Redskins legend John Riggins spoke with Chris Cooley on ESPN 980 yesterday morning and described the story behind the creation of his John Riggins 4th&1 Pilsner beer brand.
Riggins read about the rising number of microbreweries in the Wall Street Journal, and, "considering my reputation as being a bibulous chap," decided to make his own beer.
He partnered with his friend Art Major, who had worked with him to develop the television program "Riggo on the Range." Major had just opened up his own brewery, Escutcheon Brewing Co. in Winchester, Va., and Riggins knew it was a natural partnership.
Major and John Hovermale, Escutcheon's master brewer, assigned Riggins some homework: try as many beers as he could and decide which ones he liked best. Riggins was more than up to the challenge.
Riggins, who is of Czech ancestry, has always gravitated toward Czech beer and wanted a pilsner style. He tried about a dozen beers before deciding on six to bring back to the Escutcheon brain trust, which composed of Riggins, Major, Hovermale and an assortment of friends. They agreed on the flavors they enjoyed and Hovermale went to work creating it.
The beer is named "4th&1" after Riggins' legendary touchdown run in Superbowl XVII on 4th and 1, which he took 43 yards to the end zone, a play that earned him Super Bowl MVP honors.
The bottle also suggests imbibers "loosen up," as Riggins once famously told a supreme court justice.
Riggins also offered his thoughts on the Redskins' coming season. He said that criticism of the team's running back options was unfounded.
Riggins, who knows what it takes to succeed in the Redskins backfield, thinks the rushing offense will balance well with the passing attack this season as long as the running backs can hold onto the football.
"I wouldn't worry about [the running game], I would kinda think it's like water, it'll seek it's own level and work out just fine. I'm not concerned at all about their running game," Riggins said.
To those worried about the Redskins backfield this season, take Riggins' word for it.