Alden Gonzalez ESPN Staff Writer

Football and beer -- what's more uniting than that?

Pairing a refreshing, easy-drinking beer and an intense, star-laden football game is something all of us -- OK, a great many of us -- can get behind. And so, on the day our nation celebrates its independence, we thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the best tribute beers throughout the NFL.

Undefeated Saison
Tribute to: 1972 Miami Dolphins (14-0)
Beer style: Saison

Why this beer recipe was chosen: Co-founder Ryan Sentz is a big Dolphins fan who grew up knowing all about the tradition of that undefeated '72 team, with some of those former Dolphins celebrating with champagne after their unique place in history is secured each season. Brewing a tribute to that '72 team was a way for Sentz to incorporate beer with his love for the Dolphins. He wanted his recipe to mimic champagne but still be a beer, so he settled on a hybrid saison -- a super dry, almost wine-like beer.

Key ingredients: Funky Buddha uses Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand, which are very citrusy. They also brew the beer with pinot grigio and chardonnay juices and age it in wine barrels to give it more characteristics of wine. They then bottle it with champagne yeast. Pilsner and Munich malts are also used.

When it's brewed: Funky Buddha doesn't put the beer into regular distribution. They don't release a batch until after the last NFL team loses each season. They've been brewing this beer for six years, and the earliest that mark has been reached since the beer launched was Week 4, so the brewery has to have it ready by the third or fourth week of the season. They send a bottle to the coach of the team who beat the last remaining undefeated team. Last year, New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton got a bottle after defeating the Los Angeles Rams.

Coaches and players who have signed bottles: Don Shula, Dan Marino, Drew Brees, Dan Quinn, Doug Pederson, Ryan Tannehill, Payton

July 9th, 2019

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