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Breweries put pride on line in Super Bowl wager

FREDERICK — Las Vegas bookies may be bringing in tens of millions of dollars in Super Bowl bets — more than $93 million was laid down on last year’s game — but a pair of breweries on opposite sides of the country have engaged in a tastier, and potentially more embarrassing, wager.

Frederick’s Flying Dog Brewery and the iconic San Francisco-based Anchor Brewing Co. are putting each other’s brews on the line for their respective teams when the Ravens and 49ers square off in Super Bowl XLVII Sunday.

The loser must pour the other brewery’s beer in its taproom for a week, said Erin Weston, Flying Dog’s public relations manager. It might not sound like the losing end of a bet to pour another high-quality craft beer from your taps, but that’s not all. The guides for the losing company’s brewery tours will be decked out in the winning team’s Super Bowl championship gear for a week.

“We’re going to kind of work through the details on that,” Weston said. “We don’t want to be too cocky going into it. We want to at least be prepared, but I don’t think we’ll have to worry about that.”

Weston’s confidence may be a result of the roll the brewery has been on along with the Ravens throughout the playoffs. Before the Ravens-Broncos Divisional Playoff game, Flying Dog brewmaster Matt Brophy approached good friend Adam Avery of Boulder, Colo.’s Avery Brewing Co. about a friendly wager.

“They just bet a case of rare beers that we wouldn’t be able to find here and they wouldn’t be able to find there,” she said. “When the Ravens kind of took control of that overtime, we were pretty stoked about that.”

The brewery secured its second case of rare small batch brews courtesy of Boston-based Harpoon Brewery the following week when the Ravens pummeled the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game.

Weston dropped a not-so-subtle hint that it would be nice to enjoy some of those beers while watching the Super Bowl.

“So we’re trying not to be jerks and rub it in, but we haven’t gotten our shipment of beers from either of them,” Weston said.

Next up is the maker of the legendary Anchor Steam Beer and the brewery widely credited with starting the craft beer movement in the United States.

Weston said Flying Dog staff wanted to raise the stakes for the biggest game of them all.

While confident in a Ravens victory, Weston allowed some doubt to creep in as she acknowledged that the team will be facing its toughest opponent of the season.

“It’s going to be a close game,” she said. “We’re a little nervous.”