**Ed. Note: It’s no secret. We love our beer. And if we’re going to help you become your best tailgating self, that should probably also include tasty brews to work into your rotation this fall.
In doing so we consulted an outside expert, in addition to our own Diabsoule. Long-time friend of the site Brenton Day, aka The Ale Runner, has been brewing and blogging about local beer for a few years now, recently with The Advocate. You can read more of his work here. In addition to his list, he has the skinny on a special release that will time with the Tigers’ home opener:
If you think we are now hitting the silly season of fall camp, well, you’re right. I mean, there are only so many practice reports on individual drills that one can stomach every August. And while I may be interested in who was practicing at the backup slot wide receiver position during the first week of camp, now I just don’t care and am ready for a real game with some real football that really matters.
So since it’s almost time to get this (tailgate) party started, it’s let’s put some thought into your beverages of choice to pregame with this fall. And while many of you will opt for the white cans or the Natty or even Mickelob Ultra, hopefully some of you will put as much effort into choosing your beer as you do planning what to cook at the tailgate spot.
I get it. It’s hot outside, especially for these early season games. So it makes no sense to pound double IPAs all day if you have any kind of desire to actually make it into the stadium. But just because you need to keep things on an even keel, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor in your beer. So without further ado, here’s your official 2018 LSU Tailgate Beer Guide.
Tin Roof Bayou Bengal Lager
This list has to start with the officially licensed LSU beer that’s brewed just a mile from campus. Tin Roof’s Bayou Bengal is a light lager that will appeal to any beer drinker. The can is purple and gold featuring the tiger head and famous shoulder stripes and the words “Geaux Tigers” prominently displayed. New for 2018, Bayou Bengal is even lighter and less expensive than it was previously, so you can drink more of it while keeping some change in your pocket.
Urban South Lime Cucumber Gose
Urban South is a New Orleans brewery, but the owners are LSU alums. You may say to yourself, “self, why would I drink a beer with cucumber in it?” And that’s a fair question. But just one sip of this tasty concoction will quench your fears, as well as your thirst. This slightly tart, slightly salty ale is only 4 perent ABV, but packs a ton of flavor into each can, so you can drink it all day long. It’s basically like an alcoholic sports drink for tailgating.
Tin Roof/Gnarly Barley Liger
Okay, I know I already have a Tin Roof beer on the list, but this beer should be the official beer of the first home game of the season. LSU takes on Southeastern, so Baton Rouge’s Tin Roof has partnered with Hammond’s Gnarly Barley Brewing to brew a special beer for the occasion. This juicy pale ale will be released at Tin Roof’s taproom the day before LSU’s home opener. Check out the badass label on this thing, and plan to make this beer your beverage of choice on September 8th.
Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest
As we move toward the middle third of the season, the first cool front will (hopefully) take away a bit of the heat and humidity, and we can celebrate like the Germans do. Sierra Nevada has partnered with the world’s oldest brewery, Germany’s Weihenstephan, to brew an American take on a classic Oktoberfest. This malty, yet clean lager will pair wonderfully with any of your classic tailgate foods. At 6 percent ABV, this festbier is a bit stronger than your typical tailgate beer, but if those Germans in Munich can drink steins of this all day long, we LSU fans can surely do the same before heading into the stadium.
Another Louisiana brewery with an LSU alum leading it, Parish Brewing is located in Broussard, just outside of Lafayette. Canebrake is an American wheat ale brewed with locally harvested sugarcane. At 5 percent ABV, this is an easy drinker that appeals to pretty much everybody, which is why Canebrake is Parish’s best seller. New for this football season are cans, which make this a very tailgate friendly choice.
Great Raft Reasonably Corrupt
Great Raft Brewing is located in Shreveport, and this beer was named after the politics in our great state, although one could argue it applies to our athletic department (but that’s a separate debate). Reasonably Corrupt is a schwarzbier (a what?), which is a black lager. It’s brewed with dark and roasty malts, yet don’t be fooled by the color. This beer is basically a tastier, fuller bodied version of your favorite lager. At only 5.5 percent ABV, this beer is super drinkable and really pairs well with any food you may be cooking at your tailgate.
