chicken being made on a sheet pan

Don’t worry if you don’t have tickets to the big game, we’ve got you covered with game day recipes, grilling tips and of course, beer. Here are our chefs and experts’ guide to throwing an epic tailgate party right from the comforts of your couch.

Set the Scene
“Get out those team colors! Find creative ways to incorporate your home team’s colors into the décor be it with disposable plates and silverware, centerpieces, flowers or even the food itself,” says Amanda Geary, Parties and Special Events Manager at Wildfire.

“Keep in mind the golden rule: One TV, please! Allow for open floor space for guests to move around and cheer. Dedicate another space for the non-watchers and make sure there’s some food and drink easily accessible for both.”

Grill, Baby, Grill
No parking lot? No problem. You can still grill at home and recreate that tailgate experience. Just remember: A certain amount of prep work is needed because not even the best recipe in the world will work if your grill isn’t clean. For a refresher, here’s a step-by-step guide from Community Canteen’s chef team:

1.  Brush your grill grates thoroughly with a hard-bristle grill brush.

2.  Clear the interior of any ash. If you have a gas grill, make sure the burners are clean and the holes are unobstructed to allow for proper gas flow.

3.  Next, heat up your grill prior to use and brush again with a clean towel or grill brush dipped in oil.  Allow it to dry and repeat three times to ensure the grates are clean and “seasoned.”

4.  Make sure to keep your grill clean during use. Brush and re-oil as often as needed.

5.  Once you get down to grilling, brush a little oil on meats, veggies and fish before putting them on the grill to avoid sticking.

6.  Always let your grill heat up properly before placing on the food. Hot and clean grill grates will prevent sticking.

Recipes They’ll Cheer For
We asked our chefs for their favorite game day eats, from dips to wings. Here are some recipes to try at your next home game.

Calabrian Chili and Roast Garlic Chicken Wings from stella barra

Here is the recipe for Calabrian Chili and Roast Garlic Chicken Wings with Chive Garnish from Stella Barra Pizzeria Chef Darren Underway.

Carolina-Style Pulled Pork with Mustard Mop from Community Canteen

Here is the recipe for Carolina-Style Pulled Pork with Mustard Mop from Community Canteen’s chef team.

Spinach and Artichoke Fondue from Wildfire

Here is the recipe for Kale and Artichoke Fondue from Wildfire, Divisional Executive Chef Moreno Espinoza.

Let’s Talk Beer

pint glasses of beer
You don’t want your beer selection to be a gametime decision so we asked our beer experts: What do you drink during the big game?

Stella Barra Pizzeria’s Bartender, Jeff Clark’s pick: Stiegl Radler – “This fruit forward beer is brewed in Austria and has a low 2.5% abv, a grapefruit-forward taste, and drinks more like a grapefruit soda than a beer.”

Stella Barra Pizzeria’s Bar Manager, Jeff Chang’s pick: Lagunitas Maximus – “Lagunitas Maximus is from my home state of California and really is an IPA on steroids. Packing an ABV of 8.2% it’s sure to satisfy your needs for hops.”

Wildfire Wine and Spirits Director, Brad Wermager’s picks: Samuel Adams Boston Lager – “Pair this with burgers and brats since the caramel/malty flavors in the beer will marry well with the juicy and savory flavors of these tailgate favorites. For the Wildfire Spinach and Artichoke fondue, I would definitely pair the Blue Moon Belgian White Ale since the coriander and orange elements in the Blue Moon works well with the cream and artichokes.”

Big Bowl Alcohol Manager, JD Russell’s picks: Evolution Lot #6 Double IPA – “We’ve featured this beer from Maryland that’s bursting with hop flavor aroma. We recently collaborated with Evolution for a beer dinner and we had Lot #6 paired with local peach and blueberry cobbler for dessert … an absolute match made in heaven.”

We hope this helps you have the best football bash ever. Happy tailgating!