Dave Hoops column: What beers to pair with Olympic events (2024)

Greetings, constant readers. Today we are going to have some fun pairing one of the biggest sporting events in the world with the most enjoyed alcoholic beverage in the world.

That’s right — let's pair some of my favorite events at the 2024 Paris Olympics with beer styles that are a good fit. Disclaimer: Any beer pairs well if you like it with any event you may be enjoying.

Dave Hoops column: What beers to pair with Olympic events (1)

Clint Austin / Duluth Media Group


There is something uniquely historic about bow and arrows, really an ancient skill and sport. The accuracy, the thrill of a bull’s-eye.

Pairing: English Brown ale, a low-alcohol British ale brings to mind Robin Hood and Friar Tuck the brewer.



The USA tends to dominate in this sport from the days on the dream team on as professionals from many countries are now allowed to play for their home countries.

Pairing: IPA, the most-enjoyed hoppy ale in the U.S., goes great with the excitement of international hoops.


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Beach volleyball

I happen to love the beach and the sun and sand of beach volleyball fit this state of mind.

Pairing: Mexican-style lager's slightly citrus notes make it an easy-drinking summer in a glass.


An amazing teamwork sport to watch with the smooth and quick gliding of the skiff on the glassy water.

Pairing: Irish stout, a filling, full-bodied, lower-alcohol beer, great with some protein to refresh your energy.


A fun sport to watch on a Saturday while semi-napping. The course in Paris is beautiful and much like the Ryder Cup, the players are playing for country and stakes are high.


Pairing: American light lager, what many of us drink in the clubhouse after a round, so stick with what works.


Historically an outsider’s sport that now has many household names competing, it's just a fun sport to watch.

Pairing: Session IPA, a lower-ABV, lighter version of IPA with hops featuring fruit and grassy notes.

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Hugely popular during games with so many compelling stories. I am awed by what these athletes can do in the water.

Pairing: Belgian wit beer, a light and spicy thirst quencher.


One of my favorite Olympic sports. Surfing brings the art of riding a wave to our screens with a whole subset audience that loves the “catch-a-wave” theme.

Pairing: Fruit beer, the beer for folks who don’t love beer. Raspberry wheat is a great choice.



The Tour de France will be winding down and the world’s greatest athletes will compete in mountain, road and track races. Love it.

Pairing: Oatmeal stout, a meal in a glass to enjoy watching these athletes burn more calories than most of us could even eat in a day.


The French Open was just played on Roland-Garros and we will be treated to a fifth major right after Wimbledon. This will be great tennis with the Olympic medal, a huge goal for most pro tennis players.

Pairing: Shandy, a 50/50 mix of lemonade with light lager. Refreshing and perfect for warm summer days.


A somewhat death-defying sport that you can’t not watch. Very must-see TV.

Pairing: English porter, a dark, chocolaty sipper to contemplate the skill and guts this sport takes.


So fast, so skilled, they slug away at dizzying speed. As an amateur player, I can only gape at the heights these players reach.


Pairing: Cream ale, a blend of light ale with light lager. A perfect marriage, a light beer with true flavor.

Track and field

My favorite. I was a track athlete as a younger man and still a runner, so I love everything about these events. The field events, the sprints, the incredible 1500-meter times. Last summer, the world championships were televised from Budapest for a full two weeks. You could gun an entire Olympics with just track and field events.

Pairing: No surprise here. One of my favorites, pale ale, paired with my favorite sport.

The Paris Olympics takes place July 26 through Aug. 11. I hope those of you who love the world getting together to compete in these games enjoy them. I also hope I’ve given you some fun beers to try out with family and friends while watching.

Happy summer. Cheers!

Dave Hoops, who lives and works in Duluth, is a veteran brewer and beer judge. Have a beer-related question for Dave? Email him at dave@hoopsbrewing.com or the News Tribune at lifestyle@duluthnews.com.

more by dave hoops

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By Dave Hoops

Dave Hoops lives and works in Duluth and is a veteran brewer and beer judge.

Dave Hoops column: What beers to pair with Olympic events (2024)


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