Alcohol is pretty much the only salve that soothes the weary football soul, while at the same time filling it with gallons of false hope and grandeur that the rudderless team you love will suddenly put it all together and stomp the very next team that dares to cross its path in a theatre of war. Nobody doubts this. This is exactly why beer is the essential ingredient for enjoying a full college football season the way Steve Sarkisian intended: laced to the gills. And in Austin we know how to get shellacked in 2.5-million-degree heat on acres of asphalt before watching a tepid team take the field on the way to a six-win campaign!
Here at the Chronicle, we're inclined to present you with Austin's newest class of tailgating beers. Yes, there are still the legends of the parking lot, like Austin Beerworks' Pearl Snap, Hops & Grain's Zoe, and Live Oak Pilz, so if you decline to heed any new potables this season in favor of these icons, fine. But if you feel like showing up with some recently released, sessionable, and easily transportable canned efforts from a few underappreciated breweries around town, read on.
NXNW | Northern Light Helles (5% ABV)
Lagers are always a wise choice for distance drinking: light, clean, lower in alcohol, and mild in flavor. This classic NXNW beer (which recently made it to aluminum packaging) has a low hop profile and a slight grassy undertone to get you in a competitive mood.
Hi Sign | Violet the Blueberry Blonde (5.1% ABV)
A smooth-drinking ale with subtle fruitiness that isn't cloying or obnoxious to drink by the half-dozen in Austin's unrelenting heat. Violet is the berry-flavored sister of Hi Sign's Christie the American Blonde – a nice session beer in its own right – but the blueberry kicks it up three notches.
Circle Brewing | Fanny Pack Kölsch (4.8% ABV)
Fanny Pack is Circle's simulacrum of a traditional German kölsch, where this interpretation is made with Huell Melon hops that suggest sweet notes of honeydew, apricot, and strawberry that dazzle the palate much the same way that the beer's exterior packaging dazzles the eyes.
Whitestone Brewery | Lovely Day IPA (6.8% ABV)
Sure, IPA nerds have a love affair with mosaic hops, but the centennials are the superstars of Lovely Day's lineup: piney, citrusy, and floral, with tropical notes from the Mandarina Bavaria hops as the dependable role players. This mild IPA has a great finish that cleans the palate well, with enough punch to keep you as loose as A&M's admissions standards.
Celis | White (4.9% ABV)
This classic and delicious Austin beer has finally come to cans after decades of inactivity, which just might be the perfect metaphor for Tom Herman bringing the Longhorns back from the land of the dead.