With tailgating season upon us, it is only natural to find a few go-to brews for those long days of grilling and game-watching. If you’re looking for sessionable brews with respectable flavor and drinkability, these are our top 10 Pennsylvania picks.
2SP Brewing Company Delco Lager
Affectionately referred to as one of its “all weather” beers, 2SP’s flagship lager is a game changer for tailgaters up the road in South Philly. The 4% ABV brew is crisp and slightly sweet, with flavorful but light-bodied characteristics that make it perfect for drinking during an afternoon Iggles game.
Rivertowne Brewing Always A Home Game
While the name might be a dead giveaway, this golden lager was made for tailgating. Always A Home Game is somewhat sweet, but the main attraction of this beer is its drinkability. It is crisp and light bodied, while still maintaining the flavorful characteristics from the real ingredients you expect from craft breweries.
Funk Brewing Citrus
This West Coast style IPA from Emmaus’s Funk Brewing is brewed with grapefruit juice and a plethora of hops, giving it huge notes of fruit and slight pine characteristics. The grapefruit aroma bursts out of the can, while the simple malt base and somewhat high ABV (7%) are well hidden.
Victory Brewing Company Prima Pils
Prima Pils is full of rich German ingredients, which shine through in this pilsner’s aroma and taste. With German malts, German and Czech hops and Pennsylvania water, this elegant beer is a great example of how old styles are making a comeback with consumers. The rich flavors from the malt and hops mingle to create a floral bite, while the dry finish beckons you to take another sip.
Yards Brewing Company Philly Pale Ale
Yards Philadelphia Pale Ale is a staple in the summer, and for good reason. This light-bodied pale ale is dry-hopped with Simcoe, leaving way for notes of citrus fruit and intense pine to take center stage. At only 4.6% ABV, this lawnmower beer is also a great companion for barbequing and tailgating.
Tröegs Independent Brewing Dreamweaver
Tröeg’s unfiltered wheat beer, Dreamweaver, is relatively light due to its malt bill and contains huge flavors of clove and pepper that appear during open-top fermentation. This brew’s slightly tart finish is enjoyable in the dead of summer and also as the air gets a little colder.
Saint Benjamin INCA
Saint Benjamin’s INCA, or India Cream Ale, is a thoughtful reimagining of a cream ale. The beer has a soft mouthfeel that gives way to flavors of pine and earth from the Simcoe and Cluster hops. St. Benjamin has been canning this drinkable, creamy beer for some time, making it even easier to grab some and go.
Lavery Brewing Company Dulachan
Lavery Brewing Company’s flagship IPA is loaded with hops and clocks in at 70 IBUs, but the brew remains sessionable at 5.6% ABV. Citrus and pine dominate the aroma and flavor, and the clean finish makes this beer sippable all day. This brew is a great choice to go with a meal, especially around the campfire.
ShawneeCraft Brewery Double Pale Ale
This “Old-World IPA” is a great choice when you want a higher ABV with a well-balanced flavor. ShawneeCraft’s double pale ale is hopped with Magnum, Columbus and East Kent Goldings, which blend with the malt bill to create a strong herbal bite. At 7.2% ABV, it is a great way to end a session of some lighter beers.
Old Forge Brewing Company Paradise Pils
Like most of the beers on this list, this traditional style is executed with precision. With herbal flavors from the malt and hops, Paradise Pils is a refreshing beer with the light body to be drinkable all day.
The Brewers of Pennsylvania is a nonprofit trade association that brings together leaders of Pennsylvania-based breweries in order to promote and protect the brewing industry in the state. Established in 2011, the Brewers of Pennsylvania serves the consuming public of Pennsylvania by encouraging brand diversity in the market. We believe in the nobility of brewing and hold dear the great traditions and history of Pennsylvania brewing.
Photos: Jay Breslin