On the heels of Backheel.com's wildly popular post that matched each MLS team with a local craft brewery as part of a league-wide jersey sponsorship effort, Center Line Soccer wants to take it a step further for the San Jose Earthquakes. After all, the Quakes are one of a handful of teams that still do not have a jersey sponsor -- a significant issue given the unrealized revenue it would provide -- and fans are thirsty for jersey representation.
Backheel chose Petaluma's own Lagunitas Brewery, an excellent choice as the logo pairs nicely with the Quakes uniform and the company is also in the midst of a growth stage in its business that will launch it into the national consciousness (and eventual unconsciousness). Known widely for its signature IPA, Lagunitas has a plethora of other offerings that can be found at quality retailers around the Bay and at the brewery's must-visit taproom in Petaluma.
The Earthquakes could do a lot worse than going with Lagunitas, so the question really is: Could the Quakes do even better? Sticking with the craft brewery category for this particular sponsorship opportunity -- team president Dave Kaval has repeatedly stated that he targets sponsors in specific business categories, like communications giant Avaya as the stadium's naming sponsor -- what other local breweries should be considered?
Well, to help you make that decision, Center Line Soccer, with help from Quakes Nation, present the following mock-ups of the Earthquakes jersey, each complete with the logo of a well-known craft brewery.
Russian River Brewing Company
Located in Santa Rosa, Russian River Brewing Company is famous for its award-winning Pliny the Elder double IPA -- always drink fresh. RRBC is infamous for the hours-long lines that form outside the taproom/restaurant in early February to get a taste of its Pliny the Younger IPA with even more hoppiness. Warning: One taste of the Elder and you risk ruining your palate for all other West Coast-style IPAs -- "That tastes pretty good, but it's no Pliny!"
Bear Republic Brewing Company
With two locations to serve you, one in Healdsburg and one in Cloverdale, Bear Republic Brewing Company is the perfect destination for lunch, dinner, snacks -- you name it -- while visiting the wine growing region of Sonoma County. From such favorites as Racer 5 and Red Rocket Ales, to the exquisitely sour barrel-aged Tartares, you can't go wrong with the Bear. Keep an eye open at your local specialty beer store too for such seasonal favorites as Racer X, Apex, and Cafe Racer 15. You'll "Bear"-ly be able to keep your hands off these brews.
North Coast Brewing Company
If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, head up to Fort Bragg and stop by the North Coast Brewing Company taproom. The bear is good, but the food might be even better. A pint of ACME California IPA will bring a smile to your face, and a tulip glass of PranQster Belgian style golden ale will take you on a European vacation. Enjoy an incredible meal at the restaurant and then a lovely hike through a nearby Mendocino redwood grove and you will have one less item to check off on your bucket list.
21st Amendment Brewery
If you are not a pint-glass connoisseur, preferring your brew straight from the can, then 21st Amendment Brewery is the choice for you. Back in Black IPA is a deep and rich addition to anyone's pregame tailgate cooler, and it pairs so nicely with Hell or High Watermelon wheat beer -- together a true Bay Area version of a Black-and-Tan. The 21st Amendment restaurant, two blocks away from AT&T Park in San Francisco, is the perfect destination for Sunday Brunch, yes we said Sunday Brunch. Trust us on this.
Making every other brewery in the Bay Area look like a Johnny-come-lately to the craft beer scene, Anchor Brewing Company has been delivering the goods since 1896. Located in San Francisco and once owned by the Maytag family -- famed appliance providers -- the Potrero Hill brewery is a must-stop destination for tourists (and beer lovers) interested in learning more about the history of brewing. Anchor's offering, especially its magnum-sized bottles of Christmas Ale, should be a staple of anyone's beer diet.
Drake's Brewing Company
Head east across the Bay Bridge and down 580, and you will find yourself on the doorstep of Drake's Brewing Company in San Leandro. The ultra-friendly purveyors of potent potables at Drake's will serve up beers from such a wide variety of styles that you may never want to leave the taproom. In stores are the always reliable Denogginizer IPA and many seasonal favorites. And be warned: The End is Beer! Drake's Hopocalypse IPA arrives early in the new year.
Gordon Biersch Brewing Company
Already a mainstay at Earthquakes game, Gordon Biersch Brewing Company has for decades been a go-to beer in the South Bay. Never trust a skinny brewer, they say, and GB stays true to that motto. Their Marzen will not disappoint, on tap or right from the bottle, and their new Golden Export is a great thirst-quencher on a hot San Jose summer day. These guys already love the Quakes, and to see their logo on the jersey seems the perfect fit.
What's your favorite?
So, wipe that drool off your chin and comment below on your favorite potential San Jose Earthquakes jersey sponsor (oh, yeah -- we almost forgot the reason for this article!). Don't see your favorite and have another brewery to nominate? Mention them below as well. Cheers!