Super Bowl Food and Beer Ideas Spread for Panthers Fans

By Fred Thompson and Ann Fitten Glenn for Edible Piedmont

Editor’s Note: We asked Edible Piedmont Publisher Fred Thompson to share the North Carolina fare he’ll be making on Super Bowl Sunday in honor of the Carolina Panthers. To make an incredible Southern lineup even better, author and craft beer expert Anne Fitten Glenn reveals the best local brews to pair each dish with, plus more widely available beers outside Carolina.

North Carolinians love to eat and party, as do all good Southerners. Add some football and we are in heaven. Here’s a collection of “Dixie Tapas” that will centerpiece Edible Piedmont’s Super Bowl party. Add some local beer and we’re a happy bunch. 

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Fred Thompson is the owner and publisher of Edible Piedmont. An accomplished food and travel writer focused on cooking locally in North Carolina, he is the author of numerous cookbooks including Fred Thompson’s Southern Sides and Barbecue Nation: 350 Hot-off-the-Grill.

Anne Fitten Glenn, author of Asheville Beer: An Intoxicating Guide to Mountain Brewing and 18-year North Carolina resident, is ready to cheer on the Carolina Panthers during Superbowl 50 while swilling lots of North Carolina craft beers and eating Southern-inspired treats.

Pickled shrimp is a classic North Carolina party treat. Get in the habit of pickling shrimp for entertaining. Sometimes we add a little sliced fennel to the mix. Make these ahead-they keep for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.

(Photo: Fred Thompson / Styling: Kyle Wilkerson)

This crisp Bohemian Pilsner pairs beautifully with tangy pickled shrimp. The slightly spicy, earthy Torch Pilsner and these lemony marinated sea creatures make the perfect first quarter team.

(Photo: Foothills Brewing)

Edible Piedmont’s Executive Chef, Kyle Wilkerson, is the mind behind this tasty addition to a Super Bowl party. Shiitake mushroom farming has its roots in North Carolina. A touch of salty country ham and shiitake mushrooms adds deep flavor to this earthy, creamy Southern spread. 

This flavorful stout is an ideal companion to the spicy sweet hot pepper jelly and the salty crunch of the Crostini in this appetizer. Brewing with lactose (milk sugar) gives this beer a full body that balances a subtle sweetness with this creamy black-eyed pea spread.

(Photo: Fred Thompson / Styling: Kyle Wilkerson)

Don’t you love this play on words? Mindy Ballou Fitzpatrick, the leader in promoting local and sustainable foods along North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, is the brains behind this exceptional football party dip.

Each batch of this crisp, savory lager from Durham’s Fullsteam Brewery is brewed with 200 pounds of North Carolina sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes and collards go together like, well, Cam Newton and first downs. The beer’s earthy sweetness complements the slight bitterness of the collards and the blue cheese tang of this Southern-inspired dip.

(Photo: Fred Thompson / Styling: Kyle Wilkerson)

There is simply nothing more North Carolina than this recipe. The injection keeps the “Q incredibly moist, and you may not even need sauce. We’re not going to get into the “East vs “Lexington” debate on sauce. This barbecue works with both. Usually the first North Carolina BBQ sauce you tasted is your favorite. We like the Lexington Style “Dip” and that recipe gets used here and with the oysters.

(Photo: Fred Thompson / Styling: Kyle Wilkerson)

Dark, but not too heavy, this brown porter can hold its own next to traditional North Carolina barbecue. Tender, juicy flavor-rich barbecue pork requires the boldness of a porter.

(Photo: Asheville Brewing Company)

When my fishing buddies head to the coast we always get a bushel or two of North Carolina oysters in season. This is a favorite way to eat the oysters—warm, silky, with a little bit of BBQ sauce that still lets the oyster shine through.

(Photo: Fred Thompson / Styling: Kyle Wilkerson)

This light Belgian-style Witbier brightens the salinity and sweetness of these briny oysters drizzled with barbecue sauce. This style of beer, brewed with coriander and orange peel, can stand up to the complex flavors of this dish without competing with it.

(Photo: Catawba Brewing Company)

James Beard awarding winning chef, Ben Barker, introduced us to this “Dixie Tapa” recipe. He has even served them at the James Beard House in New York City.

Super simple. Figure 3 okra per guest. Simply slice a pocket in homemade or store bought pickled okra and stuff with pimento cheese. Use homemade if you can, or a high quality one like My 3 Sons, which is pretty darn close to homemade. Whole Foods Market and Fresh Market both have excellent store-made pimento cheese.

The palate cleansing effect of carbonation is one of many reasons beer pairs so well with rich cheesy foods. The citrusy, slightly bitter hop profile of the Hop, Drop ‘n Roll smoothes the way for each crunchy, flavorful bite of pickled okra stuffed with pimento cheese.

(Photo: Fred Thompson / Styling: Kyle Wilkerson)

12 Bones Smokehouse in Asheville isn’t exactly a wing place, but people still love the restaurant’s take on wings. The secret is the cooking process, a multistep method. The wings are first smoked, cooled off, and then fried, so they get nice and crispy on the outside. Even after all that frying, they’re permeated with a deep smokehouse flavor their customers have come to expect. That multistep process also means that these wings are great for tailgating, since you can smoke them ahead of time and fry them when it’s time to serve. 

While it can be interesting to pair smoked beer with smoked foods, this traditional English-style Brown’s mellow smoothness offers a welcome contrast to the heat of the chicken wing sauce. This sweet and spicy combo will keep sports fans coming back for more.

(Photo: Voyageur Press)

Fred Thompson is the owner and publisher of Edible Piedmont. An accomplished food and travel writer focused on cooking locally in North Carolina, he is the author of numerous cookbooks including Fred Thompson’s Southern Sides and Barbecue Nation: 350 Hot-off-the-Grill.

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