Try These NBA Craft Beer Collaborations

The popularity of craft brewing has earned the industry some prominent new fans, including NBA teams, players and affiliates who have partnered with local breweries to produce some official (and not-so-official) beer collaborations. Here are the rare basketball brews you need to try right now. 

Tapping soon: All For One Session IPA by The Brew Kettle

The Cavaliers partnered with Cleveland’s The Brew Kettle to create this citrusy team-branded beer. True to its name, it will feature an easy-drinking 4.75 per cent alcohol by volume at a forgiving 35 IBUs. When the beer launches on Mar. 25, it will become available at the Quicken Loans Arena as well as across Ohio on draft and in bottles.

Timed release: King Gose Home by Hoppin’ Frog Brewery

Made in honour of LeBron James’ bittersweet return to Ohio, this Gose-style beer is made with sea salt, coriander and oats. It also bears a slight kick thanks to a six per cent alcohol by volume. It’s available only in Ohio on draft and in 22-ounce bottles. It’s worth noting that LeBron’s flight to Miami in 2010 inspired two other beers—Quitness, a bitter dry-hopped IPA by Great Lakes Brewing Company, and Witless, a 5.3 per cent alcohol by volume Belgian-style wheat beer from Buckeye Brewing. Their names poke fun at Nike and James’ “We Are All Witnesses” campaign.

Limited edition: Schonz Red Session Ale by Pyramid Breweries

Every self-respecting Portland Trail Blazers fan knows Bill Schonely, the legendary play-by-play announcer for whom this ale is named. Pyramid Breweries partnered with the Trail Blazers to release this limited-edition beer across Oregon and Washington State. It’s a sessionable brew thanks to a combination of sweet specialty malts, fruity hops and a manageable 4.8 per cent alcohol by volume.

Locals only: Red Claws Ale by Gritty McDuff’s Brewing Company

Although the Boston Celtics don’t have their own beer, their D-League affiliates in Maine, the Red Claws, do. The sessionable and smooth red amber ale is the first beer in NBA history to be named for an NBA-affiliated team and sold outside an NBA-affiliated area. It’s sold in 12-ounce bottles and is also available at Gritty McDuff’s famous brewpub in the Pine Tree State.

The one-off: 48-Minute IPA by Dogfish Head Brewery

Matt Bonner of the San Antonio Spurs teamed up with Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware to create this craft beer for a charity event during All-Star Weekend. During its brewing process, hops were continuously added to the batch for the length of a regulation basketball game—48 minutes—to instill it with flavour. The recipe also pays homage to Bonner’s home state of New Hampshire with white birch chips tossed in. Sadly, this beer was only available at the Rock On Foundation event. The brewery’s 60 Minute IPA, available year-round, offers a similar hoppy bite.
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