What Influences Your Beer Choices When Tailgating?

I have questions for you tailgaters. What beers have you guys been drinking at your tailgates? Have you been sticking to the major domestics or have you been supporting your local brewer? Does the event or the weather change your choice or do you stick to the old standard?

Looking around the NFL this week, I noticed quite a few regions where it has been cooling down with the only exception being that of Arizona. Some think that beer drinking is only for warm weather. Silly people.

Tailgating at Lambeau Field A few years back (2003 to be exact) I had the honor of going to Green Bay for a Packers game in late December. We bought warm beer and wrapped it in a blanket and placed it outside our car in the parking lot. By the time the gear was set up, the beer was not only ready to drink, but actually freezing at the top! That was a cold day and a great beer. Although I do admire the loyalty to a favorite beer, three factors should be taken into consideration when choosing your next brew.

Like I touched on above, the weather may play a factor in the selection you choose. On those warm days in the sun in front of a hot grill, nothing goes down better than a light beer. Another factor to consider on a hot day is the number of beers you may be consuming. We all know that on hot days those first few go down way too easy and keeping a cold one in your hand is a must out there on the hot parking lot asphalt. To keep the balance between having a good time and becoming “that guy“, choosing a light beer with a lower alcohol content is a smart move when the temperature rises. On the other hand, when it gets cold in the parking lots (below 70 degrees in California) a craft brew with some density or perhaps an ale with a bit higher alcohol volume would be the beer of choice.

The second consideration is that of food choice. We all know about red vs. white wine with food pairings, but does beer have some of the same rules? When it comes to the superior beverage being that of beer, no strict rules are enforced. This being said, with such a wide variety of beer styles it is clear that certain foods will go better than others. For a fun breakdown of beer styles and food pairings, go to beertown.org and check out their chart, which is nothing but impressive.

The last area of concern when it comes to beer selection is that of price and consumption method. If you plan on kicking back and having a few beers with some friends before the big game, then this may not be that big of a factor. If on the other hand you plan on treating for the entire group or drinking enough to cause even Sasquatch to blow over the legal limit, you may want to keep costs under control. Another factor is that of drinking method. A quality ale is something that should be enjoyed rather than poured into a beer bong. On this topic I have to take the line from the Beer Advocate which asks us to always “respect the beer”.

Thanks again for all the suggestions and please keep them coming to Mike@tailgatingideas.com. As much as we argue about the presence of a designated hitter in baseball, we can all agree on the designated driver at a tailgate party.