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Bengals Tailgating: What to know and where to go

The tailgate scene in Cincinnati is only growing.

Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Andrew Weber/Getty Images

If you’re a Cincinnati Bengals fan headed to Paul Brown Paycor Stadium (that’s going to take some getting used to), you will definitely want to check out the still-growing tailgate scene before heading in to your seats. If you’re new to it, let’s get you up to speed on what you can expect.

The Food:

One of the most important elements of any tailgate is the food spread. In Cincinnati, we experience all four seasons and if you attend enough games, you’ll find that the pregame grub evolves with the weather.

In early September, it is still pretty warm in The Jungle, so expect to see a lot of grills in the tailgate lots. As you pull in to Longworth Hall, you may have to maneuver past not only the cornhole boards, but grills will be out in every row. Once you get out of your car, you’ll be hit with the smell of burgers, hot dogs and brats all getting cooked to perfection. In Cincinnati fashion, expect to see chili dogs and cheese coneys as far as the eye can see.

As the weather changes and the cold air and wind make their way to the banks of the Ohio River, the menu will shift to the warmer side. Large pots of chili start to appear, with all of the fixings laid out on the ever so important foldout tailgate table. Don’t be shocked if you see deep fryers in the mix, either. When Thanksgiving time rolls around, fans have been known to deep-fry whole turkeys right there in the parking lot.

The Fans:

Bengals fans are a passionate bunch. You won’t go far without hearing a “Who Dey?!” screamed at a very high volume. The mix of fans is one of the more interesting parts of the experience, as you’ll see some fans in the newest jersey and take a trip down memory lane with some awesome throwbacks on the older crowd.

The people who fill the lots are overwhelmingly nice and welcoming, sharing food, utensils and whatever else neighboring tailgaters may need. Footballs and cornhole bags will whiz by your head as you find yourself talking to a perfect stranger about the one thing bringing you all together: Bengals football.

Even opposing fans have a good time. Sure, you’ll catch some playful jabs about your team here and there, but the overwhelming majority of people will welcome you to eat and drink with them.

The Rides:

One of the more interesting parts of a Cincinnati tailgate is seeing all of the awesome Bengals themed vehicles roaming near the stadium and parked in lots. From redone school busses and minivans to full-blown RVs, you’re sure to see some rides catch your eye. Before this article, I checked in with Twitter to get images of some of the best in the Paycor Stadium lots.

The passion for Cincinnati has always been there, despite what your television may tell you. Fans show it in their clothing, face paint and even in their vehicles. Keep an eye out for these and many awesome others as you head to The Jungle this fall.

The Drinks:

A key part to any tailgate (for those of age) is the beer lineup. The big brands will always be present, but Cincinnati has a growing brewery scene, and you’ll see them well represented in the pregame festivities. What is becoming more popular are beers based on the Bengals and former players. Ken Anderson has his own beer that is well represented and might I add, is delicious. It’s not just beer, though. The surge of hard seltzers has definitely made its way to the pregame party, so no worries if you’re not into the suds, there’s something for anyone who chooses to partake.

Expect a great time!

For any and all, there is a Bengals tailgating location for you. For the party animal, for the family attending the game and everyone in between, you can expect to be greeted with open arms and of course, the mandatory “Who Dey?!