In Marketplace Commentary

Tailgating in Milwaukee is always a hit. (PHOTO: David Bernacchi)

7 must-haves for a great Milwaukee tailgate

It's a Milwaukee tradition. An institution of sorts. One we don't take lightly – and you shouldn't either. The best tailgate possible can take a while to fine tune. You need to learn what you like and what you don't.

Luckily, we're here to help with a few suggestions to make your Brewers tailgate the best ever.

The grill

There is nothing like the smell of tailgating wafting through Miller Valley. Make sure do your part by adding to it! The Weber Smokey Joe is a trusty reliable in the charcoal department. It will more than get the job done albeit a bit small for a large party. If you'd like to size up the Jumbo Joe Gold is here to help. Don't want to deal with the charcoal? The Coleman Roadtrip LXE is large enough for your typical grilling needs and the shelves are a nice touch. It folds up for easy storage in the car or trunk.

Get the look

Hopefully the sun is shining on Miller Park's lots – and on you. Get ready for it as you roll outta Downtown with a stop at the new Wisconsin Vision in the Historic Third Ward for a pair of shades – such as these RayBan's. Or go cheesy, and sport these babies. You should also protect your head from the shining orb with this Brewers colors themed "414" hat! Sure, Miller Park has a retractable roof, but the parking lots do not. So, bring a jacket or sweatshirt to protect yourself in case a stiff wind is coming off that damn lake. In the heat of summer a Brewers tank or T-shirt will help you get a great farmer-tan.

Necessities

You might be one of those people who just sets your food on the trunk of your car, but you shouldn't be. This handy table is perfect for tailgating and will suit most of your needs while being easy to carry and clean. After your food gets cookin,' settle down into this Coleman Quad Chair. It even has a mini-cooler built into it that'll hold up to 4 cans. These "Go Plates" will help keep one hand free to still turn your brats.

The goods

Brats and burgers still rule the grills, and you really can't go wrong with a classic. Head to Usinger's Famous Sausage in Downtown for some of the best freshly made sausages – and then snag some pretzel buns to go with. Bunzel's Meat Market, Kettle Range Meat Co., Bavette La Boucherie and Ray's Butcher Shoppe all have an abundance of choices to put on the grill and sizzle up. One of our favorite choices? The specialty pre-made burgers at Pick n' Save – you can't go wrong with a cheddar-bacon.

Brews & beverages

You'll want a beverage or two, or three or four. The perfect start to your tailgate could be a Steny's Tavern & Grill's Bloody Mary. Or try a bottle of OMG Bloody Mary. Stay with that theme and get some growlers of beer too. Head to Third Space, City Lights, Ray's Growler Room or a few other local options recommended here. You've made the investment in that beer – so keep it chilled all tailgate long with this double wall vacuum insulated mini-keg that will keep your beer cold for up to 24 hours. If you really want to go big, get a cooler with a tapper – you'll want this Brewers tap handle for it!

Keepin' in hot & cold

You've just spent half your paycheck on the brats, beer and bevvys, so now it's time to protect your investment. Your grilling goods, beer and more will stay well-chilled in the Igloo Ultra Cooler – and also easy for transport on rollers. If you've precooked some of your food, the "Wonderbag" is your key to keeping it hot till you eat. Transport all of it easily with a Snapbasket!

The fun stuff

Don't be the guy without a koozie to catch your beer sweat. Even better, be the guy with the "Bevometer" and keep track of the number of beers you've had while also keeping that beer cold. You'll need something to pop that beer bottle open with – so snag this Milwaukee themed one. Mixing up a batch of blue and yellow Jell-O shots? No muss no fuss with these handy containers. Don't forget a cornhole game, complete with a Brewers theme!


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