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

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