Ultimate 6er | College Football Tailgate Edition
Like a barometer falling before a storm, there are certain signs that fall is coming. Some may note “back to school” ads in the paper, or spotting the first Oktoberfest beer in the supermarket. My sure sign is the release of the AP Preseason football poll. While the sales at Target and fall beer releases may be exhibiting the same seasonal creep as Christmas decorations at Macy’s, the release of the AP Preseason poll is my alarm bell to start getting ready for football (and just as important, tailgate) season. No tailgate is complete without a beer (or six). Here’s the six you should bring to your next tailgate.
College football games start early! While many choose to go with a Bloody Mary or a Mimosa to start the morning, I think the perfect start to the day is Lost Coast’s Tangerine Wheat. This beer has the refreshing citrus fizz of a mimosa, without the sugar crash in the first quarter.
After a nice wheat beer or two, it’s time to move on to something that comes in a 12 pack and has the taste to get you through a few games of ladder ball and corn hole. Deschutes has been steadily pushing their distribution eastwards, so it’s available in college football’s heartland: the Midwest. We’ve talked about Mirror Pond before, and I had to put this in my tailgating 6er for all the reasons Jason highlighted earlier: it’s an easy drinking pale ale, relatively low in alcohol, accessible for everyone at the tailgate and relatively easy to find in tailgate size packs.
As the football season progresses and the fall season crests, a malty Oktoberfest brew is perfect for any tailgate. Great Lakes makes a fantastic Oktoberfest that pairs perfectly with some sausages on the grill. At 6.5% ABV, it will keep you warm on those brisk late September mornings. It’s the perfect beer to break out right about the time conference play starts.
What’s a tailgate without breakfast, and what’s breakfast without coffee? Founders has the perfect answer for the morning drinker – this delicious stout is brewed with oatmeal and coffee beans. At 8.3% ABV, it will certainly give you the pick-me-up that anyone needs during a tailgate. While Breakfast Stout is a perennial favorite, it’s only seasonally available. Fortunately, that season starts about the same week as the CFB poll starts.
As the regular season comes crashing to an end, more often than not, your team’s championship prospects have gone south. This is no excuse to give up on your tailgating. Freezing weather requires some serious beer to overcome the chill and warm you to the core: enter Hog Heaven. A pint of Hog Heaven is the perfect accompaniment to a big bowl of chili when you’re huddling around the heater. At 9.2% ABV, this gets the job done all the way through the conference championship game.
One more quick “beer” to chug (or shotgun) right before heading into the game. The college kids are all drinking it, they know about science and stuff, right? Definitely can’t be hazardous. After completing the whole list, you won’t be able to distinguish Natty Light from an imperial porter anyways. What better way to relive your college days than finishing up where you started off.