Tailgating: Beer me! Drink the good stuff the way nature intended — in a can, at a tailgate.

  • Photo by Meghan Ralston
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From the August 28, 2014 edition

Good news, craft-beer enthusiasts: Canned beer is no longer just for step-dads. With football season (read: BYOB tailgate bash season) looming and summer winding down, there has never been a better time to opt for a six-pack of cans of your favorite local brew when packing your cooler.

Canned beer has come a long way in recent years, and both brewers and drinkers have benefitted. See, not only are cans lighter and easier to transport than glass bottles, they don’t allow light or air to taint the beer’s flavor. With advances in can design eliminating the metallic after-taste associated with canned beers of the past, there really isn’t a better option for your boozy BYOB outing. Whether you’re gearing up for the game or sunning by the pool, here are our favorite canned craft brews to keep your koozie company.

Four String Brewing Company’s Brass Knuckle American Pale Ale (5.75-percent ABV)

Four String’s Brass Knuckle APA is an easy drinking, hop-forward brew that hits you with flavor. With the perfect one-two punch of hops and citrus, Brass Knuckle APA is perfect for those who want something hard-hitting as well as refreshing. If you’re a hop-fiend who digs a solid pale ale without a sour aftertaste, this is for you.

Seventh Son Brewing Company’s Humulus Nimbus Super Pale Ale (6-percent ABV)

For a crisp beer with a bitter dandelion finish, opt for Seventh Son’s Humulus Nimbus Super Pale Ale. Hints of blueberry and pine juxtapose the hops, giving Humulus Nimbus a curious flavor profile. Light, airy and interesting, this is a great brew to sip on well into overtime.

Seventh Son Brewing Company’s American Strong Ale (7.7-percent ABV)

Seventh Son’s American Strong Ale is the company’s flagship brew, and for good reason. Grapefruit, seven hops and a red malt core, coupled with the higher alcohol content make this powerful brew the perfect sidekick for a tailgate or dinner party. The refreshing grapefruit notes are as bittersweet as the end of summer, but the hop-forward flavor will have you ready for the crisp fall air.

Elevator Brewing Company’s Bleeding Buckeye Red Ale (5.7-percent ABV)

If you bleed scarlet and gray like Elevator Brewing Company brewmaster and Ohio State alumnus Vic Schiltz, look no further than Bleeding Buckeye Red Ale. This medium-bodied amber brew boasts a nutty aroma and offers balance between the hops and malt. It goes down smooth without skimping on flavor, making it perfect for the Buckeye fan who has graduated from dorm room drinking, but doesn’t want to over-do it.

Maumee Bay Brewing Company’s Buckeye Beer (5.2-percent ABV)

Hailing from Toledo, Maumee Bay Brewing Company’s Buckeye Beer is a pleasingly accessible pilsner ideal for the final days of summer. Crisp, light and with a hint of lemon zest, this beer can quench your thirst during early season games, or be the perfect poolside companion.