Top tailgating beers in reverse numeric order, with their location and Alcohol-by-Volume listed. Just a helpful guide to help you complete the marathon of tailgating to get you comfortably buzzed for kickoff.
10. Great Raft Reasonably Corrupt (Shreveport – 5.5)
As the temperatures start to cool down this beer would shoot up the rankings since it’s perfect for cooler temps. It’s a black lager full of delicious roasted malt flavor but don’t think heavy like Guinness. It’s lighter (because it’s a lager) with a touch of sweetness that balances the savory flavors of the malt enough to be crushable.
9. Abita Hop On (Abita Springs - 6)
A generously hopped take on a New England IPA, this hazy beer is packed with Cascade, Citra, and Eukuanot hops to give it a nice citrus backed hop punch. It’s zesty and refreshing for those long days in the sun tailgating.
8. Gnarly Barley Catahoula Common (Hammond – 5.5)
One of the most crushable beers on this list, Gnar-Bar’s take on the California Common beer style, which originated with Anchor Brewing Company, is light in body with a slight fruity flavor. It’s one of my go-to beers after doing yard work and one of my personal favorites to take tailgating. It’s also one of the beers I use a conversion beer to the BMC crowd.
7. NOLA Revivalists (New Orleans – 5)
Released in late 2017, this pale ale is heavily dry-hopped with Citra and Simcoe which gives you that delicious citrus bite on first sip but finishes with the piney characteristics of a West Coast IPA. It’s different from most of the IPA’s being produced in Louisiana and portions of the proceeds from the purchase of this beer go to The Roots of Music Foundation which teaches kids from low income neighborhoods how to play music. Good beer for a great cause? What’s not to love. Plus the beer is seriously good.
6. Urban South Holy Roller (New Orleans – 6.3)
The description on the can sums and accompanying marketing for the beer describes it as “made for the golden moment between Saturday night sins and Sunday’s repentance… with the idea of being caught between best intentions and bad behavior.” I don’t know about y’all but that sums up LSU tailgating. Brewed with Centennial, Cascade, Citra, and Mosaic hops this beer packed a tangy, grapefruit flavor that can be crushed or savored and you’ll enjoy it all the same no matter how you imbibe.
5. Great Raft Commotion (Shreveport – 5.5)
This beer doesn’t get enough love in the Louisiana beer scene but for me it’s one of the most consistent, enjoyable and most easily found beers in the state. Loaded with citrus and zesty grapefruit flavors with a soft, sweet finish, Commotion is like the fullback of Louisiana pale ales — it’s not sexy but it gets the job done when its number is called.
4. Tin Roof Voodoo (Baton Rouge - 5)
After going through some changes over the years Tin Roof has started to hit its stride and the revamped Voodoo is a prime example of the great things going down off Nicholson. This smooth, juicy pale ale is filled with tropical flavors of melon, passion fruit, tangelo and a touch of pine on the finish. It’s becoming a staple in my beer fridge and has the right amount of ABV to marathon through to the game time.
3. Gnarly Barley Radical Rye (Hammond – 6.6)
My bias is going to show when it comes to this beer. It’s one of my absolute favorite local beers and is always in my beer fridge. The rye bite, the sweetness of the malts, and tropical hops all blend perfectly for a lovely, delicious beer. It’s the highest ABV beer on this list so you can keep it grounded like Navy or raise the jolly roger and air it out like a Mike Leach offense. I’m not gonna tell you what to do with yourself, you’re a grown ass person.
2. Gnarly Barley Jucifer (Hammond - 6)
You’ve got Cascade, Citra, and Mosaic hops all getting romantic with each other on your tongue with flavors of passion fruit, papaya, pineapple, and tangerine. This is a hazy juice bomb and easily crushable.
1. Parish Envie (Broussard – 5.5)
One of the most reliably great beers in the state, you can easily crush this pale ale filled with citrus, grapefruit, and pineapple flavors. It’s easy to find and almost every one of your local stores will have fresh bottles. Sixteen-ounce cans are available and if you can find them fresh — stock up!