Ultimate 6er | Best Craft Beer Ballpark Experiences
Baseball season is back. And though it may not feel like it in Chicago, I look forward to the warmer months when I get a sit in a plastic seat while watching a ballgame in person – with a beer in-hand. Much like America’s pastime, the venues that typically host baseball games are rooted in tradition, which usually means a heavy dosage of light macro lagers going for anywhere from $8-10. However, several ballparks around Major League Baseball have started to buck this trend by appealing to the new generation of baseball fans who want to buy a craft beer from a local brewer instead of the traditional Budweisers and Miller Lites of the world. Plus, these drinkers expect a higher price point when drinking in a stadium, which means a craft offering can offer similar margins to a macro brew. Here’s a look at six stadiums who are leading the charge by providing a great ballpark-centric craft beer experience to their fans.
Chicago White Sox | Guaranteed Rate Field
The White Sox are in the midst of a rebuilding period, but their craft beer offering is already at a championship level. The crown jewel of this operation is the Craft Kave, which boasts 75 craft beer options, including local favorites Half Acre, Baderbrau, and Pipeworks, a smattering of craft burgers and a full bar. New this year is the Revolution Brewing #SoxSocial Tap Room, a full-on lounge and bar space on the left field line that offers eight different Revolution beers on tap, including a bevy of their Hero IPAs, Sun Crusher, Fist City, Rev Pils, and their barrel-aged Deth’s Tar. The new space is part of a new two-year partnership between the two parties and expands on their current presence at the park.
Honorable mention: Chicago’s Northside team has traditionally been behind the curve on offering craft beer at Wrigley, but that has changed recently, as Lagunitas (yes, they are 100% Heineken owned) and Half Acre have joined the fray. Plus, right next to the stadium is the awesome Lucky Dorr craft beer bar, which offers an incredibly unique array of over 15 different beers from local brewers – with many brewed specifically for the bar.
San Diego Padres | Petco Park
San Diego might not have a great baseball team, but their local craft beer scene is hard to rival, and it is on full display at beautiful Petco Park. Local staples Ballast Point and Stone Brewing have massive footprints at the park, which makes sense given their influence over the larger local brewing community. Along with the Craft Pier located in the outfield, Ballast Point has a brewpub setup dubbed “The Point” which offers over 20 different BP handles and food. Stone Brewing has a huge beer garden on the rooftop that offers scenic views of the game and the San Diego skyline, along with over 15 rotating offerings. And if you want to sample other local favorites, you can check out Petco’s Craft Row location in the concourse, which pours beers from Mission Brewing, Coronado Brewery, Lost Abbey, and more.
Milwaukee Brewers | Miller Park
Although the ballpark might be named after the macro brewing giant, Miller Park has rapidly expanded their craft beer offerings over the past two years, to the delight of many Wisconsin beer lovers. Founded before the 2017 season, the Local Brews bar has been immensely successful for the Brewers, offering over 24 different local beers on tap, including the likes of Karben4, Ale Asylum, Third Space, One Barrel, and more. Unfortunately, the legend of New Glarus is not available at the park as of yet – maybe next year.
— Tap Milwaukee (@tapmilwaukee) March 30, 2018
Kansas City Royals | Kaufman Field
The incredible beer experience at Kaufman Field can be primarily attributed to local favorite Boulevard Brewing. Now in year two of their partnership with the Royals, Boulevard recently unveiled a new Mexican lager brewed specifically for the Royals: ¡Vamos! (Let’s Go!). The refreshing beer is available in a variety of bars and restaurant near Kaufman and is also on-tap throughout the stadium. Not satisfied with offering just one baseball-themed beer, the Royals and Boulevard created the Craft and Draft section at Kaufman, which offers patrons a selection of over 75 craft beers and gastro pub-inspired food. Available on a first-come, first-serve basis, the Craft and Draft section is located on the third baseline, with each $20 ticket given you access to a truly unique craft beer ballpark experience.
Seattle Mariners | SafeCo Field
Seattle has a huge craft beer presence, so it would make sense that there would be a similar footprint within their ballpark. Along with hosting a Bacon and Beer classic, Safeco has strategically positioned craft beer stands across the stadium so that baseball fans are never too far away from local craft brewers like Georgetown Brewing, 7 Seas, and Bale Breaker Brewing. Patrons can look for their favorite local beers at Northwest Beers hub in left field or at one of the three Good Hops beer stands. Safeco even has a Cask beer cart in section 139 that offers fans three exclusive beers, including one that is cask-conditioned – pretty cool.
New York Mets | Citi Field
New York City’s craft beer notoriety is growing, thanks in large part to the addition of the international powerhouse Mikkeller Brewing, who decided to open up a new location attached to the Mets’ Citi Field. The new brewery is Mikkeller’s third location in the U.S., joining their San Diego and Los Angeles locations, and will offer baseball fans a huge array of quality craft beers. The 10,000 square foot space features over 60 rotating taps, including Mikkeller’s Henry Hops IPA, Say Hey Sally German-style Pilsner, and Beer Geek Parlor Coffee Stout. The new brew spot also features a variety of chef-inspired baseball cuisine along with some brews exclusive to the ballpark.