The Stadium Beer: What’s on tap?

Verlander dominant as Yanks fall to Tigers
Assessing the Sheffield deal three years later

It’s 9:30 a.m. on the East Coast. Most Yankee fans are only now just getting into work. They’re sliding into their desks, turning on their computers and finding — you guessed it — an article about beer at Yankee Stadium. Is it ever too early for that?

The story comes to us via The Times’ Dining In/Dining Out section, a Wednesday specialty. Eric Asimov, a Times reporter paid to drink wine, beer and liquor as his job, journeyed to the city’s new stadium to sample the brewskis available at each. He is not too impressed with what he found at Yankee Stadium, and as a beer connoisseur myself, I don’t blame him.

Here’s how Asimov puts his look at the latest and greatest American Pilsners:

The new Yankee Stadium has a problem. No, it’s not all those home runs, it’s the beer.

The stadium pushes the usual mass-market brews, which is to be expected of any big venue. It also has a beers-of-the-world stand that sells brews like Heineken, from the Netherlands; Beck’s, from Germany; and Stella Artois, from Belgium — all from nowheresville, if you ask me.

It has a retro-beer stand that sells — give me strength — Pabst Blue Ribbon and Schaefer. If you look really hard, you can find Guinness, which is an acceptable fallback. But with all the great craft beers available nowadays, why aren’t any of them at Yankee Stadium?

Citi Field, the new home of the Mets, sells a selection of beers from Brooklyn Brewery. That’s encouraging — and frustrating to a Yankees fan.

Look, I don’t even know if I can afford to go to these two fancy new ballparks, much less pay for the beer. I have children about to go to college, and paying $9 for a can of Pabst, even the 16-ounce can at Yankee Stadium, is one of the least enjoyable ways I can think of to blow their college fund.

But if I do go to Yankee Stadium, I want some beers worthy of the team. I offer you now my solution to the big beer wasteland in the South Bronx: American pilsners.

Asimov’s column goes on to review a mostly innocuous bunch of beer. That is, after all, what makes a pilsner the perfect ballpark beer. Served cold, it’s refreshing on a hot summer day, and unlike other craft-brewed higher alcohol beers, it doesn’t demand too much of the beer-drinker’s attention.

Living in Brooklyn, I’m spoiled. I live a few blocks from The Gate, around the corner from Bierkraft and a short subway ride away from Bar Great Harry. It’s not a stretch for me to say that the beer offerings at Yankee Stadium just don’t cut it.

So what’s the solution? Like Asimov, I’d urge the Yanks to take a look at Victory’s Prima Pils or the Brooklyn Brewer’s pilsner offerings. Tröegs and Lagunitas have pilsners that American baseball fans should be able to stomach as well.

I know Budweiser pays a lot to market itself as the King of Beers, but in a stadium with a steak house, a Hard Rock cafe and sushi, can’t we get a decent beer too?

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Verlander dominant as Yanks fall to Tigers
Assessing the Sheffield deal three years later
  • A.D.

    You would think that getting Brooklyn Brewery beers in there would be a no brainer.

    • merc

      How about Blue Point? It’s brewed and bottled in Suffolk County and they sell it at all the pizza places and bookstores in Penn Station. Their Toasted Lager is a real nice marriage between “craft beer with flavor” and “drinkable by your Dad” and the Blueberry is.. well, chicks love it.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

        Good call on the Blue Point. And someone below mentioned Sixpoint too. Those are great.

      • Karla

        This chick loves the Hoptical Illusion. One of my favorite IPA’s. My favorite IPA being Heavy Seas’ Loose Cannon. I’m going to the game tonight and see that I’m going to be disappointed. At least I have a Dogfish 90 min for the train.

  • guy

    i suppose sam adams is out of the question….

    (before the flames start… have a summer.ale .. it was a JOKE.)

    • Corey

      boston lager, while poorly named, is quite tasty

    • A.D.

      Cherry Wheat is delicious.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

        The thought of Cherry Wheat just made me wretch.

        • A.D.

          To each their own.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

            Yeah, one of my former roommates loved it. My other roommate and I used to chastise him when he brought it home when it was his turn to buy beer.

