Enhance your tailgating palate

“This Saturday is the Homecoming game at the Rubber Bowl and that means one thing: tailgating. Nothing says, Go Zips! like standing out in a field and drinking for hours with a couple hundred other fans. Odds are you already have your favorite pre-game beer picked out, and odds are that beer is probably just some cheap brew.”

This Saturday is the Homecoming game at the Rubber Bowl and that means one thing: tailgating.

Nothing says, Go Zips! like standing out in a field and drinking for hours with a couple hundred other fans. Odds are you already have your favorite pre-game beer picked out, and odds are that beer is probably just some cheap brew.

Why settle for a beer that is only slightly more potent than water when you can have a real beer with real taste?

Here are five common beers that you should leave at the store and a beer that you should pick up instead.

1. Natural Light

Natty Light, as it is known, has to be the biggest joke beer around. Sure, you can get 300 cans for $1.50 but what’s the point?

You’ll wind up sloshing around, filled with worthless alcohol before you ever get to the point where you are feeling good.

Replace with: Sam Adams Oktoberfest

This beer is only available during the fall, so there is no better time to enjoy it than while tailgating.

Probably the best Sam Adams has to offer, this beer just tastes like what you would assume October would taste like.

Brewed with banana, pumpkin, nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon, you can’t go wrong on game day with this brew.

2. Busch Beer

You deserve better than this. The alcohol content is only 4.6%. Cough syrup offers more of a punch.

Busch Beer is also a major advertiser with NASCAR. Yee-haw. This is football, quit drinking the official beer of the mullet.

Replace with: Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)

This beer comes at you with an alcohol content of 11 percent. It won’t take too many of these to get you going.

Brewed with caramel malt, this beer offers you a rich taste and a clean finish.

3. Miller High Life

Any beer that refers to itself as the champagne of beers shouldn’t have a place on Saturday’s to-drink list. High Life is a cheap alternative to actually picking a real beer to tailgate with.

Sure, it’s above Natural Light on the beer food chain, but that isn’t saying much.

Replace with: Magic Hat No. 9.

Some people like to call this fruit beer, because there is a hint of apricot to it. Don’t let that label deter you from picking up a six-pack of this great beer. It pours with a golden color and a light head that won’t last long.

While not as high on the alcohol content (only 4.6 percent) don’t confuse this with Busch. No. 9 is here to sip on and enjoy.

4. The Beast, Milwaukee’s Best

If this is truly Brew City’s best, they should consider never brewing beer again. It’s hard to describe The Beast because it really isn’t much different than any of the other three jobber beers.

The only reason it isn’t higher on this list is because it doesn’t seem to be too popular around here.

Replace it with: Ommegang.

Brewed out of New York, Ommegang weighs in at a hefty 8.5 percent alcohol content. With a hint of soy sauce, this beer finishes with almost a whiskey taste.

If you enjoy Jack Daniels or Knob Creek, you’ll enjoy Ommegang. It’s darker than a beer should be for tailgating, but it goes outstanding with a medium rare steak.

5. Bud Light

Out of all the bad beers to choose for tailgating, Bud Light is probably the most forgivable offense. Going with Buddy Light is kind of lazy though.

For about a dollar more, you could buy the best normal beer they offer in Bud Select.

For the sake of argument though, you should replace it with: Paulaner Hefe-Weizen

Straight out of Germany, this beer is unfiltered when it is brewed, giving it the strong smell you would come to expect from a Hefe-Weizen. If you can’t find Paulaner anywhere you also can’t go wrong with the Sam Adams Hefe-Weizen. Either way your tailgate experience will be improved 10-fold.