Football season is finally upon us and whether you’re a fan of college, pro or high school (if you live in Texas), that means you’re going to be doing some tailgating. And nothing goes more perfectly with a fall tailgate than beer. But not every beer works in a tailgating situation. Because you’re probably going to be drinking for a few hours before heading into the stadium, high alcohol beers are out unless you want to spend the second half sleeping instead of watching the action. You’re also going to want a few beers that are light enough to go with all of those tailgating games you plan on playing. But don’t worry, we’ve done all the work for you. All you need to do is buy the beer. Here are the nine beers you need to put in your cooler before you head to the game.
If you wanted to stop reading the list right here you could. Founders has established itself as one of the most sessionable beers on the market, and that makes this brew perfect for tailgating. The IPA flavors are still there but without any of the alcohol, allowing you to crush a few and still be fine to head into the stadium.
Probably the best session IPA we’ve had this year, the beer has an amazing flavor of hoppy citrus, and alcohol of only 4.5 percent. And because it comes in a pint-sized can, it’s the perfect accompaniment to a game of corn hole.
Pilsners are great for tailgating because they not only have a low AVB but they’re also refreshing, perfect for quenching your thirst on a hotter day. Sixpoint makes one of the best craft pilsners out there, with pleasant flavors and aromas of pine balanced by bready malt.
This is a beer we want to be drinking while sitting outside watching the leaves turn. It literally screams fall, and nothing is more fall than tailgating and football. A malty sweetness with both toasted and sweet caramel flavors makes this the ideal beer to sip while throwing the ball around.
The south takes tailgating seriously, and no beer has become more synonymous with the south than Sweetwater. Its flagship 420 pale ale has just the right amount of hops balanced by a bit of malt. This is a true pale ale, not an IPA masking as a pale, and is perfect for day drinking. It’s basically the official beer of the SEC.
Look, we get it, sometimes you just want a light beer that is easy to drink and doesn’t demand so much attention. For that situation, put down the American macro-brews and head north of the border. Sure the CFL is inferior to the NFL, but when it comes to light beer, theirs is definitely better. Floral up front with a clean, dry finish. It’s all you could want in a light beer.
Another beer that needs to be on this list for obvious reasons is Yuengling. The beer practically has a cult following, with those in states that are unable to get it willing to smuggle the beers back from areas where it’s sold. It’s a staple at almost any tailgate in the northeast and is easy enough to drink that history alone puts it on the list.
It’s shocking that Oskar Blues just recently started making IPA, and it’s a damn good one at that. While it might be a bit higher in alcohol than the rest of these beers, it’s still low enough to allow for drinking a few without becoming too inebriated. Full of flavors of pineapple, citrus and red berries, it’s a delicious IPA.
Because it’s a classic and because you’re a heathen if you don’t like it. Don’t be a snob, this beer has always been good and still is. It’s the beer that taught many what a hoppy beer could taste like and it deserves some space in your cooler.