Though the Iowa football team plays at Minnesota this Saturday, the Border Hop Indoor Tailgate will give Hawkeye fans the opportunity to tailgate like it is a home game while also enjoying beer only available in the land of 10,000 lakes.
Hosted by Backpocket Brewing, this Saturday, Nov. 8 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. the Border Hop Indoor Tailgate will transform the Coralville Marriott’s (300 E. 9th St., Coralville) exhibit hall into an indoor tailgate complete with RVs, food and a mini beer festival featuring Minnesota breweries that do not distribute to Iowa. The Iowa-Minnesota game will be projected onto the walls for fans and beers lovers to watch.
Backpocket co-owner and brewer Jake Simmons said it seemed like a good idea to combine the concept of the Border Hop Fest, which featured beers from neighboring states that are unavailable in Iowa, with a tailgate and a shared interest in the rival team. He said the indoor tailgate will give those who are unable to follow the Hawkeyes to Minnesota a chance to tailgate like it is a home game and enjoy the beers they would have been able to drink if they were in the Twin Cities.
“If they can’t make it, we thought, ‘Well, we can go ahead and bring a lot of that to them,'” he said.
Beers from four Minnesota breweries will be served, including 612Brew, Excelsior Brewing Company, Lucid Brewing and Tin Whiskers Brewing Company. Big Wood Brewery, Brau Brothers Brewing Company, Summit Brewing Company and Surly Brewing Company will also be offering fans specialty beers that are usually unavailable in Iowa. Backpocket’s brews will also be available.
Simmons said the event will try to replicate the outdoor tailgating experience in the cozy and heated confines of the Marriott exhibit hall. Organizers have even reached out to those in the Hawkeyes’ tailgating community and invited them to setup their RVs, trucks and cars inside the exhibit hall, much as they would in the parking lots around Kinnick Stadium. Food will be provided by the Marriott at two concession stands.
The cover charge is $5 and tickets can be purchased online or at the door. Once inside the tailgate, Simmons said attendees can drink samples or full pints of beer (or both). Tickets for three-ounce samples will be available for $1 and tickets for a full, 16-ounce pints will cost $5. A pint can also be purchased with five sample tickets.
Simmons said this year’s event will serve as test run. If there is a good turnout and people have a good time watching the game and enjoying beer from the opposing team’s state, Simmons said the event could grow and be held two or three times each football season. It would be a great way to watch an away game, he said, and also give beer-loving Hawkeye fans a chance to try great beer from across the Big Ten conference footprint.