Camping, Tailgating, Beaches & Beer!

24 Sep

There are only two occasions on which I will pop the top before noon: camping & tailgating!

Generally speaking, I don’t believe that it’s really necessary to drink before noon, but if I’m camping and the sun/birds/roosters wake me up at 6am when I’ve gone to bed somewhere around 1am, and I therefore have been up, showered, gone for a hike, made breakfast and have been sitting around a small campfire for 4 hours already, damned if I’m not gonna probably pop open a beer at 10 or 11am.  Now, what do you think I’m going to open at that hour?  Will it be a Magic Hat HIPA, or will it be a Miller Lite?  Hmmmm…. Yup, no question… Miller.

Lets be fair here, Miller, Bud, Coors etc., are basically like fun water.  Sure, at 11am when you’ve been up and around a campfire for a few hours, you could have some water.  Is that fun? Nope.  Would it quench your thirst just as much and also be fun to have a Miller? You betcha!

Fast forward several hours until the end of an evening of camping, and hmmm, lets see, maybe you find yourself playing either a game of flip cup or Beirut on the picnic table.  Do you want to be chugging an 1/4 cup of Sierra Nevada as fast as you can so you can throw again, or do you want to be able to easily slam back some Bud?  Bud, all the way.  If you’re playing drinking games, why would you waste money on ‘good beer’ when you’re just going to be chugging it, and not have the time to really sit down and savor it?  That’s just silly.

Now lets consider tailgating.  My friend Bill went to the Giants game last weekend and it started at 4pm. The gates open 5 hours before kickoff, at 11am.  He and his friends planned to be there at 11 when the gates open.  I didn’t really check with him, but I’m pretty sure its safe to say that he would like to remember the football game.  For that to happen, if you start tailgating (drinking) at 11am, it had better be some pretty light stuff.  Bud Light, Miller Lite and Coors Light are all around 4.2-4.5% ABV.   Sam Adams is around 4.75%, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is at 5.6% , and Harpoon’s IPA is 5.9%.  If you want to be able to drink “all day”, you definitely can’t be pounding back Sierra Nevadas, Harpoons, or any kind of porter or stout continually.

A big-ass cooler full of bud, miller or coors light and ice is absolute heaven for a day of tailgating before a game or a concert.  I do love my craft beer, but I would get too tipsy too soon drinking anything but my standard light beers, and then I’d be good for nothing!

Lastly, there’s beach-drinking.  Are you seriously going to tell me that a Guinness is going to be refreshing when you’re sitting on the sand sweating under a blazing, 82 degree sun at 1:00 in the afternoon?  Nope, that’s definitely not going to cut it.  What about if I passed you a Corona, with a lime?  Ahhhhhhh, you can taste it, can’t you?!?!  Don’t lie!  I don’t think it’s just that their marketing has brainwashed us completely with those nice beachy-themed commercials, but somehow it really is sort of the perfect beach-beer!  Maybe it’s the fact that it seems to go with something salty, so if you’ve happened to catch a huge mouthful of saltwater on your last outing in the waves, it seems to fit right in?  Whatever the case may be, you can’t beat a cold Coronoa with a lime mid-afternoon sitting on the beach.  Just remember, as we learned the hard way in Fire Island, doing too much day-drinking on the beach never fails to equal a short night out and an early date with your pillow.  Meanwhile, I gotta give credit to the folks at Bud for their ‘with lime’ beer that’s come out fairly recently.  It’s got serious potential to rival Corona in taste… plus you don’t have to actually buy & cut up the limes! (yep, I have major lazy tendencies!)

Our grandmothers (or miss manners?) were definitely right with the whole “a place for everything and everything in its place,” thing.  There really is a time and a place for every type of beer.  So-called ‘serious’ beer drinkers shouldn’t be sooooo into craft beer and specialty beer that they lose sight of how satisfying a cold, crisp Bud Light or Corona can be around a campfire, in a chair in a parking lot before a football game, or while you’re bumming around at the beach!

Man… now I wish it were the beginning of summer, instead of the end!  Well, at least we still have tailgaiting to look forward to! 🙂

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