Winter in Chicago means that Chicagoans start opting for a seat on the couch instead of a bar stool. But for a devoted few, quite the opposite is true – while others are shopping for the best fuzzy slippers from under a pile of blankets, Chicago tailgaters choose to party it up outside, keeping warm through BBQ, bravery, and beer. Here are a few essentials to make the tailgate experience less about the pain and more about the party.
First things first, you’re going to need something to eat for the long hours in the cold. Few names can match Vienna in terms of hot dogs, sausages, and more. And if you want to cut out the middleman, just can stop by their headquarters and buy it right from their company store.
The Spice House
No matter if you’re serving burgers, brats, or veggie skewers, chances are you can find something to spice it up. Spice House’s Back of the Yards rub – a mix including pepper, garlic, and shallots – can instantly turn a decent burger or chicken breast into a gourmet meal.
Even if you make sure you’re wearing the trusty old blue jacket and orange hat, you can add some extra oomph (or at least a little warmth) with a new Bears hat. Get a dreadlock hat to try and get into the camera’s crowd shots, or pick up a retro leather helmet if still think Sid Luckman was the best QB the Bears ever had.
It’s always best to let the grillmaster do his thing, so get a couple of games of bags in while you’re waiting for the brats to plump. Spruce up your bags game with custom-made board set from Chitown Custom Cornhole Boards. For those who want more bells and whistles, you can trick out your with options like hand-painted finishes, a built-in abacus for keeping score, and drink holders to save a hand for whatever’s coming up from the grill.
Dan Morgridge is a writer in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village. He enjoys eating and drinking above his means, finding new music, and socially conscious hedonism.