Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Ultimate US Presidential Primary Drinking Challenge


Ah, Presidential election time in America. What used to be a 1 year process has now turned into a 2 year blitz of stump speeches, babies kissed and hearts broken. If you travel throughout the US for the next 12 months you will be greeted by yard signs and commercials targeted to specific audiences in whatever part of the country you’re in.
Before we elect our next president we have to pick the 2 candidates for the main event. And finally - after a year of hearing from the contenders - the light of primary season can be seen at the end of the tunnel. With all of this build-up, it almost seems like the results are a little bit of let down. All of the pomp and circumstance of a 12 month media blitz commences with Wolf Blitzer announcing Iowa is won by candidate D. Woo-Hoo!
So I feel it is time to take America’s love for drinking games and step it up a notch. There are many ways to make those spring primary nights entertaining and challenging at the same time (hell you may need to travel before February). This idea was born from election night 2008. We had a certain candidate that was our candidate, and every time he won a state, we took a shot. Simple right? Did I mention the shots were from novelty shot glasses from the state he had won? That’s right, a geographical presidential shot fest.
As fun as that was, it wouldn’t be as fun during the primaries as the dates are spread out and there are candidates all over the place, vs. the 2 candidates on actual election night in November. Which leads to the treasure hunt, travel and bargain portion of our new Presidential Primary drinking challenge (if you are overseas you’ll definitely win a prize). The first part involves getting your hands on what I consider the best drink for each state (ok some are more fun than "the best" but you'll get the picture). Luckily you have some time to pull this off and if you haven’t let your grandma know what you want for Christmas she can get it for you.
Without further adieu, here is a list of primary dates, states and what local libations you need to obtain to get your primary drinking game started.
February
Monday, February 1
  • Iowa Caucus- Toppling Goliath Brewing PsuedoSue


Tuesday, February 9
  • New Hampshire- Smutty Nose Brewing Robust Porter


Saturday, February 20
  • Nevada caucus (Dem)- Las Vegas Distillery Grandma’s Apple Pie Moonshine
  • South Carolina (GOP)- Palmetto Brewing Company Amber Ale (red beer for the GOP primary)
Tuesday, February 23
  • Nevada caucus (GOP)- Tenya Creek Brewing Monsoon IPA


Saturday, February 27
  • South Carolina (Dem)- Palmetto Distillery White Lightning Moonshine (blue label for the Dems)


March
Tuesday, March 1 (Super Tuesday)
  • Alabama- Stills Crossroads ‘Shine
  • Alaska (GOP)- Anchorage Brewing Company Anadromous Wild Ale
  • Arkansas- Post Famile Vineyards Prophecy Red Wine
  • Colorado Caucuses- Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown (since marijuana’s likely illegal in your state)
  • Georgia- Terrapin Beer Company Maggie’s Peach Farmhouse Ale
  • Massachusetts- Samuel Adams Boston Lager
  • Minnesota Caucuses- Grain Belt Lager
  • North Carolina- Foothills Brewing Company Sexual Chocolate
  • Oklahoma-Mustang Brewing Washita Wheat
  • Tennessee- Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey (because you need shots on Super Tuesday)
  • Texas- Lone Star Lager “The National Beer of Texas”
  • Vermont- The Alchemist Heady Topper
  • Virginia- Brothers Craft Brewing Hoptimization IPA


Saturday, March 5
  • Kansas Caucus- Tallgrass Brewing 8-Bit Pale Ale
  • Kentucky (GOP caucus)- Bulleit Bourbon
  • Louisiana- Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey (every drinking game needs Fireball)
  • Nebraska (Dem caucus)- Spilker Ales Hopluia


Tuesday, March 8
  • Hawaii Caucus (GOP)- Koloa Rum Company Kauai Dark
  • Idaho (GOP)- Grand Teton Brewing Pursuit of Hoppiness
  • Mississippi- Southern Prohibition Brewing Mississippi Fire Ant
  • Michigan- Founders Breakfast Stout


Sunday, March 13
  • Puerto Rico (GOP)- Ron Llave Blanco Supreme (for rum runners)


Tuesday, March 15
  • Ohio- Thirsty Dog Brewing 12 Dogs of Christmas (seasonal, so get on it quick)
  • Florida- Drum Circle Distilling Siesta Key Gold Rum
  • Illinois- Pipeworks Brewing Company Crimson Snapper
  • Missouri-Bud Heavy (We are not a monarchy, but it’s the damn King of Beers)


Tuesday, March 22
  • Arizona- Mexican Moonshine Tequila
  • Utah- Epic Brewing Company Big Bad Baptist


Saturday, March 26
  • Alaska Caucus (Dem)- Alaska Denali Winery Riesling Ice Wine
  • Hawaii Caucus (Dem)- Maui Brewing Company CoCoNut Porter
  • Washington Caucus (Dem)- Pacific Distillery Pacifique Absinthe Verte Superieure


April
Tuesday, April 5
  • Wisconsin- New Glarus Brewing Spotted Cow


Tuesday, April 19
  • New York- Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard Riesling


Tuesday, April 26
  • Connecticut- White Solo Farm and Winery Rhubarb Wine
  • Delaware- Dogfish Head Brewing 90 Minute IPA
  • Maryland- Flying Dog Brewery The Truth Imperial IPA
  • Pennsylvania- Yuengling Amber Lager
  • Rhode Island- Grey Sail Brewing Captain’s Daughter


May
Tuesday, May 3
  • Indiana- Three Floyds Brewing Apocalypse Cow


Tuesday, May 10
  • Nebraska (GOP primary)- Moonstruck Meadery Capsumel Mead
  • West Virginia- Mountain State Brewing Cold Trail Ale


Tuesday, May 17
  • Kentucky (Dem primary)- Evan Williams Kentucky Bourbon
  • Oregon- Rogue Chocolate Stout


June
Sunday, June 5
  • Puerto Rico (Dem)- Don Q Rum Gold (served neat)


Tuesday, June 7
  • California- Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin
  • Montana- Bayern Brewing Bayren Dopplebock (it’s seasonal from Nov-Feb, get on that now)
  • New Jersey- Laird and Company Applejack
  • New Mexico- SilverCoin Blanco Tequila
  • South Dakota- Wooden Legs Brewing Three Five Three Stout


Tuesday, June 14
  • District of Columbia- 3 Stars Brewing Company Peppercorn Saison


States with no firm dates:
  • North Dakota- Maple River Distillery Black Currant Brandy
  • Maine- Foundation Brewing Company Epiphany
  • Washington (GOP)- Fremont Brewing Company The Brother
  • Wyoming- Wyoming Whiskey

The games you play with these beverages native to each state can be as simple as drinking when the state closes to more complex, like taking a drink every time a state is called too close to call, taking a shot when a candidate concedes that state or just have a drink when the words “Breaking News” flash on the screen. On days like Super Tuesday – you’ll need to definitely take Wednesday off – it may behoove you to have some flight glasses instead of pints because I don’t want to be responsible for any poisoning. The one thing that this challenge (list) shows is that it is a great time to be a friend of local booze in the US, and it is a lot of fun to try and get your hands on it. Hope your trunks have a lot of room and please share some pictures as you collect your bounty before and during this primary season.

Steven Grams is a seeker of new knowledge. He lives for travel, for adventure, for a new story. He absorbs everything and never forgets where he has been, who he has met, what he has seen, and how he got there.