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Posted by Brandon On April - 7 - 2014Comments Off

It’s one of those food items that seems to make the world go ’round. In fact it’s among the world’s most traded commodities, and a multi-billion dollar industry many times over. So what does coffee have to do with tailgating? For those of us who have gotten up at the crack of dawn, or even before dawn, to head out to the lot after getting to bed late because you were preparing the next day’s festivities, you might reach for a cup or two (or 10) of Joe. Unfortunately coffee isn’t a true grab and go type of beverage for most of us since it has to be brewed. Sure, you can get up even earlier to brew some, or somewhere stop en route to the stadium, but you’re at the mercy of the person doing the brewing. I’ll be frank. Few things in life bring me down more than crappy java. Not to mention if you’re already running on zero and you’re facing an all day tailgate chances are you’ll need a few pickmeups along the way.


Before I go further I know what some of you are thinking, “Why not just grab a Red Bull or one of the other energy drinks?” Well, I would tend to agree with you that is a easier solution. However you do run into the problem of cost. I don’t know about you but I can put one of those away pretty quickly, and at $2 or more a pop, it adds up very quickly. But it goes beyond cost alone, there is the element of the psychological effects. Our friends in the northern latitudes who find themselves out in the December chill probably wouldn’t mind getting a little comfort and warmth from a hot drink rather than keep downing frosty cold ones. So that’s why I decided to look into coffee options for tailgaters.


The simplest choice for coffee, or any hot beverage for that matter, at your tailgate is probably going to be a thermos or other insulated container. One of significant quality will keep something hot for many hours and will likely be the best option for many tailgaters. The only caveat to this is that you need to have the drink to put in it which means brewing a significantly sized pot at home and filling it up before leaving the house. I’m sure many of you have been doing this for years, and if it’s working for you then by all means keep at it. Further considerations would be capacity, and durability. Some of these products are glass lined, and a significant drop may be all it takes to render it useless. To be fair that’s an unlikely scenario, albeit not far fetched. Among all the options I’ll discuss this is probably the most fool proof and simple to pull off.

If you’re in need of coffee on demand you might find it easy to turn to an instant variety. This method seems simple enough, just heat up some water, pour it in, and in a few minutes you’ve got something hot to sip on. This option is fairly affordable, and doesn’t take rocket science to do. Where this option might fall short is the taste. A lot of instant coffees are produced using inferior beans, and if you’re accustomed to coffee shop quality, you’re probably going to be disappointed. On the other hand, if you have no preference, you just want a caffeine kick, this may be the ticket for you.



The next easiest option would be some sort of press pot, or French Press. This is a brew on site type approach, and I’m somewhat biased towards this method as I’ve been using it for a while now. I find it produces a very good result. Basically you add near-boiling water to coffee grounds, steep it for a short amount of time (~4 minutes), and then use the device to “press” out the grounds. What you’re left with is a more authentically brewed, and likely, higher quality beverage. Despite its upside, this method is more involved and requires some special considerations. For starters the most, not all, versions of device are usually made of glass in someway and is at risk much in the same way as the thermos mentioned above. Furthermore the grounds need to be ground differently, that is more coarsely, than you would for a conventional drip brewer. Two of these presses that may be better suited to the rigors of tailgating, and subsequently be of interest to the tailgate community would be the Bodum Young, and the Bodum Columbia. The latter tested quite well with the people over at America’s Test Kitchen, and I trust their rating.  If the price of those turns you off to the idea you might consider the Bodum Brazil which is a no frills, but still very useful and functional option.  There are other manufacturers of these presses, but I personally own two Bodums and I think they’re great.

Obviously if you are lucky enough to have sufficient electrical power available to you, you can entertain the idea of an electric powered brewer. While I don’t have personal experience with this, I have heard and read that many of the “portable” electric brewers are underwhelming performers. If you’ve got enough AC juice then the typical drip maker that you might use at home in your kitchen may be your best bet. Just remember the filters! Oh and make sure you shut it off too…

Any method you choose is going to require it’s own special considerations, and just because I didn’t mention something above it doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work for you.  I should mention that I took the “hot water” component for granted as I assumed that you’d have a way to heat the water. If it was me, I would just use my grill, or some sort of camp stove.  Another key point would be to not overlook that you’ll need some cups capable of handing the hot temperatures. I don’t know how well a red plastic cup would feel in the hand when its full of piping hot coffee, and I really don’t care to try it.   As always we encourage you all to share your Tailgating Ideas with us.  Now where did I leave my mug?

