**Ed. Note: Let’s welcome a very special guest, Mr. Jordan Grove, AKA @SportsBeers if you twitter. Longtime friend of the site, sports opinion-haver and beer drinker. He was good enough to give us a ranking of his top tailgate brews as part of our EPIC GAMEDAY TAILGATING SPECTACULAR.**
It’s not just a fancy saying on a beer glass — it’s a way of life during tailgating season. But tailgating is a marathon not a sprint, even for day games, and finding the proper beer to coast you through to game time can be difficult. Moderation is a bitch like that. Having one too many beers and being awful at BattleShots will leave you nursing a bowl of jambalaya while rubbing the guy’s back sitting in front of you with your knee in section 217 during the Arkansas game because it feels good. Nope, there’s no reason why that example is so specific. Nooooooo, sir.
We all know the PBR and Miller Lite’s of the world can do the trick, but what about craft beer? I’m here to help with that. I set off wanting to find mostly local selection that can be sessionable while packing more flavor than a can of Coors. It took weeks of arduous research tasting beer after beer for this list to be compiled. I drunkenly dictated notes to my wife who wrote down whatever I said. She’s a team player. After going back and reviewing her notes I was able to narrow my findings down to a top 10.
Here they are:
10. Crying Eagle Louisiana Lager (4.9% abv), Lake Charles, La.
Made with local rice just down the road from the brewery in Lake Charles, this beer is crisp and refreshing with a mild, faintly sweet flavor.
9. Tin Roof Gose with the Flow (4.6% abv), Baton Rouge, La.
I thought about staying on #brand with the purple and gold can Blonde or the officially licensed beer of LSU “Bayou Bengal” with its phenomenal can art, but the Gose with the Flow offers something unique. It’s a traditional gose made but with additions of coriander and Himalayan pink salt. It’s slightly tart with citrus flavor and the finish packs slight salinity. It’s perfect for long, hot days outside Tiger Stadium.
8. Abita’s The Boot (4.8% abv), Abita Springs, La.
This beer was brewed as a Louisiana exclusive and it pairs well with just about anything you’re cooking up at the tailgate. It’s light, crisp, and mild in flavor which is great for all day drinking.
7. St. Arnold 5 O’clock Pils (5.2% abv), Houston
I did more than just taste this one during my research. I also brought this to Talladega in May to tailgate with and it more than held its own.
6. Great Raft Commotion (5.5%), Shreveport, La.
The next three are personal favorites of mine and this one I drink regularly when grilling at home. Tons of citrus flavor and a clean hop bite that’s not bitter.
5. Founders PC Pils (5.5% abv), Grand Rapids, Mich.
This one is available in 15 can packs at most grocery stores. It’s crushable, smooth, and full of flavor with just a hint of piney hops.
4. Gnarly Barley Catahoula Common (5.5% abv), Hammond,
This was another beer I brought with me to Talladega. This beer is bright and slightly fruity which adds a bit of effervescence and refreshment while you’re drinking it.
3. Founders All Day IPA (4.7% abv), Grand Rapids, Mich.
As the name implies, this is perfect for drinking all day. If you’re a fan of hops, then this is up your alley. Tangerine, grapefruit and mango citrus flavored hops dominate the flavor and the finish provides a medium piney bite. This was one of the first session IPA’s and it remains one of the best.
2. Southern Prohibition Devil’s Harvest Breakfast IPA (4.9% abv), Hattiesburg, Miss.
Long name but as it implies, you can start drinking this at breakfast substituting the screwdriver for this breakfast IPA. Ranked No. 1 in Paste Magazine’s blind taste test of session IPAs, It has a soft, creamy body with prominent, juicy citrus and the aroma is tantalizing. This is one of my favorite all-day drinkers.
1. Parish Envie (5.5% abv), Broussard, La.
Chef Billy reviewed this beer last year but since then Parish has changed their yeast used to make this beer which now increases the flavor of Envie that much more. Juicy, tropical flavors all supported by a sweet, malty backbone make this one my favorite all day drinker. Think I’m going to go crack one open right now.