It was a long and arduous winter, but it looks like spring is finally here and summer’s right on its heels! I know the cold, rainy weather had everyone and their dogs jonesing for warmer days filled with BBQing, beers and yard games. While some groups of friends might be satisfied day drinking mimosas while at some bougie brunch establishment (we actually enjoy that too), we are a ruthless, competitive bunch that enjoys breaking stones and watching each other lose. Here's a list of our favorite yard games and some of the beers we enjoy while playing them! It should go without saying that all of these games should be played with a beer in hand.
5. Bocce - Listen up, you haven’t played this game until you competed against a wise-crackin, old, gray-haired Italian man sporting a greasy wife-beater. These “athletes” have perfected and mastered the form of bocce and if you haven’t already, I highly suggest you go down and play with them sometime.This game is a classic. Literally, it dates back to ancient Rome.
You can pick up a set of Bocce balls pretty cheap at your local Walmarts or perhaps a yard sale.
Two teams of 1-4 players get 4 big balls. The object of the game is to throw the big balls as close as you can to the small ball, the pallino.
Scoring: One point for each bocce ball closer to the pallino than opponent's closest ball. Two points for a leaner aka bocce (a leaner is when a scoring ball touches any part of the pallino).
If you want to keep it nostalgic pick up some Peronis, but if you want to stick with craft beer I suggest this pilsner from Sixpoint.
Six Point Brewery - The Crisp - Brooklyn, NY. I love pilsners. They are crisp, refreshing and flavorful. This is a german style pilsner. The name fits this one. Good citrus and hop flavor.
4. Polish Horseshoes - Chances are if you are from New England you will have all the supplies for this game sitting in your basement (or parent’s basement). The origin of this game can be argued, but we SO choose to believe it was born out of New England, probably in the quad of a liberal arts school.
Materials Required: 2 ski poles, 2 empty beer bottles, frisbee.
Drive ski poles in the ground 20-40 ft apart. Place an empty beer bottle on top of each ski pole.
Two teams of 2 players each stand at opposite sides and take turns trying to knock the bottle down by throwing the frisbee.
If opponent drops the frisbee you score 1pt
If you knock the bottle off the pole and the bottle hits the ground you score 1 pt
If you hit the bottle directly you score 1 pt
Offense has the opportunity to score 3 points each turn.
Castle Island Brewing - Jetty - Norwood, MA, Dry Hopped Sour Ale. I am not always a fan of sours, but this one is super drinkable. Slightly tart and refreshing on a hot summer day. Last summer they did a Pomegranate Jetty that was available at the brewery which was also delicious.
3. Cornhole or if you’re extremely lame, Bean Bag Toss -
Materials Required: Cornhole boards, 8 bean bags. You can buy a set, but I recommend building your own. It’s pretty simple, and the homemade boards last a lot longer. http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/outdoors/structu...
Rules: Place the boards approximately 30 ft apart. Regulation says 27ft between the front edges of the boards, but who has time for that. Playing with two teams of two players each, teammates stand at opposite sides, like horseshoes, and each side takes turns “pitching” bean bags to the opposite board.
Bag on the board - 1 point
Bag in the hole - 3 points
Points cancel each other out so if both teams make a bag in the hole, no one scores.
First to 21pts (win by 2) wins. We like to play if you go over 21pts you get sent back to 16
Harpoon - Camp Wannamango - Boston, MA or Windsor, VT. A mango infused Pale Ale. It looks like Harpoon replaced their summer beer with this new seasonal. I was hesitant about this because a lot of fruit infused beers are too much, but this one is done right. Light hop flavor and finishes with a subtle mango flavor.
(Product featured Mountain Range Cap)
2. KanJam - I consider myself a modest person, but I am really flippin’ good at this game. Pick a teammate that can throw a disc.
Buy a set or make your own by cutting a slot in a garbage pail. I am all for DIY, but this one is just easier to buy. http://www.kanjam.com/
Slam dunk the frisbee in the can - 3 points
Slap the disc and hit the can - 1 pt
Get it in the slot or in the top of the can unassisted game over.
Zero Gravity - Cone Head - South Burlington, VT. A single hopped wheat IPA, brewed with Citra Hops. An easy drinking, delicious IPA with plenty of hop flavor and aroma to satisfy the hopheads, while being subtle enough to be a great starter IPA.
(Product featured Sigil Pull Over)
1. Stump - This game is not for the faint of heart. It involves flipping a hammer up in the air, catching it and hitting a nail. I’ve seen people hit their shins on multiple occasions, or catch the hammer claw in the hand, but it’s the risk that makes this game fun. All you need in a stump (about knee high), a hammer, nails (4”- 5” long), friends and of course, beer.
Tap the nails into the stump so they are standing securely. Make sure the nails are all equal heights. Each player takes turns flipping the hammer 360° handle over head, catching it by the handle and in one fluid motion, no cocking, trying to hit an opponent's nail. Last nail standing wins.
We can thank our cousin, Jared for introducing us to this game. He wrote up a great explanation of the game stump a few years back. Find it here:
Jack’s Abby - House Lager - Framingham, MA. Smooth, malty and easy to drink. Throwing a hammer and swinging a nail doesn’t require anything too fancy. This beer will satisfy your thirst for something easy to drink while still supporting craft breweries.