Johnsonville Big Taste Grill

Posted by Brandon On April - 3 - 2014Comments Off

440,000, yes that’s four hundred forty thousand, BTU’s. Thats the amount of propane produced power pumped out by Johnsonville’s Big Taste Grill. Combine that with enough grill space to hold 750 brats at a single time, and you’ve got the recipe for a machine built to spit out 2500 piping hot brats in an hour. This thing is a tailgaters dream. (Although I bet the cost to park a vehicle of this size would be more than I make in a day.) I’ve known about this behemoth for some time, but seeing it in person was something that had alluded me until yesterday when it was parked in Clemmons, NC, not far from where I live. Needless to say I was not going to miss the opportunity to see it. I even managed to snap a few pics between bites of bratwurst.  Unfortunately I arrived a little later that I wanted to so I didn’t get to see the grill in operation, but it’s still pretty cool just the same.


The Big Taste Grill tours all over the country, and Grill Master Tucker informed me that they’ll be on the road for pretty much the rest of the year. In addition to this Johnsonville shares the proceeds from these events with local and national charities. For example yesterday monies went to the March of Dimes, which as an expectant father I had no problem supporting. If you’d like to see the Grill for yourself you can check out it’s touring scheduling at it’s homepage here. You can also read their blog and learn a little more about the grill.

Mid-Week Eye Candy Wrapper #132 – Isabella Hartman Edition

Posted by Dave On April - 2 - 2014Comments Off

Spring has sprung and it looks like mother nature is gradually coming out of winter kicking and screaming. And with Spring upon us that means two things. Baseball tailgating and country music festival tailgating. Two of the biggest country music festivals happen out here in the Southwest. Stagecoach in California and Country Thunder in Arizona bring out the biggest crowds and some of the wildest tailgating. To honor that tailgating tradition we thought it appropriate to pay homage to the country music festival by checking in with our friends over at Tempe 12. This week’s edition of the Mid-Week Eye Candy Wrapper features Isabella Hartman who is not from Arizona but rather from the San Francisco bay area but is a country girl at heart. Links follow the eye candy.

Isabella Hartman

Isabella Hartman appears courtesy of Tempe12.com

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Shot Straws

Posted by Dave On March - 19 - 2014Comments Off

Shot Straws Featured

Some people love to take liquor shots while out tailgating. The purpose of liquor shots is usually not because you enjoy the taste. If that were the case you would wander around the parking lot with a scotch on the rocks. Most tailgaters taking shots are doing it for the end result of catching a buzz. Willy Wonka said it best when he said, “Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker“.

In order to combat the age old problem of grimacing after taking a tequila shot and scrambling for a chaser, the inventors of Shot Straws apparently have a solution. You take the shot out of an over-sized straw with a valve at the bottom in order to drink your shot and chaser one right after the other. Take a look at their demo video:

Shot Straw DimensionsAs you saw in the video, the Shot Straw is designed to make taking shots easy without having to endure the bad taste associated with liquor shots. We were sent samples of Shot Straws and tried them out for ourselves.

Upon receiving them, one red and one blue, we thought they looked a lot like a test tube but with a valve trigger system on it. We checked out their website and viewed their video before receiving the samples so we knew what they were intended to accomplish.

Of course we had to try them out as soon as we got them. Our liquor of choice was tequila. This choice was based on the fact that tequila has quite a strong taste and would be easier to recognize how much of it we would taste before the chaser followed it. We did the tequila shot followed by a chaser of lemonade. On our first try with no practice we tasted a slight hint of the tequila but it was soon washed away by the lemonade chaser.

I will admit, the width of the Shot Straw took some getting used to it. It is much wider than drinking out of a regular drinking straw and most people are not used to sucking liquid up and out of a container that big. If filled to the top, the Shot Straw can hold 1.3 oz. That is just about the size of your standard sized shot depending on what area of the country you reside. Just prepare yourself that even though you have been drinking out of a thinner straw all your life, you will be able to adjust to the new size Shot Straw.

