Hoya Suxa Lifestyle Tip: Preparing for Tailgating Season on the Fourth of July (Part I)

Today, I will drink for my countrymen. via cdn1.sbnation.com

I don't know about you guys, but Fourth of July Weekend is a pretty important holiday in my neck of the woods.  Not only do we get to pay tribute to the most kickass country in the most kickass world in the universe's most kickass galaxy, but we get to do it shirtless and sunburned while screaming "Aw! Hell yeah, bro!" as stuff explodes in the sky.

You know, just as the Founding Fathers intended when they told the British to stick it.

This weekend just isn't about celebrating U.S. independence, though.  No way, homeslice.  This weekend is all about preparing for football tailgating season.  You see, there's only 62 days until Syracuse squares off against Wake Forest in the Carrier Dome.  This is your last best chance to mimic the pressure of a live tailgating experience: You need to feed and quench the thirst of throngs of interlopers; if you blow it, you pretty much ruin the entire day, you selfish Larry.

In short, you need to get the kinks worked out this weekend or else you could very well find yourself in the tailgating basement and completely out of tailgating title contention before the start of October.  The stakes are huge.

With that in mind, I'm here to help.  I've covered some tailgaiting tips before (here and here), but I'm going to go in a little bit of a different direction today.  With the assistance of alcohol connoisseur Aaron Goldfarb, we're going to walk you through some grilling and drinking options you could try this weekend in order to elevate the status of your tailgate come September 1, 2011. 

It's football food in July, and the only people that are going to complain about that are stupid folks that tell you to live healthy because everyone is apparently supposed to live forever. 

Now, I'm not going to provide recipes (that's for you to work out on your own).  These are just some ideas to hopefully move you away from that loathsomely static menu of "burgers and dogs."  All of Goldfarb's beer selections are from New York State breweries as "we never leave the state.  Not even to drink."  Because we love you, suggestions are complimented with their Beer Advocate profile.

PULLED PORK SANDWICHES

The holy grail of the grill.  It's the star of stars and my favorite go-to when doing barbeque.  It's almost impossible to screw this up: Get about a nine-pound pork shoulder with the bone in; get your rub going; get your smoker smoking; and let that baby smoke slow and low for about an hour to an hour-and-a-half per pound.  The taste is delightful and it involves only watching a thermometer and mopping that bad boy every 45 minutes.

So, you know, you'll never miss a round of cornhole.

I'd only recommend this option for a Syracuse game with a later start in which you'll have plenty of time to let the shoulder smoke (your best bets are Wake Forest in the opener or, more likely than not, Cincinnati at the end of the season).  Otherwise, you'll be rushing perfection, which is almost a Rutgers-level of stupid.

Aaron Goldfarb's New York State Beer Suggestion . . .

SIXPOINT RIGHTEOUS ALE

Nothing says righteous like pairing a food that Jews aren't supposed to eat with a beer made with rye -- something Jews very much like to eat.  Syracuse fans are often Jews, QED, you'll very much like this canned beer, which will go perfectly with some pulled pork you can't tell Rabbi Bernie Fine about.

CHILI AND MAC & CHEESE

South Florida and West Virginia saunter into the Carrier Dome for Friday night kick-offs in early November and late October, respectively.  You're not going to have a lot of time to tailgate, assuming that you have a job of some kind that requires you to show up at intervals other than "whenever the hell you want."  My suggestion here is to keep it simple.  A hearty chili put in the crock pot on Thursday night will be ready to go by the time that you get home from the office on Friday. Throw it in a pot and then onto the grill for a quickie heating and you're ready for that all important first-course coating.

Macaroni and cheese on the grill takes a little bit of talent and patience, but it is decidedly good.  It'll serve as a nice comfort food compliment to the hearty chili and will keep you warm as Syracuse's late-fall breeze chills your bones.  A simple yet different and delicious option on the grill.

Aaron Goldfarb's New York State Beer Suggestion . . .

THE BLIND BAT HELLSMOKE PORTER 

Not named in honor of Higgins and Burr, this new and little-known "nano-brewery" out of Long Island is making some quite tasty stuff, with their applewood-smoked porter as their flagship.  Rich, malty, chocolaty, smoky (of course), and surprisingly drinkable at 5.7% this flavorful brew is perfect for the little wieners you know that claim to "not like dark beers."  Quite frankly, the Hellsmoke Porter would be perfect to cook the chili in.

WINGS

Ready?  Set?  Duh.

Don't be fooled: A grilled wing can be almost as satisfying as one that gets fried.  If you are really into frying your wings, though, your grill is there to help.  Just make sure that you get the heat nice and hot. 

The great thing about wings is that you can really go to town with a variety of sauces.  That's why when I do wings, I do them alone: It's a one-man show, but the acts come with different flavors.  So, go with your buffalo hot, make a smokey barbeque, try out some teriyaki, a cajun jerk rub, maybe even a fruity mango, pineapple, or orange blend.  It's up to you, sexypants.  The sauce making will usually consume a Friday evening, but then you're good to go with any of the "to be announced" start times that litter the center of Syracuse's home schedule.

Aaron Goldfarb's New York State Beer Suggestion . . .

ITHACA FLOWER POWER

Coming out of the Ivy League city nearby us that no one cares about unless they beat us in lacrosse, is the state's finest IPA.  With an aroma danker than those wafting out of a Brewster/Boland dorm room, and a piercing taste of grapefruit and other citrus fruits, this bad boy is perfect for scraping the buffalo wing burn off your tongue and replacing it with something a little more tropical.

Part II coming shortly.  In the meantime, what are you throwing on the grill this weekend/during football season?

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