Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Take Me Out to the Beer Game

A summer night spent at a baseball game has always been one of my favorite things. Throw a couple of beers into the mix and it gets even better. But what if you have become used to drinking beer that has a little more, uh, "flavor" than the offerings at a typical ballpark?

I paid a visit to Isotopes Park this past week and did a little investigating to see what a pain in the ass craft beer lover like myself would think of the beer selection at this Triple AAA mecca.

I wasn't on the lookout for anything like a double thick cappuccino stout or a Moylander's Hopsickle Imperial IPA; there is a time and place for those beers but at a ball game I want refreshing, not overwhelming.

My first sighting was of a little stand that had, for some, everything ever offered in the world of beer: Bud, Bud Light, and the new local favorite, Bud Light Lime. Both the Bud and Bud Light were offered on draft as wellas bottles. I guess the limes were clogging up the draft lines so no Bud Light Lime on tap.

Of course the Isotopes Amber had to be featured at a few different stands throughout the park, though didn't see many people ordering it. I believe this beer is the same recipe as the old Duke City Amber from the former Assets Grille. The beer is now being brewed at Sierra Blanca's facility in Moriarty. Kind of weird to think how ten years ago you could buy local beers from Assets and Cabezon in bottles. Hard to dig up any of those today.

Usual suspects were abound at "Bottled Beer", and big names like Foster's and Heineken (ironically, in cans) as well as Corona were available. Finally approaching the craft beer level were Fat Tire , Sam Adams Boston Lager, Newcastle and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I would probably go for the Sierra 8 out of ten times, but my second choice would probably be the Heineken keg can. Something about a cold Heineken on a really hot day does for me what a Coors Light does for other inbreds.
What I'd like to see is more of the local beers offered. Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia has the right idea; just check out their selection:
Flying Fish Extra Pale Ale, Dock Street Amber, Victory HopDevil, Yards Philly Pale Ale, Troegs Sunshine Pils, Sly Fox Pikeland Pils, Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, and Stoudt’s American Pale Ale. All of those beers are brewed in the greater Philadelphia area. Yes I know DogfishHead is a Delaware beer but the ballpark is ten miles from the Delaware border so I am counting it. Sure, the Bud/Miller/Coors lineup is available at the park but what a way to support the local brewing scene and hopefully start a trend that will spread to parks at both the major and minor league level.

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