Each week throughout the football season I'm going to suggest a good beer for the ubiquitous pre-game tailgate. Let's be honest, with tailgates it's not always top quality that you're looking for. To steal a phrase from the heinous beer terrorists at Budweiser, you want "drinkability." (or what a real beer connoisseur calls "a session beer") So, be warned, these may not be "the best" beers around. But, in the words of Dave Chappelle as Samuel L. Jackson, "IT'LL GET YOU DRUNK!"
Fresno St.... hrmmm... this is a tough one. No major breweries to speak of in Fresno, and I already did the British Bulldog angle two years ago... gotta reach deep in the bag this week...
In a recent interview with a local interest magazine, Bulldog head coach Tim DeRuyter was asked about his familial roots in Holland, and if he favors any traditional Dutch dish. "Dutch food is not real good to be honest with you. I tend more toward their beer than their food." Fair enough, coach. In honor for Coach DeRuyter, and indeed all of the freaky-deaky Dutch-Americans out there, I'm naming Holland's #1 exporter of beer, Heineken, as my gameday beer-o-the-week.
Brewed since 1873, Heineken has helped Heineken International (also brewers of Amstel) become the #3 mass-brewer in the world, only behind A-B InBev and SABMiller. Pale, pilsner, and lager... this brew hits all the mass-produced check-boxes. It ubiquitously prevalent across the globe, and plenty of people they're getting something special by drinking this import. At the end of the day, however, it's just the Miller or Budweiser of Europe.
Many people complain about the "skunky" smell/taste of Heineken and many other imported beers. That's actually an intentional side effect of both the brewing process and the green bottles. It's known that they actually run the beer through a bank of UV lights prior to palletization, forcing skunk into the brew. While improvements in storage and transportation have made it possible for Heineken to knock out the skunk flavor, they do this because marketers found that many Americans associate that flavor with imported beer; prefer it even (people are weird). If you're ever in Europe, give "real" Heineken a try, you'll be shocked at the difference a little UV can make.
I personally enjoy their mini-kegs; I think it's a neat way to both market and deliver their product. You get about 14 12oz pours out of one, and a few will more than set your tailgate right.
Happy Friday! Go Buffs, beat the Bulldogs!