Food & Drink

The 13 best, booziest craft beers for tailgating

Published On 09/04/2013 Published On 09/04/2013
best beers for football tailgates

Everyone loves tailgating just as much as they dislike carrying heavy things. So when you're purchasing beer for that next tailgate, why don't you skip over the 30-pack you were looking at and instead reach for these outstanding higher-ABV options available in cans for easy transportation and cooler stacking. You'll have to carry less, you'll drink better, and you'll feel the effects much faster. That's a win-win-win, aka, three more wins than Jets fans are likely to see this season. HEY-O! Availability on these will vary depending on your location, but if you see them, snap them up. Have a favorite you don't see? Let us know in the comments.

Big Red Coq, Brewery Vivant:
Not just a condition for which you should probably seek medical attention, this "Hoppy Belgo-American Red Ale" started out as an experimental offering from the fast-rising Grand Rapids brewery, only to become a mainstay. They recommend pairing it with grilled meats (awesome!), cheddar cheese (yep!), and tropical fruits (umm, fine, why not?).
ABV: 6.5%

Double Brown Stout, Deep Ellum Brewing:
Technically a Baltic Porter if you wanna get picky about it, this Texan brew forgoes the more typical ale yeast for lager, whose "cleaner fermentation profile allows the malt and hop flavors to do the talking". With a hint of sweetness from blackstrap molasses augmenting said flavors, you may drink enough that you won't be doing any talking.
ABV: 7%

Brew York City

Back in Black, 21st Amendment:
Though the name may give this NorCal brew an obvious home in Raider Nation (which will likely need to drink as much as ever this season. Huzzah, Matt Flynn!!), this dark, malty IPA (a Black IPA, if you will!) actually takes its inspiration from Paul Revere's midnight ride. Patriotism!
ABV: 6.8%

Old Chub, Oskar Blues:
As some of the OG's of the craft canning movement, OB has a deep bench of year-round offerings that'd acquit themselves well at any tailgate (Gubna and Ten FIDY actually pack a little more punch with ABVs over 10). But this Scotch ale's combination of bold flavor and effortless drinkability, not to mention geriatric boner joke possibilities, makes it a fine choice.
ABV: 8%

Wind and Esme, Flickr

Jai Alai, Cigar City:
Just because it's named for some other weird sport (Tampa, Cigar City's home base, apparently used to have quite the bustling Jai Alai scene!), doesn't mean you can't enjoy this caramel-colored, citrus-y IPA for more 'Merican sporting activities. It lends itself particularly well to spicy foods, if that's your thing.
ABV: 7.5%

Hop Slayer, Wild Onion Brewery
Packing enough hoppy bitterness (and, thankfully, no onion flavor) to befit a Double IPA while retaining a certain smooth drinkability, this brew pairs great with listening to "Raining Blood" and hopping on one foot. Or, you know, just like, some sausages.
ABV: 8%

The Craft Beer Guru

Toxic Sludge, Blue Point Brewing Company:
It takes a certain confidence to call your beer Toxic Sludge (actually, it was first brewed to benefit the Gulf after the BP oil spill, then gained enough popularity to keep it in demand). Five varieties of hops give it big flavor, and its name makes it a great companion to Jets games. DOUBLE HEY-O!
ABV: 7%

Moulds Beer Blog

Resin, Sixpoint Brewery:
Named for its celebration of hop resin (and not a certain other resin you may or may not have had to resort to on occasion while watching the National Geographic's Are You Tougher Than A Boy Scout?), this Double IPA remains remarkably well-balanced despite being unabashedly hop-forward. Not well-balanced: you, after a few of them.
ABV: 9.1%

Premier Gourmet

Torpedo, Sierra Nevada:
While the name reflects a certain ability to sink your entire day, it's actually derived from a special dry-hopping device the folks at SN deploy to impart a tremendous amount of hop aroma while still keeping the bitterness in check. So sorry, Russian Sean Connery.
ABV: 7.2%

Adam Jackson, Flickr

Wee Muckle, Sun King Brewing Company:
This powerful Scotch ale (aka, wee heavy) is an occasional special release from the Indianapolis cannery, but it's worth seeking out to treat yourself to 16oz of roasty, malty, toffee-y goodness.
ABV: 9%

The Perfectly Happy Man

Abrasive Ale, Surly Brewing:
Incorporating not one, but two adjectives that would rightly describe any fan base that had hitched its wagon to Christian Ponder (his hot wife notwithstanding), this Double IPA brewed with oats from the Minneapolis craft powerhouse tastes good enough to mellow out any angry fan. But then, there's the alcohol. Could go either way, really.
ABV: 9%

Beer For Your Face

Oasis Ale, Tallgrass Brewing Company:
What started as a favorite home-brew recipe has evolved into this impeccable dry-hopped ESB. Like that mustachioed top-hatted gentleman on the can? His name is Rupert. For reals.
ABV: 7.2%

Brewtally Insane

Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout, Wynkoop Brewery:
So, this was only brewed once in a relatively small release, but nothing says, "I am not to be f***ed with" like drinking a beer made with bull testicles, so if you can get your hands on some, make it happen. As a plus, the taste is said to be pretty good and not too cow-ballsy. So that's nice.
ABV 7.5%



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