  • Corey

    croxley ales house, best spot around

  • V

    Not a beer drinker, so I can’t speak up. I only drink liquor and wine.

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

      Snob.

      • V

        Sorry.

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

          You should be. Why don’t you get out of your ivory tower and drink what the rest of the people drink? Elitist pig.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=15305165&ref=profile Doug

            There’s a whole world out there!!

            /Axl’d

            • Bo

              Women are allowed to post here too.

  • Nady Nation

    At Citi Field, they have a “beer island” that has over 20 different beers, an overall much better selection than at Yankee Stadium. I know this is blasphemous, but after taking in games at both new parks, I liked the experience of a game at Citi Field better (obviously not just b/c of beer). It just felt like a much closer and intimate setting. Anyone who has been to both places feel the same way?

    • Matt Wods

      Hey. Im actually doing research for a college Sports Marketing project. We are assigned to create a completely new (hypothetical) marketing strategy for a Professional Sports team. My theme is to create a stronger sense of “Pride, Tradition, and the greatest fans in the world,” (based upon Derek Jeter’s speech last year, referring to the changing of stadiums- and he named those three things as “the few things with the New York Yankees that never change)…I am from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and haven’t had the opportunity to take in a Yankee game, so I was wondering if you could possibly elaborate on your statement saying that Citi Field had a “much closer and intimate setting.” In your opinion what did Citi Field have that Yankee Stadium did not, and what do you think Yankee Stadium (and the Yankee corporation as a whole) can add or do to strengthen their community image and get back to the values of pride and tradition? Any help is greatly appreciated! -Matt

  • Mattingly’s Love Child

    I thought I heard Yuengling was at the Stadium as well? That is a great, cheap beer. Seems appropriate for a ballgame to me.

    Living in the South I’ve come to love Yuengling, and will sorely miss it when I move back to CT next year.

    • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Yuengling is from Philadelphia. Is it not available in Connecticut? I’d imagine it is.

      • Mattingly’s Love Child

        Sadly it is not. They don’t distribute it there or anywhere else in New England. I remember people making a big deal about getting it when they went to NYC or other places. My buddy brought 2 cases home with him last time he visited.

        I emailed them to ask why, and they didn’t really give me an answer…..

        • A.D.

          Take a trip down to the brewery and stock up on cases.

          • Rick in Boston

            It’s what I do whenever I visit my inlaws in Philly.

          • Mattingly’s Love Child

            When I move back to CT next year the moving truck will be stopping by the brewery to stock up. It’s just a matter of how much space my wife leaves me to horde beer.

            • Rick in Boston

              It’s just a matter of how much space my wife beer leaves me to horde beer my wife.

              Fixed.

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

          I emailed them to ask why, and they didn’t really give me an answer…..

          Someone at a liquor store up here at school explained it to me, but I forgot, haha.

  • Yankeegirl49

    I’m not big on beer, so it doesnt matter much to me, but I am curious…do the membership only clubs have a better selection?

  • miketotheg

    I present to you one the best beers of all time and an incredibly fitting title which i find myself comfortable with:

    ARROGANT BASTARD!!!!

    if you like guinness you will LOVE this stuff.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      Hm. Never had it. Haven’t liked Stone’s other beers. They taste a bit watered down. I suppose I’ll have to hunt down some Arrogant Bastard and give it a taste.

      • rbizzler

        Joe are you kidding about Stone? They make some of the strongest beers around with outrageous IBU’s that would make most commercial breweries cringe. I heartily endorse Arrogant Bastard, Double Bastard and Old Guardian (barleywine).

        As for beer selection at the park, I agree with Ben. Any of the Brooklyn beers, Victory Prima Pils (big here in DC), any of the Six Points beers (from Brooklyn) would do the trick.

        The international beer area sounds like a joke: Heinie, Stella and Beck’s?! Just plain awful.

        • A.D.

          It should be the “typical imports” area.

          • Reggie C.

            there’s nothing wrong with a Stella on a summer afternoon. that’s a good beer.

