Tailgating is about food, friendship, and taking the edge off. Different beers are better suited for different occasions, and some beers are a great match for almost any occasion.
These 10 are my personal suggested consumables for the 2012 college football season:
1: Fancy Lawnmower: Fancy Lawnmower is a beer from the Saint Arnold Brewing Company. It has a crisp taste. It's got a bit of a hop punch, but it's not a heavy beer, at all. The light taste goes down easy; a well-suited refresher on a hot day.
2: Shiner Bock: Shiner is from the Spoetzl Brewery, in Shiner, Texas. It is a lightly carbonated amber colored brew with a slightly sweet taste. Shiner goes down easy, and it's never given me any trouble.
3: Bud Light: Bud light by Anheuser-Busch. Bud Light has, as Anheuser-Busch puts it, "superior drinkability." I would say that it's easy to put away. Nothing about the taste stands out. It strikes me as a consistently high quality, but somewhat generic beer taste -- maybe because it is the world's best selling beer?
4: Pabst Blue Ribbon: From Pabst Brewing Company, one of the first brewers to experiment with canned beer. Served very cold (as it should be), it is crisp, refreshing, and inexpensive.
5: Dos Equis XX Special Lager: Dos Equis has a corny malt smell -- earthy, like Mexican food. I like this one, and not because of the commercials, though I do like them. Too musky for some; it's good in my book.
6: Guinness Draught: On a cold day, I like a Guinness. And nothing simulates the draft version like these awesome cans with the nitrogen widget inside.
7: Busch: Busch is cheap beer, where I live, yet it is quite drinkable. These two are key components for real tailgating.
8: Natural Light: This one is made by the same people that make Bud Light. One of these two beers (Natural Light, Bud Light) is very popular; the other is cheap, but still very drinkable.
9: Lone Star: I love Lone Star. Again, you may want to try this one first, as not a lot of people rate it as highly as I do. You are likely to be one of the few drinking Lone Star, however, so you will stand out, which can lead to making new friends (or enemies).
10: Spaten Oktoberfest: Not available all year, this one is a quality brew worth waiting for. You are not going to be drinking a lot of these on the lot, most likely, but they sure do taste good.
Skip Griffin is a lifelong Texas Longhorns fan. He'll root for any Texas college team, however. He maintains that tailgating season officially begins in April, with Texas Rangers baseball.