A tailgate-friendly craft beer for every NFL city

When glass hits pavement it tends to shatter. The moral: Don’t tailgate with bottled beer.

In the early days of micro and craft brewing, canned beer had a bad reputation; beer-geek approval meant bottles. But over the past decade or so, the craft-beer contingent has fully embraced aluminum. Cans keep beer fresher by shutting out light and oxygen, both of which can skunk a beer. They're more portable than bottles and easier to produce, transport and recycle. And real or perceived, there’s a humility to canned beer that just seems more appropriate in certain settings, especially a football game.

The NFL season kicked off Sept. 5. If you’re after the convenience of cans with a bit more attention to flavor and locality, just about every football fan has options. With the exception of one beer-starved region, I’ve paired a local canned craft beer with each NFL team. Fortunately, no expansion teams started up this year – there’s no room left in my fridge.

Text by Bret Stetka | Photo editing by Mike Hipple

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Nov 22, 2012 8:20AM
Who drinks Beer out of a can?! It's bottle, glass or NOTHING!!
The odds of seeing a can of Sprecher at a Packers game are between slim and none. This is a fail considering how many other beers are made in WI that have more notoriety. Dont get me wrong Sprecher has great beers and a killer Root Beer soda quite possibly the BEST on the planet!  Makes AW Root Beer taste like piss!
Oct 9, 2012 12:02PM
Obviously 99.2% of the posters here cannot read or have the attention span of an ADHD-addled fruit fly or are in desperate need to show off their supposed beer IQ.

1. Beer must be in cans
2. Beer must be considered "craft" beer.

These parameters are noted in the next-to-last sentence.

If you think Iron City is craft beer, kindly move to the back of the bus. In fact, get out of the bus & lie down in front of it. Does Samuel Adams, Great Lakes or Penn Brewing come in cans? Ummm...no. So unless you plan on being the next Thomas Edison & invent it, we'll strike those & several others mentioned.

Feeling silly yet? Good thing I didn't ask who is your presidential pick.

Oct 9, 2012 11:09AM

With 6 Breweries within 5 miles of the stadium you go to one in the Raliegh area for the Carolina Panthers located in Charlotte? Sure you weren't looking for a brew for the Hurricanes' fan's? Get real guys pick something in the area!

Oct 9, 2012 11:04AM

no one from Buffalo is going to Rochester or Ithaca to get a beer for their WNY tailgate....at the Ralph or for home.   you wasted a potentially good article with a "Buffalo" beer that is more available outside of New York State than available inside.....

    there are PLENTY of great LOCAL brews that could have been used here for the Buffalo Bills and you  do an injustice to all those that are really enjoyed at one of the premier tailgate citiies of ALL pro sports, let alone the NFL.    oh well, par for the Buffalo course.....or is it curse.

BR  10/9/12

Oct 5, 2012 3:06PM

Houston Texans should have been paired with any of the fine crafts from St. Arnold's which is brewed in Houston. 


Sep 23, 2012 7:59AM
Coming from a life long Clevelander, you have it all wrong when it comes to Cleveland man, sorry! First of all Jackie O's is a very small, but good craft brewery, that is about 4 or 5 hours south of Cleveland.  Jackie O's distribution is still pretty limited and beers don't even make it up to stores in Cleveland very often if at all.  Their stuff doesn't really get north of Columbus very often.  You might be lucky enough to see a keg of their stuff on tap once in awhile here and there at a bar that specializes in craft beer.  The Browns themed craft beer for craft beer lovers/Browns fans in Cleveland is none other than Great Lakes Brewing Company's Cleveland Brown Ale.  Sadly, for virtually all Brown's fans that I know though, you'll rarely see them drinking anything other than piss water Bud, Miller, Coors, etc. beer while tailgating on Sunday mornings.
Sep 22, 2012 11:45PM
You're a journalist so at least get your facts straight. Titans play at LP "Field", not Stadium. I don't just know this "obscure" fact because I'm from TN, I'm not. Just an NFL Fan, are you?  Second point, just an FYI, you don't drink craft beer from a freaking can. If you can't have a beer glass then just forget it, like taking a shower with a raincoat on.  
Sep 22, 2012 10:10PM
Bret. No One wants to pelt Brady with their empties. They might want to pelt you. I've heard Samual Adams is pretty good.
Sep 22, 2012 9:40PM
Atwater? Seems like Motor city ought to have been selection.  I didnt even know Atwater was still open
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