02/01/2013 10:04 am ET Updated Apr 02, 2013

Best Super Bowl Chicken Wings And Beers


By Ray Isle, Executive Wine Editor, Food & Wine

My secret theory about why chicken wings and football go so well together can be demonstrated by a very simple experiment. First, go to the store and buy a chicken. Next, remove its wings. Next, truss its little feet together. Now paint it brown. What does it look like? Exactly: a football. Chickens are footballs, except for the wings. And that's why when we watch football, we eat chicken wings.

Slideshow: Best Chicken Wings in the U.S.

Some people might question the logic of the above theory, but they, of course, have not been drinking enough beer. Because that is the other thing that goes perfectly with chicken wings: beer, and enough of it.

Of course, it's perfectly simple to order up a bunch of standard-issue buffalo wings, open a Bud and have a fine ol' time watching big people with a ball smash each other silly. But given that I work at a place where we seem to be testing a new wing recipe every single day--everything from classic buffalo wings to Vietnamese-fish-sauce-soaked wings (which, contrary to how they sound, taste great)--the one-note approach seems a little like a cop-out. Given the vast world of wings out there, here are a few more off-the-wall beer-pairing thoughts:

Classic Buffalo Wings
Classic lager beer: Brooklyn Lager

Really, Really Hot Wings
Crisp pilsner beer: Trumer Pils

Asian-Influenced Wings
Belgian tripel ale: Westmalle Tripel

Sweet, Sticky, BBQ-ish Wings
Lightly bitter English pale ale: Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale

Fruit-Glazed Wings
Fruit-infused beer: Harpoon UFO Raspberry Hefeweizen

More from Food & Wine:
More of America's Best Chicken Wings
Delicious Chicken Wing Recipes
Best Burgers in the U.S.
Best Pizza Places in the U.S.
America's Best Bars
Ultimate Super Bowl Recipes