Some of my fondest memories from being a youngster in the ‘90s happened in the now-demolished Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia for Phillies games. My sweaty left hand was lodged into my Rawlings baseball glove, anxious to catch a foul ball. I was sporting my pinstriped Mike Schmidt jersey that was about three sizes too big and hung down past my knees, and I was hammering down an extra-large soda in an effort to battle the blazing afternoon sun.
Many years later, I still make the trip to Philly to see games. Only, instead of a glove, I’m sporting a beer. And not just any beer. Good beer. A few minutes prior, I stood in the beer line gazing at the display bottles the same way some women look at Nicholas Sparks’ novels. The options were impressive. On a display shelf that used to hold a couple of macro beer options, you can now find a healthy cornucopia of craft bottles. Local, national, seasonal
pick your poison. The Phillies have you covered.
Within the last few years, Major League baseball stadiums have cleverly latched on to craft beer like it’s the new hot dog. Some stadiums stock an unbelievable amount of beer, often flexing to showcase and support the local craft beer scene.
Finally, the “golden age” of craft beer has infiltrated Major League Baseball. It’s a good time to be a baseball fan. In celebration of Opening Day for the 2014 baseball season, we’ve compiled a list of 10 great MLB stadiums for local craft beer.
Cheers, baseball fans.
Let us know if we missed your favorite stadium or favorite local craft brewery in the comment section below.
1. PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
Local Pick: Pennsylvania Brewing Company’s Penn Pils
Style: Vienna Lager
Side Note: PNC Park even has a Beer Passport that includes a game ticket, a 90-minute session of local craft beer sampling, and a $5 credit toward a beer. Nicely done, Pittsburgh.
2. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pa.
Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Local Pick: Victory Brewing Company’s Hop Devil
Style: American IPA
Side Note: You probably should eat a cheesesteak from Geno’s Steaks. It’s kind of a thing in Philly. The crab fries are pretty good, too. Please do not mistake this comment for a beer/food pairing. I have no idea if they will jive well together. Experiment at your own risk.
3. Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Mo.
Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Local Pick: Urban Chestnut Brewing Company’s STLIPA
Style: Imperial IPA
Side Note: A second option could be Urban Chestnut Brewing Company’s Winged Nut—a tasty Chestnut Ale—weighing in at a 5.4% ABV. I honestly haven’t run into a beer by Urban Chestnut Brewing that I didn’t like.
4. CitiField, Flushing, NY
Team: New York Mets
Local Pick: Sixpoint Brewery’s The Crisp
Style: German Pilsener
Side Note: Even though Shea Stadium was demolished a few years ago, the home run apple from Shea sits stoically outside of Citifield for those nostalgic Mets fans. As we turn our attention back to beer, be sure to keep Brooklyn Brewery on your radar as you make your adult beverage decision.
5. AT&T Park, San Francisco, Calif.
Team: San Francisco Giants
Local Pick: Sierra Nevada’s Summerfest
Side Note: Lagunitas Brewery and Anchor Brewing should also be on your radar. AT&T does such a nice job with promoting their local craft beer scene by providing so many options.
6. Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
Team: Washington Nationals
Local Pick: Flying Dog Brewery’s Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale
Style: American Pale Ale
Side Note: Last year, Nationals Park added Mad Fox, 3 Stars, DC Brau and Port City to their already extensive list of local craft breweries.
7. Petco Park, San Diego, Calif.
Team: San Diego Padres
Local Pick: Stone Brewery’s Go To IPA
Style: Session IPA
Side Note: This summer, Stone Brewery will open a 4,000 foot taproom on the fifth floor of Petco Park, which will feature 12 Stone beers on tap. I guess it wasn’t enough having perfect weather year-round.
8. Turner Field, Atlanta, Ga.
Team: Atlanta Braves
Local Picks: Sweetwater Brewing Company’s IPA & Extra Pale Ale 420 (I couldn’t pick one!)
Style: American IPA/ Extra Pale Ale
ABV: 6.3%/ 5.4%
Side Note: Turner Field will be around for just three more years. The proposed almost 700-million dollar Cobb County Stadium will replace Turner Field for the 2017 MLB season. The new stadium will allow more room for local craft breweries to infiltrate every possible corner.
9. Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Md.
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Local Pick: Heavy Seas’ Loose Cannon
Style: American IPA
Side Note: This is probably a good time to mention that Baltimore’s Heavy Seas Ale House is about a mile and a half from the stadium, serving food and beer.
10. Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati, Ohio
Team: Cincinnati Reds
Local Pick: Rivertown Brewing Company’s Lil’ SIPA
Style: Session India Pale Ale
Side Note: An 85-foot-long craft beer table? Check. Reds Brewery District Bar