No need to put down that bottle or can with these easy eats
Nobody rips into the after-game chow quite like a ravenous group of rec leaguers. Knife and fork? Forget it. Hands-on snacking with your fave brews is the best way to celebrate a match well played — or make the best of a salty loss. These one-handed snack ideas will help your team re-energize without ever having to put down their beers.
- IPA + Meaty Pizza Rolls
- Pale Ale + Warm Cheddar Cheese Dip
- Radler + Sweet-Salty Nut Clusters
- Lager + Banderillas
- Amber Ale + Party-Mix
- Porter + BBQ Chicken Drumsticks
- Wheat Beer + Spring Rolls with Chili-Lime Dip
- Brown Ale + Maple Peameal Silders
- Pilsner + Antojitos
Turn a ball of store-bought pizza dough into smaller balls, then stuff each one with meaty pizza fixings: pepperoni, sausage, bacon, hot peppers, cheese, sauce — all the good stuff. Pop them in a greased muffin tin and bake at 375˚ F until golden. Bring out the India pale ales (IPAs) to stand up to all that salty goodness with their slight fruitiness and classic bitter, hoppy notes.
You can’t drink warm cheddar cheese dip right out of the bowl (though you might be tempted to), so have plenty of crunchy carrots, celery, bell peppers and tortilla chips on hand for dipping. Malty, fruity pale ales with a hint of bitterness will make that sharp cheddar flavour stand out, keeping everyone dipping, sipping and satisfied.
These clusters are way more fun than a handful of mixed nuts. Beat an egg white until it’s foamy, and then mix in 4 cups of your favourite nuts, 1 cup of brown sugar and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Sprinkle with salt and bake at 375˚ F for about 15 minutes, until the sugar is melted and caramelized. Let cool before breaking up into tasty nuggets. Balance those toasty, sweet-salty nuts against the citrusy backdrop of your favourite radler.
They sound fancy, but banderillas are basically just a tasty pickle tray (with cheese!) on a stick. Load toothpicks up with sweet gherkins, cocktail onions, anchovy- or garlic-stuffed green olives, marinated artichokes and pepperoncini, along with cubes of mild Friulano or mozzarella cheese. These flavour bombs are the best with a simple, crisp, easy-drinking lager.
You can’t go wrong with a salty, mildly spiced party mix (as long as you work together as a team and eat all the pretzels). The brown sugar flavour of a full-bodied amber ale is just right for chasing a fun mix of crunchy goodies.
Leg drums beat wing drums any day! Wrap foil tightly around the drumstick joints (for easier handling later), and then marinate the meat for an hour in your fave classic chicken wing sauce: Buffalo, BBQ or honey mustard. Discard the marinade and grill up the drums (with the foil on), basting them with fresh wing sauce, until they’re cooked through. Dark, mild porters are roasty and chocolatey, so they’re great with smoky foods but won’t overpower any sauce, whether it’s sweet, mild or super spicy like your star player.
The beauty of store-bought spring rolls is you can cook up a bunch of different flavours at once. While they crisp up in the oven, toss together equal amounts of fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and water, and add a few shakes of red pepper flakes. This sweet-spicy-sour dipper plays well with an easygoing wheat beer.
Even a team at odds can bond over bacon. Cut a slab of peameal or back bacon into thick slices and grill them, brushing with a little maple syrup until cooked through. Sandwich the slices in fluffy slider buns (mustard is optional, but recommended). Brown ale is your friend here, thanks to its caramel and chocolate notes, which match with the maple bacon to create Canadian flavour heaven.
A popular bar snack, antojitos — a fancy name for super-easy tortilla pinwheels—are so quick to make. Spread a tortilla with cream cheese, spoon your favourite jarred salsa over top, roll and cut into rounds. Serve them with a crisp, light-tasting pilsner, which can take the heat off even suicide-level salsa.