The Labor Day Beer Guide

Posted on August 27, 2013 by Mary Ellen Brewington

The first Monday in September is always Labor Day, a U.S. federal holiday created to celebrate the economic and social contributions of workers.

And after a long day of work, who doesn’t enjoy an ice-cold brew?

It may not be surprising, therefore, that Labor Day is also the top beer-drinking holiday of the year! According to Nielsen’s most recent data based on the sale of cases of beer two weeks before the holiday, Americans enjoy more beer for Labor Day celebrations than any others.

That’s right, with 60.1 million cases of brew purchased leading up to the holiday, Labor Day beats out the Fourth of July and Memorial Day, Christmas and Thanksgiving, Cinco de Mayo, St. Patrick’s Day and even the Super Bowl. It’s just a natural fit for the Labor Day weekend to go hand-in-hand with relaxation, friends and family, good food and good beer.

In Cherokee Distributing Company’s hometown, the celebration goes from relaxing to exhilarating as Knoxville hosts the largest Labor Day fireworks show in the nation: Boomsday. On Sunday, Sept. 1, more than 400,000 residents and visitors gather in downtown Knoxville for family-friendly games, music and entertainment, leading up to the 9:30 p.m. start of the fireworks show simulcast with music from Star 102.1. For those who can’t make it to the 2013 Boomsday Festival, you can watch it live on WBIR-TV Channel 10.

Whether you’re hosting a weekend barbeque with family, inviting friends over for a Boomsday fireworks viewing party or just planning to relax on your Monday off, Cherokee has a brew for you.

  • To kick off the weekend, pick up a six-pack of Third Shift Amber Lager. This award-winning brew is smooth and easy drinking, a great way to ease into the Labor Day celebrations. Third Shift is a classic amber lager with a unique twist: the malty flavor is lightly toasted rather than strongly caramel flavored, and it features a dash of nutty character. According to the brewers, “Third Shift is best enjoyed after working hard at something you love or anywhere passions are shared.” So on Friday night, after a productive work week, reward yourself with a Third Shift Amber Lager.
  • For a festive barbeque, we suggest serving Blue Moon Brewing Company’s Short Straw Farmhouse Red Ale. Short straw red ales were created specifically for farmhands who worked the harvest, so it’s the perfect brew to toast this Labor Day in celebration of workers everywhere. Short Straw Farmhouse Red Ale features a hint of spice that goes hand-in-hand with hearty, seasoned meat dishes like hot n’ spicy brats on the grill.
  • If you want your Boomsday viewing party to really sparkle, stock up on Upside Down Blonde Ale. This brew’s slight citrus notes, traditional Noble hops and subtle spicy finish will light up your taste buds. Upside Down Blonde Ale is the “level-headed choice” to serve: this balanced and easy-to-drink brew will please the most palates, but guests will still find it memorably unique and flavorful.
  • To fully enjoy a hard-earned day off from work this Labor Day, indulge in a smooth, refreshing Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat. This brew delivers rich, complex flavors: it’s infused with the sweet and slightly tart flavor of Michigan cherries; the crisp, cereal taste of malted wheat; the subtle citrus flavor from Noble hops; and a hint of sweet honey. Is your mouth watering yet? Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat is a treat in and of itself, but if you really want to pamper yourself – and you should, you’ve worked hard and you deserve it! – try supplementing the sweetness of the beer with a compote dessert like blueberry crisp or strawberry cheesecake.

Whatever your Labor Day plans may be, one thing is certain: there is a brew with your name on it. Check out our full line-up of beers distributed in East Tennessee, and find the perfect cold beverage to complement your weekend festivities. And, as always, enjoy responsibly!