If you’re looking to host the perfect tailgate, take your tips from the professionals here at Tall Guy and A Grill. Between me and our Catering Manager, Veronica O’Donnell, we’ve got more than 50 years of experience perfecting this popular sports tradition for friends, family, and local strangers. It’s what we love to do.
I grew up grilling with my dad while listening to Bob Uecker call Brewer games. Veronica, rather than hyperfocus on the fact that she isn’t a Green Bay Packer fan, has had family-owned season tickets to the Chicago Bears since the 1940’s. Like me, she understands the essence of tailgating. That being said, here are three very basic, very important tips to abide by if you want to carry out this art to perfection.
“What was once a couple of chairs and a tiny grill has turned into 2 parking spots of tents, tables, chairs, etc.” – Veronica
In addition to tents, tables, and chairs, you simply can’t afford to forget the simple things, like: bottle openers, charcoal, lighter fluid, etc. Also, give yourself ample time to pack and plan according to the weather. What will you need in 30° as opposed to 90°? Sweatshirts? Sunglasses? Sunscreen?
Lastly, if you want to keep the crew close together for bean bag toss, bloody mary’s, and the buffet, consider meeting your guests at an easy location outside of the stadium and caravan into the parking lot together.
A good tailgate is all about good meat. I prefer locally sourced, grass-fed brats and burgers from trusted companies like Kettle Range Meat Co. Between their Spanish Chorizo, Beef Cheddar Jalapeno Brats, and Fig & Rosemary Sausage, I’m not really sure which is better. I’m also obsessed with Pretizilla Co. Buns – the meat and bun compliment each other so well that you might not want basic condiments.
You’ll also need a variety of side dishes for your tailgaters. I like to switch the sides up from game to game, but my general go-to dishes include: housemade salt & cracked pepper potato chips, pasta salad, guacamole, and a fruit or veggie wrapped & grilled in nuske’s bacon.
“We always have a ton of snacks from chips & dip to my Sister-in-law’s famous guacamole. As for the main course: meat, meat, & more meat! We throw brats, burgers, steaks, even a whole chicken on the grill before the game.” – Veronica
As the tailgate host, be ready to celebrate home runs and touch downs with a good Lakefront Brew or two. On occasion, I’ll prepare a solid cocktail with Central Standard bourbon & ginger beer or Calypso Juice & Central Standard vodka. A good concoction always scores a few extra points with guests.
Rain, snow, sleet, or shine, tailgating is one way for me to show the #locallove, grill good food, and carry out a family tradition. And, even though she’s a Bear’s fan, I agree with my Tall Guy teammate Veronica:
“The best part of tailgating is the time I get to spend with family & friends. We’ve created some of the best memories and there are many more to come!”
Hope you enjoyed these 3 Tips to Host the Perfect Tailgate!