Thursday, April 5, 2012

Batter Up, Bottoms Up

Today marks the day that many have been waiting for, Opening Day for Major League Baseball. But even more importantly, it marks the official start to the spring/summer tailgating season. Though I hardly need an excuse to do some outdoor beer drinking, heading out to Kauffman Stadium and posting up with a folding chair, a grill and a cooler is one of my favorite warm weather activities. And let's face it, whether it's having to hear 'Dirt Road Anthem' 900 times (dammit Billy Butler) or watching Yuniesky Betancourt (WHY IS HE BACK?) make easy defensive plays look really, really difficult, Royals games typically require some serious drinking beforehand.

Last year, Bull E. Vard proclaimed Tallgrass Oasis as his official 2011 Tailgate Beer. I agree with his previous sentiment that cans are the preferred receptacle for tailgate beers, so I focused on those for my 2012 selections. BUT, since I'm horribly indecisive, and in most cases will probably have a mix of beers on hand, I chose my 3 top picks for this year's baseball tailgating beers.

Without further ado..

Sierra Nevada Torpedo - Torpedo was probably the first beer that really got me interested in the American IPA style, so when I heard it was coming to cans this year, I was pretty excited. And not just any cans, but 16 ounce cans. While I'm still baffled by the use of the word Extra in this beer's name (so, it's Extra India?), it's one of my favorite offerings from Sierra Nevada. A little bit sweet with big flavor and a nice hop punch, this also comes in at 7.2% ABV, so a 4-pack of these will do you quite well before a game.

Ska Modus Hoperandi - Though I hesitated to suggest another IPA, it's just impossible to talk about great canned beer without mentioning Modus. I know this was the beer that many commenters felt should have been chosen last year, and I tend to agree that Modus is a great tailgate beer. Hopped up and piney, but well balanced, this is an IPA that you could drink a few of without getting burnt out on hop overload.

Tallgrass Halcyon - Thirst-quenching, refreshing and sessionable, Halcyon is the tailgate beer you might want to turn to in the later summer months, when the weather is especially hot or sweltering and a super hoppy IPA just doesn't sound quite as appealing. Out in the sun, you could easily put down a lot of this pale wheat beer without thinking twice.

So go grab some of these beers (or if you can't find any of them for some reason, a couple honorable mentions are below), get ready to harass some Cardinals fans, and head towards Stadium Drive to put in some quality tailgating time this season.

Honorable Mention
Avery Joe's Premium American Pilsner
Schlafly Summer Lager


  1. I'd like to suggest the 8-bit 16 oz can from Tallgrass as well: good stuff. I concur with Modus.
    I'm enjoying one now watching the Tribe whoop it up over the Blue Jays.

  2. Where the shit is Wheach?! This blog is such a fraud.

  3. I thought you had bought all the Wheach that was available in both Missouri and Kansas? I didn't want to get anyone's hopes up that they might be able to find some.

  4. Good suggestions indeed. Though an uninterrupted four pack of pint sized Torpedoes will likely leave your palate in shambles, unable to appreciate the delicious ballpark (parking lot) fare.

    I would add New Belgium's Shift Pale Lager to the cooler as well, which recently came out and is also in the 16oz cans. It is a nice clear refreshing lager, but with a bit more body and some extra hops. I'm noticing more bitterness accumulating as I finish off my first one.


  5. +1 on Halcyon. That was my go-to pool beer last year and it's excellent for being out in the sun and drinking an enjoyable beer that you don't have to think about at all (in a good way).

  6. Screw the environment. Bring a hefty bag and don't limit yourself to cans. Make your tailgate a Primo Celebraish. Crank up the tunes and drink like a 1000 cold ones.

  7. ^ Nominee for Comment of the Year. If you had mentioned "trunk liquor" or "the 'Bring" you might have sealed the deal.

  8. I don't get the love for Halcyon. I mean, it's okay, but Tallgrass beers have never really done anything for me. Oasis is the best beer in their portfolio.

    I'd also throw Caldera IPA in the mix. It's a bit more pricy (~$13/sixer) than the others mentioned, but it delivers the bold hop flavors that my palette desires.

    And, Bobby, I'm surprised you didn't throw a BL 'Nums reference in there.

  9. New Belgium's new 16 oz can-only lager, Shift, is perfect for the occasion.