For those tailgaters who don’t mind the taste of liquor shots, the Shot Straw is probably not for you. If you like the effect liquor shots give you without the bad taste associated with hard liquor, Shot Straws are definitely something you should investigate further. Even if you like the taste of shots you may want to invest in some Shot Straws and stash them away in your tailgating kit. You never know when some cute girls could join your tailgate that hate the taste of liquor. Break out the Shot Straws and now you just took away their excuse.

Shot Straws come in clear FDA approved plastic injection molding acrylic – the same material that plastic shot glasses are made out of. The logo is etched onto the device using a laser, so you won’t have to worry about inks or glue leaking into your beverage. The o-ring is also made out of a special type of rubber that is FDA approved to be in direct contact with alcohol.

The Shot Straw is 7 inches tall with a one-inch diameter tube that holds 1.3 oz of liquid; slightly less than the size of a standard shot. The device is designed to fit into a standard 16 oz red party cup, but can also fit into almost any drinking glass.

The color options available are red and blue and those colors are only the color of the valve trigger. Priced at $19.99 a piece they might be a bit more expensive than you would have expected. But we will leave that decision up to you.

After thoroughly testing the Shot Straw at home and while out tailgating, we are going to deem Shot Straws “Tailgate Approved”. They are small enough to fit in your pocket and are extremely lightweight, the Shot Straw would be welcome at any tailgate party.

To learn more about Shot Straws or to buy some for yourself, visit: www.shotstraws.com

Sunscreen Flasks now available in a 2-pack

Posted by Dave On March - 17 - 2014Comments Off

Sunscreen Flask by the pool

Do you remember back in July when we discovered the Sunscreen Flask? We even took it to Hawaii and field tested it out by the pool bar and never was caught smuggling our booze and our bar bill was a fraction of what it could have been given the level of intoxication we had achieved. Yeah, that Sunscreen Flask. We have good news.

Sunscreen Flasks side-by-side

Sunscreen Flasks side-by-side

We were just recently informed by the guys over at GoPong they have come out with their version of a Sunscreen Flask 2-Pack.

With the GoPong Sunscreen Flask 2-Pack, you get two (2) tube flasks that hold 8 oz. of liquid each. These “sunscreen” tubes resemble an SPF 15 and an SPF 30 tube of sunscreen in order to avoid detection at tailgate parties, hotel pools, concerts, sporting events, festivals, state and county fairs, little league games, etc.

The smart part is that you can now double the amount of booze you can smuggle into these places and keep them separated. If you are a vodka drinker and your companion is a rum drinker, you can place one liquor into the SPF 30 tube and the other into the SPF 15 tube. Now you both are boozing inside the venue for a fraction of the costs of what a mixed drink inside would cost. And when it comes to boozing while tailgating or inside the event, saving money is always something we all would welcome.

(Click images for larger, more detailed views of the Sunscreen Flask 2-Pack)

Sunscreen Flask 2-Pack Box with mini-funnel

Sunscreen Flask 2-Pack Box with mini-funnel

Speaking of costs, the previous versions of the Sunscreen flask cost $12 for just one 8 oz tube. The guys at GoPong give you two flasks plus the mini-funnel for only $15. It also comes in a box so it makes it easier to wrap and give as a gift. It might be a little too late for St. Patrick’s Day but Mother’s Day is a few months away. Honestly, who would question a mom bringing in a tube of sunscreen to an event to prevent her kids from getting skin cancer?

With the weather warming up in advance of concert festival and baseball season, you may want to check out our section of stealth drinking supplies. Also, check out our blog post on the best ways to smuggle alcohol into events. It will give you some money saving tailgating ideas to bring in some hooch from the parking lot without detection.

The Sunscreen Flask 2-Pack comes in a box along with a mini-funnel for $15 plus $5 postage and packaging. If you buy two boxes, essentially a 4-pack, the shipping is the same $5. Buy the Sunscreen Flask 2-Pack by clicking HERE.




About Me

TailgatingIdeas.com is a tailgating blog dedicated to bringing you the latest and most intriguing tailgating ideas out there. Whether it is the latest tailgating gear reviews, a great new recipe or a funny list to make you smile, our goal is to inform and entertain the avid and the casual tailgater alike.

Started in August 2007 by tailgating enthusiast Dave Lamm, TailgatingIdeas.com has evolved into an advocate for tailgaters rights and is not afraid to touch on controversial issues confronting those who frequent the tailgating parking lots.

To learn more about TailgatingIdeas.com and our team of writers, reviewers, cartoonists and contributors, please visit the About Us page.