the Cowboys? Strong in the trenches, a power run game, and a few star players surrounded by the rest of the team committed to their roles. Wyoming’s core traits may not be flashy, but it’s effective. They stick to what works and don’t play outside of themselves, making them consistent year in and year out.
Your turn: Which ones did we nail and which ones did we miss completely? Don’t like beer or don’t understand any of this? Let us know in the comment section.