Beer and golf have gone hand-in-hand since the 19th century, when Old Tom Morris, jug of ale tucked under his arm, wandered the Scottish Highlands smacking a tiny ball with a stick (Fictionalized Account). Things have certainly changed a lot since then. Budweiser was born, became an American icon, and was bought by the French. Golf fell under the rule of a King, a Bear, and eventually a Tiger. And yet today—as our favorite beers for the back nine prove—the bond between birdies and brews remains as strong as ever. So grab the boys, a bottle opener, and your clubs (don’t forget those again), and join us for nine holes worth of swing coaches in a can. Your handicap may not thank you, but your palate definitely will.
We will level with you: the Jammer, just like your swing, is a little loopy. A Key West beer from the heart of Brooklyn, this coriander- and sea salt-infused Gose takes a little getting used to, especially if you’re an IPA guy. If it’s an afternoon of sun and bunker sand you’re looking for, however, the Jammer’s sour, savory, and summery profile is just right.
Looking to conjure a little Masters magic at the turn? Then the Athena from Creature Comfort Brewing Co.—located just down the road from Augusta National—is just the sudsy ticket. A tart, refreshing weisse double fermented and loaded with notes of fresh citrus, the Athena will have beer snobs and weekend warriors alike saying amen (corner, that is).
Whether you’re on your long-awaited golf pilgrimage to the ol’ Emerald Isle or just daydreaming at the range again, Smithwick’s (pronounced “Smitticks”) classic Irish red will help you brave the wind, rain, and wedge-chomping rough with a malt-forward profile and rich ruby hue. Just don’t be surprised if it’s the only red number you see all day.
At just over 105 square miles, Nantucket boasts one of the highest country club concentrations in America, and local beer merchants Cisco are certainly no stranger to that fact. An, ahem, beacon of on-course drinkability, the Sankaty Light Lager may not blow your palate back to the Cape, but it will help keep you in DJ shape while also providing the perfect caddy for a round at nearby Sankaty Head Golf Club.
Wait, wait, wait—peppers? In a beer? Yes, we know it sounds a little loco, but the Habanero Sculpin’s fearless combination of citrus zest, hop muscle, and floral spice might just add 10 yards to your drive. If you can’t handle the heat, don’t worry; these innovative San Diegans also offer their proprietary IPA in grapefruit and pineapple iterations.
If you’re trying to cut back on those mid-round cigars, then trade one vice for another with Cigar City Brewing’s Maduro Brown Ale, which approximates the classic stogie style with a smooth blend of roasted malt, oatmeal, and chocolate. P.S. Someone tell Miguel Angel Jimenez we found his new favorite beer.
You’re never going to be able to play like a Tour Pro, but thanks to GolfBeer—the upstart craft beer project from Freddie Jacobson, Graeme McDowell, and Keegan Bradley—at least you can drink like one. Of the brand’s trio of namesake brews, we liked McDowell’s the best, noting a slightly-sweet, slightly-hoppy character that’s just as balanced as Graeme’s game (circa 2010, at least).
These days, it’s hard to talk about either beer or golf without the conversation eventually turning to Wisconsin—home of Miller, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and four major championships in the last 15 years. In that spirit, check out Sheboygan’s 3 Sheeps Brewing Co. and their Cashmere Hammer, an inventive nitro stout brewed with heaps of rye and caramel malt. If that doesn’t keep you warm as the wind comes whipping across Whistling Straits, then maybe you should have packed that sweater like the missus told you to.
If you really thought we were going to assemble an entire list of the best golf beers and not include a pilsner—the de-facto doing-shit beer—then you’re just as crazy as the Who You Callin’ Wussie, a fruity, hoppy take on the classic pilz that proudly flies a middle finger in the face of the beer-making establishment. Needless to say (mostly because the Wussie’s heavy metal tallboy already screams it), this is not your grandaddy’s drinking beer.