        • rbizzler

          FYI: http://www.stonebrew.com/beers/

          And I forgot about Ruination…

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

            I have not had any of those, just a couple of regularly-named ales when I was out in San Diego. All I see in NYC is the IPA, and it’s not near the top of my IPA go-to list.

            These others I will have to try, if for no other reason than the cool names.

      • Patch

        Joe, you should know that it’s gonna punch you right in your mouth.

        And you will come back for more.

      • putt

        Joe, it’s worth tracking it down and just to give the bottle a read. There’s a very tongue-in-cheek description of the brew and whether or not you’re even worthy of drinking it. I started drinking it since I moved to Cali, it’s a pretty solid beer.

    • FL Yank

      You know what’s funny is that the sports bar and grill I work at just started serving that on tap. We got to try it and I liked it a lot. It’s definitely not your typical frat boy beer but it’s very good. Be ready for the finish though; that will take some getting used to.

    • cult of basebaal

      one’s a irish dry stout, the other’s an heavily hopped american ale, other than that, they’re totally alike!

      well, except for the fact they don’t look or taste anything like each other.

  • A.D.

    Why I’ve heard of other beers being available, walking through the stadium I only saw Miller & Bud.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside
    • Joe R

      Am I the only one that thinks Jets should be said 4x and not 3 in that chant?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Yes.

      • Joey

        Yup

  • Confused Axl

    You might as well get the outrageous $10 bud or bud light instead of the $6 bud or bud light. The $6 beer is just half the amount of ounces as the $10. So you save $2!!! Yayy!!

    • A.D.

      The souvenir cup is the only way to go.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Did not realize you represented Da Slope as well, Ben. We absolutely are spoiled here.

    I thought the beer selection was a travesty as well. I wound up paying $6 for a…..Bud (argh!) from the Famiglia stand at the last game I was at. While Delirium Tremens and Innis and Gunn are too much to ask for, probably (or not), something in the middle would be nice.

    They’d never do a West Coast beer like Arrogant Bastard at the stadium, unfortunately. A nice upstate NY brewery like Southern Tier would sure be nice…..or a local like Sixpoint.

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    Hell, Even beautiful Jackie Robinson Ballpark here in Daytona Beach has Grolsch on tap. Thirsty Thursdays $2 24 oz. draughts. Nothing better.

    • Patch

      Ahem.

      $2.00 for 24 oz of Grolsh?

      Hell, I may have to move…

    • jsbrendog

      yeah but grolsch is gross

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        Bite your tongue.

      • cult of basebaal

        the brown’s not bad … but yeah, the green is ick.

  • Charlie (in SD)

    Ah, beer. Now we’re talking. It’s unbelievable that they want to charge $9 for a PBR (is it at least a tall boy?) I remember when PBR got all trendy in LA (as things do up there), and laughing when Barney’s Beanery was charging $5 for a pint.

    But, I digress.. Living in San Diego definitely has its pros and cons, one of the major pros is being in the heart of independent brewing. As I understand it, there are more independent (aka craft) brewers in San Diego than in any other part of the country. So, I’m truly spoiled when it comes to the suds. Ballast Point, Stone, Mission, Green Flash (their 30th St. Pale Ale is probably my favorite beer ever). When I go to the ballpark, I usually don’t expect much more than the cheap stuff, seeing as that’s expensive enough. Do many of you guys actually buy “premium” beers? At baseball games, I sacrifice quality for quantity. This year though, Petco cut prices on beer, about a $1 or so, but hey, it’s better than raising prices. Anyway, sorry for the long post, I like beer. If any of you guys visit SD, I’ll show you some of my favorite spots.

    Cheers,
    C

    • http://highandtight.blogspot.com Mr. Faded Glory

      Charlie, PETCO charges $1 more for premium beers vs. Bud or Coors. When beers are already $8 you might as well throw the extra buck and get a Stone Pale Ale.

    • stefan

      I definitely buy the “premium beers” when I get a chance. And I don’t mean picking Heineken over Budweiser. If I’m at a bar in New York, I’m definitely spending 8 bucks on a Chimay or Duvel instead of 6 bucks on Stella Artois. Gets you drunker and you’re actually drinking a good beer :-P

  • http://www.supertangas.com The man with 33 fingers

    I’ve NEVER had a cold beer in Yankee Stadium.(not including the “clubs”)

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      I have NEVER NOT enjoyed you website.

