The Stadium Beer: What’s on tap?By
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?