It’s a Grand ‘ol Country

The British are coming! The British are coming! Just kidding guys.

Now I’m no history buff so I won’t even pretend like I can inform you of anything you don’t already know about Independence Day. But for me, July 4th is a day off work, an excuse to get the friends and family together, and just have a good time. I’ll keep this short and sweet so you can get your long weekend started off on a good note (not that this isn’t a good note, I just have a feeling you’ve got some plans to get started on for the weekend).

Everyone has their own tradition. But in case you’re trying to start your own or, like me, you moved somewhere with just your fiance and your dog and there’s not a familiar face in sight, then you might need some ideas. I’m actually just going to try to keep doing the same thing I used to do and see if I can meet new people doing that.

Our traditions were pretty simple: have some beers, grill some burgers and dogs, and play some games. Especially getting around people you don’t know so well, drinks and food will keep them happy, and games will give you the little kick to start up the conversation. Keep everybody busy between these three things and I’d say you have a successful cookout!

Beer-wise, we kept it pretty simple. Just something light and refreshing. Think about what you typically want to drink on the beach. Our go-to’s are Corona Light, Kona Big Wave, Shock Top, and maybe some Bud and Busch Lights here and there. We also make a drink called Summer Beer. You may have heard of it before and your recipe might be a little different, so don’t yell at me that my recipe is wrong. To each their own. We combine a 6-pack of light beer, a can of lemonade concentrate, and vodka into a cooler with ice. As for how much Vodka, we just fill the lemonade concentrate can to the top with vodka and pour that in there. This stuff is pretty refreshing but the vodka can sneak up on you, so you pay attention to how much you’re drinking.

As for the games we play. These can be family-friendly, but if there’s no children around we usually add a couple drinking rules (this isn’t college flip cup now, so don’t make this a who-can-get-drunk-fastest competition). For all the games, we usually say you have to have a beer in one hand at all time and if you break a rule or lose the game, you have to finish your drink. Something along those lines, just nothing too complicated. Our go-to games are Beersbee (or Polish Horseshoes for the young’ins), Kan Jam, Spikeball, and Cornhole.

All the different game sets are nice to already have. But if you can’t pick one of these up in time, some modern day ingenuity and typical household items usually works out fine, sometimes even better.

For Beersbee, just hammer 2 PVC pipes into the ground and balance a bottle on top. For the rules and how to play, click here.


Can Jam can just be played with 2 trash cans and a frisbee, simple as that. For the rules and how to play, click here.


Spikeball and Cornhole are gonna be a little bit harder to make yourself, so maybe just make a quick run to Walmart. Spikeball should come with a set of rules and a how-to guide, but for rules and to learn how to play cornhole, click here.


Other than that, just don’t forget to pick up the burgers, dogs, and buns. Now fire up the grill, invite some friends over, find a good playlist, and have a good time. Just be smart about it.


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