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        your

        • http://www.supertangas.com The man with 33 fingers

          You like the new layout?

          • rafael

            I would say the layout is the last thing on one’s mind, especially when it comes to enjoying your site.

            • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

              Right. Who needs a layout when you have Belu from Argentina?

          • Andy In Sunny Daytona

            Everytime I click on your site I hear Carlos Santana’s song “Oye Como Va”. I just imagine them all dancing to that. Don’t ask me why.

  • http://www.twitter.com/MatthewHarris84 Matt H

    I’m just happy Cousin Brewski made it over to the new stadium!

  • stefan

    They don’t even need to peek into craft brewing to find anything halfway decent. Like, what about Hoegaarden? How is that NOT a summer drink? Hell, ANYTHING Belgian other than Stella!

    Doesn’t make any sense to me. Given the clientele that the new stadium is trying to attract, you would think they would try a LITTLE BIT harder to accomodate a SLIGHTLY discriminating beer drinker. That is a massive market that they are stupid not to tap into. I mean, bars ranging from anywhere from holes-in-the-wall to ludicrously pretentious yuppie haunts still manage to carry Brooklyn Lager or Pilsner, just in case.

    At Waterfront Park (Trenton Thunder’s home), they have Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat, Franziskaner Weissbier, two types of Spaten, Yuengling Black & Tan, and I’m pretty sure they’ve had Flying Fish in the past. That almost makes me cry.

    It’s not like we’re looking for Dogfish Head or Chimay here. If our AA affiliate can do it, I don’t see why Yankee Stadium can’t. And I think any beer drinker here would agree that spending 10 bucks on some Blue Point would be better than spending 8 on Bud Light.

    • stefan

      And before anyone else comments on it, let me just say: “tap into” was NOT meant to be a pun.

      But that’s still pretty funny.

  • http://forums.netphoria.org Mr. Faded Glory

    Why does everyone seem to only suggest lagers? Get some ales in there, people

    • stefan

      Ales in general aren’t really considered “summer beers,” unfortunately. Not sure why, considering Belgian Whites and Hefeweizens are as light and refreshing as they come. Probably some of the lighter Pale Ales would work as well.

      I doubt any IPAs would find their way to the stadium, but you can probably find someone willing to drink a Stout (there’s always a Guinness fan somewhere).

  • Mister Delaware

    Little to add other than echoing the love for Troegs Sunshine Pils their summer seasonal. Great hot weather beer (and served behind 3B at CBP if anyone makes a trip there this summer). Hoping we get it shipped up here in MA; the Nugget Nectar found its way up so there’s hope.

    (I realize the name contradicts the current location. We moved.)

    • Mister Delaware

      I’d also like to add a comma to the first sentence. Done.

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  • CT Beer Fan

    While the Stadium has other problems, the beer will be the one that bothers me the most. One of my favorite things about going to stadiums other than Yankees stadium is the good beer selection. Camden Yards has an excellent local micro stand particularly in right field near Boogs. ATT&T (Pac Bell) has micros everywhere … Sierra Nevada, Anchor Steam, Lagunitas IPA and that was just in the upper deck!

    The fact that the Yankees have Becks on tap everywhere (it seems like) is just funny. Honestly, when was the last time you ran into a Becks? The Beers of the World are poor. There’s one right outside my section but the selection is unimaginative. Yuengling (which you guys are really over-rating) and Hoegarden are the only remotely interesting beers there … I mean, Bud Light Lime … come on now! How’s that a beer of the world?

    I said to a bunch of people that it’s just a bad job that Brooklyn Brewery is not represented throughout the stadium. Blue Point would be fine, too. Anything really. I was really hoping for something as good as Sierra which should have a large enough marketing arm to get in. Bud owns a big part of Red Hook and I’d be fine with some of their offerings (which were hidden in the old Stadium and I went there every game).

    Come on Yanks, step up!