It’s Time to Tailgate!

Fire up your grill, set up that Cornhole board and pop open a cold one. It’s finally football season.

After a long break, you will get a taste of tailgating season when the NFL preseason begins on Aug. 3 with the annual Hall of Fame game. Then, three weeks of preseason games will get you through until the college football season begins on Aug. 26 and the NFL regular season kicks off on Sept. 7 with the Kansas City Chiefs playing the New England Patriots on their home turf.

If you don’t have a tailgating plan, now is the time to make one. Since Orlando is home to so many breweries, such as Crooked Can Brewing Company inside Winter Garden’s Plant Street Market, it’s easy to pair local flavors with your game-day menu. Consider the following pairings with some of Crooked Can Brewing Company’s craft beers.

Cloud Chaser Hefeweizen
This German wheat beer has fruit and spice characteristics with prominent banana and clove notes on the nose and the palate. Its smooth, slightly sweet flavors pair well with a variety of food items that you don’t usually see on a tailgate spread like light fish dishes. On game day, try pairing Cloud Chaser with a bratwurst sandwich topped with onions and peppers, a heavier dish that balances the lightness of the beer.

McSwagger’s Own Amber Ale
This American-style amber ale has a copper to dark-red hue and a mildly fruity hops aroma. Roasted malts give McSwagger’s Own its caramel notes, which pair well with rich dishes like a classic cheeseburger and all the fixin’s or a hearty barbecue meal.

Workaholic American Pale Ale
This beer is incredibly balanced with an abundant fruit aroma from dry hopping and a light, refreshing flavor that comes from the careful selection of malts. Since it’s on the lighter side, pair Workaholic with heavy appetizers like bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers or spicy chicken wings to balance it out.

These are just a few of the many possible food and beer pairings you can make this football season. The good news is that no two tailgates need to be the same – you can do something different all season long.

Top 5 Tailgating Hacks

1. Pack a toolbox with tailgating essentials like cooking tools, seasonings, napkins, bottle openers and anything else you may need. Then keep it in your trunk so it’s one less thing to pack on game day.
2. When you’re done with your next six-pack, keep the container it came in. Recycle it by using it as a handy carrier for condiments.
3. Use a cupcake pan to hold hot dog and hamburger toppings in one easy-to-clean spot.
4. Don’t throw away your empty laundry detergent bottle. Instead, rinse it out, fill it with water and bring it with you to use as a hand-washing station. Just don’t forget the soap and paper towels.
5. Freeze water bottles and use them as ice for your cooler. Then, when they thaw, you have a nice, cold beverage to keep you hydrated during the game.


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Written by Lyndsay Fogarty

Lyndsay Fogarty has had many roles at Central Florida Lifestyle, working her way from intern to contributing writer to managing editor. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication where she earned her degree in journalism. Along the way, she has learned that teamwork and dedication to your craft will get you far, and a positive outlook on the present will get you even farther.

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