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Beer

Eight Crushable, Unorthodox Beers to Win at the Tailgate This Fall

Trade in the Bud, Coors, and Miller Lite for cans that will have everyone stopping by for more.

When it comes to picking up beer for the season’s tailgating get-togethers, convenience and crushability are easily the two most significant factors. With these prerequisites in mind, cans are far and away the best choice format-wise. Luckily, these days cans are all the rage in craft brewing. Here are eight surefire selections.

Anchor California Lager

Anchor Brewing’s California Lager.
Anchor Brewing’s California Lager.

Anchor Brewing’s California Lager—first bottled in 2013—is a re-creation of the state’s very first lager, produced in 1876 by a brewery named Boca. Now, this easy-drinking historical artifact is also canned, making fresh consumption an even greater pleasure. A refreshingly grassy start turns toasty mid-palate, finishing nicely dry. anchorbrewing.com

 

Bell’s Two Hearted

Bell’s Brewery’s Two Hearted.
Bell’s Brewery’s Two Hearted.
Source: Mlive.com

Bell’s Brewery’s Two Hearted is one of craft brewing’s most revered classic IPAs, which, as luck would have it, is now available in tallboys. Grapefruit and pine come together with a bready malt backbone, harmoniously yielding a truly archetypal Midwestern hoppy beverage.

 

Carton 077XX

Carton Brewing's 077XX.
Carton Brewing's 077XX.

This double IPA from New Jersey’s Carton Brewing sadly isn’t particularly easy to find in its Northeast distribution zone, as beer nerds in the area generally snatch each batch practically off the canning line. But if you’re lucky enough to score some 077XX, “juicy” is the name of the game. Cantaloupe, mango, and pineapple push upfront, with a decidedly dry finish. cartonbrewing.com

 

Crispin Cidre Blanc

Crispin Cider’s Cidre Blanc.
Crispin Cider’s Cidre Blanc.

OK, while this cider isn’t canned (nor is it beer, for that matter), it satisfies the criteria in being an exceedingly convenient boxed craft beverage, not to mention a delicious gluten-free option. Crispin Cider’s Cidre Blanc is made from fresh-pressed unpasteurized apple juice fermented with white wine yeast, resulting in a crisp and terrifically refreshing off-dry thirst quencher. crispincider.com

 

Fremont Bonfire Ale

Fremont Brewing's Bonfire Ale.
Fremont Brewing's Bonfire Ale.

Fremont Brewing is one of Washington state’s most beloved craft beer makers, consistently adept at brewing the full stylistic gamut. Its seasonal Bonfire Ale is somehow simultaneously refreshing and robust, with a light rye spiciness and woodsy smokiness to temper a pillowy brown sugar sweetness. A perfect choice for when the air turns out to be slightly cooler than anticipated. fremontbrewing.com

 

Stillwater Yacht

Stillwater Artisanal’s Yacht.
Stillwater Artisanal’s Yacht.

Stillwater Artisanal’s Brian Strumke has crafted a luxurious “new world lager” in Yacht, an installment in his recent Contemporary Works series of recipes. Floral aspects meld with a pilsner malt architecture, with tea-like notes bouncing off the crackery base. stillwater-artisanal.com

 

Surly Brewing Todd the Axe Man

Surly Brewing's Todd the Axe Man.
Surly Brewing's Todd the Axe Man.

Originally brewed in collaboration with Denmark’s Amager Bryghus, Surly Brewing’s Todd the Axe Man, a West Coast-style IPA named after head brewer Todd Haug, now comes in a can. Explosive and highly allocated Citra and Mosaic hops produce a liquid teeming with bright fruit flavors balanced by a potent bitterness. surlybrewing.com

 

Westbrook Gose

Westbrook Brewing's Gose.
Westbrook Brewing's Gose.

For the adventurous (or, those who used to enjoy sucking on Warheads), Westbrook Brewing’s Gose is just the ticket, a salty/sour refresher with a margarita-like appeal. While the first intensely tart sip may come as a shock, one will quickly find oneself down the rabbit hole of this beer, imbibing on loop. westbrookbrewing.com

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