NASCAR Sprint Cup: Likening Every Chase Driver to a Beer
Beer and racing—heck, pretty much all sporting events coupled with beer—marry well together.
It is like buffalo wings and blue cheese or hamburgers and fries. It is difficult to describe exactly why they go together so well, but the general consensus is that they just do.
This brings up the question: How do the drivers resemble certain beers/libations?
Actually, they do so quite well. All of the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers have attained a reputation or driving style that is closely akin to some great alcoholic beverages available on the market today.
Even Carl Edwards, the poster child of healthy living, is synonymous with at least one brew.
Here are their counterparts, in liquid form.
Bleacher Report Featured Columnists Adam Hirshfield and Luke Krmpotich contributed to this article.
Ryan Newman: New Belgium Ranger IPA
Ryan Newman is built like a soldier. He has a naturally husky build and also happens to be sponsored by the United States Army.
Being that Newman is the only Chase driver with a college degree, he could assume a position as an Army officer. That would only suffice if he were a Ranger officer.
Rangers are the United States' reverse fire brigade. Their job is to land on occupied airfields and blow them up, amongst other things. Ryan Newman has not accomplished his mission during the 2011 season, but he still remains Army Strong.
Denny Hamlin: Firestone 11
Denny Hamlin has been running as if he were using Firestone tires as opposed to the NASCAR approved Goodyear brand. Future seasons may prove different.
No matter, he is No. 11 and the alcohol percentage of this beer is 11. What else needs be said about a key member of Joe Gibbs Racing?
Jeff Gordon: Double Rainbow Ale
There are actually four different breweries that produce a beverage dubbed "Double Rainbow." All are strong, meaning they have a high alcohol content. One of the "rainbows" lists 14 percent alcohol by volume!
Whatever your favorite rainbow is, this is the beer for the "Rainbow Warrior." Although he rarely drives this kind of paint scheme currently, if at all, Jeff Gordon will always be indelibly linked to the colors pictured and the Dupont logo.
Of the four Double Rainbows, my suggestion, if you can find it, is the one brewed by Iron Horse Brewey in Ellensburg, Washington.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Budweiser
He does not drive the No. 8 anymore, but it is hard to separate Dale Earnhardt Jr. from Budweiser.
It is the All-American beer. He is the All-American driver. There is nothing more to say on this subject.
Kurt Busch: Busch
Well, his last name is literally the same as a common budget pilsner. It is great for road trips!
I could try to argue some other brew based on some other logic, but the essence of the man is in his name. Head for the mountains of Busch.
Jimmie Johnson: Stone Ruination IPA
The bottle of a single Stone Ruination IPA reads: "So called because of the immediate ruinous effect on your palate. The moment after the first swallow, all other...items suddenly become substantially more bland than they were just seconds before."
Jimmie Johnson has ruined hopes and dreams for the past five years. He may not ruin all of that for a sixth straight year, but JJ has paved his own boulevard of broken NASCAR drivers' dreams.
As an aside, Stone Ruination IPA is an awesome beer. Try one. It is as awesome as Jimmie Johnson himself. I do not exaggerate. This beer is supremely awesome.
Kyle Busch: Shrub Saison/Farmhouse Ale
He has an older brother in the Sprint Cup Series named Busch. As the younger version of the Busch clan, they call him "Shrub." Pretty clever.
There is a beer actually named after him. It's called Shrub. Here are one reviewer's notes:
"Pours a bright brassy gold, slightly hazed, and is crowned with a small wisp of bubbles. The nose is fairly potent..."
This describes both Kyle Busch's usual bright gold No.18 Toyota M&Ms Camry, as well as his own fairly prominent nose.
I do believe that, one day, Kyle Busch will be crowned, not merely in a wisp of bubbles, but as a NASCAR Sprint Cup champion.
Kevin Harvick: Flying Dog "Double Dog Double Pale Ale"
Kevin Harvick is sponsored by Budweiser. But his racing style just does not quite fit that beer personality.
Harvick is a sniper. He waits and lurks until the time is right to pounce.
Flying Dog "Double Dog" is much the same way. It is 11 percent alcohol by volume, but it does not taste like that at all.
Personal story: I finished a softball game amidst the intense heat of a Georgia summer. All I wanted when I got home was a cold beer to go along with the Philadelphia Phillies game that was being broadcast on ESPN.
I had a four-pack of Flying Dog "Double Dog" in the refrigerator. I drank the first one thirstily. Unencumbered, I proceeded to polish off Nos. 2, 3 and 4 without a hitch.
Wow! In the morning, I had a nasty hangover that literally "Kevin Harvicked" me. This beer is dangerous...it tastes too good for such a high alcohol content. Where did he (it) come from?
Tony Stewart: Highland Brewing Kashmir IPA
The caption on the bottle reads that this beer needs to be sipped with a "stiff upper lip."
Tony Stewart has probably the most rigid of upper lips out of anyone on the NASCAR circuit.
Brad Keselowski: Miller Lite
The car and the fire suit say it all. Anyone who steps behind the wheel of the "Blue Deuce" is immediately associated with Miller Lite. It is almost akin to a basketball player wearing Michael Jordan's hallowed No. 23.
Last year, it would have been Kurt Busch. In 2011, that role has shifted to "Bad" Brad Keselowski.
Matt Kenseth: Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat
Matt Kenseth's primary sponsor is a hard liquor. However, Crown Royal has not yet renewed its sponsorship deal with Roush Fenway Racing for 2012.
No matter, as Kenseth seems more like a beer guy anyway.
Leinenkugel and Kenseth go hand in hand. Leinenkugel will never blow you away. It is not the beer to drink for a transcendent experience. It will, however, deliver a cold and crisp satisfaction every time you pour it down your gullet.
Kenseth and Leinenkugel are somewhat linked, as both call the state of Wisconsin home.
Carl Edwards: Woodchuck Cider
Carl Edwards, unlike his teammate Matt Kenseth, does not seem like a beer guy at all. His abs are way too chiseled.
He might, on the other hand, take time out to enjoy a crisp Woodchuck hard cider.
However, he would probably only have one—two at most.
One Woodchuck hard cider packs in 200 calories per bottle. After the first, he would be thinking about hitting the treadmill. Two could put him over the edge and break out into a full-scale marathon run to burn off the excess carbohydrates.