Or, more appropriately titled: “The Layman’s Beer Tour Of Yankee Stadium.”
Or, perhaps, even: “These Are Not The Beers You Are Looking For.”
Well, what exactly does that mean? I have a theory that the Yankees Elite- yes, the very same Elite that forbids players from the earthly delights of facial hair- keeps the Good Beers locked away for privileged imbibition by the Visiting Nobility. Meaning: those of the upper-bourgeoisie-crust who sit in the not-cheap-seats section. Meaning: not myself, nor my Beer Guide, fellow Aerys Sports’ writer, and Special Guest to Around The Horn, Dana Wagner.
Dana and I searched high (in the 300-level) and low (in the 200-level) and could not find the beers we were looking for. Here, Dana: beer blogger, local brew enthusiast, and baseball fan; and myself: young brewski padawan, share our experience BeerTouring Yankee Stadium. [NOTE: For clarity's sake, Dana's writing will appear in block-quotes.]
“Ranking quantity of selection, I would give Yankee Stadium a 4 out of 5. They certainly have many different beers to choose from (in my opinion almost all taste the same, but they are in fact different beers). On the domestic front, they of course have Bud Light and Miller Light on draft, but also have Bud Light Lime and Bud Light Wheat in bottle.
“They even include microbrews Blue Moon and Yuengling Lager, though why they are listed in the “imported” list when Blue Moon is out of Colorado and Yuengling is out of Pennsylvania is beyond me. Keep in mind that Blue Moon is owned by Miller-Coors, but it is in their craft beer division.
“Among the true imports, beyond the typical Heineken and and Amstel that you might often see they also have Belgium’s Stella Artois – in both bottle and on draft – and Hoegaarden, Presidente (Dominican Republic),Corona (Mexico), and Beck’s (Germany). This is a very good variety.”
Well, yes, the list certainly was long. But, as mentioned previously, these were not the beers we were looking for. So where were they? Were they hidden in the Jim Beam Lounge (the lounge that the bouncer turned us away from)? Were they stashed in the Malibu Rooftop Deck (the deck that was closed for a “Private Party”)? Dana and I settled on the Yuengling- a lager “imported” from Philly. To my inexperienced palate, the Yuengling was good, maybe great, but far from exceptional. The lager was refreshing, but I failed to notice anything particularly special about it. But maybe that is what lagers are. (For the record, I have never had any really bad/cheap/macro beers, so my standards are quite high.) I asked Dana more about her opinion of the beer selection:
“In terms of quality of selection, that’s another matter. I’d probably give them somewhere around 2.5-3 stars. Yuengling is the best quality beer they have available — a true American lager (sorry, Budweiser, but you just don’t cut it), with Blue Moon second and perhaps Stella third.
“I realize, however, that Yankee Stadium is not in the business of serving great tasting beer to enjoy during the game. Most of the patrons just want a cold beer to relax and watch with, and drink lots of if it. Most of these beers have very low alcohol content, with Blue Moon the highest at over 5% ABV (alcohol by volume), so it allows you to drink several during a game, though at $9-12 a pop that’s a lot of crappy beer for a hefty price.”
I also expected more, though I’m no Beer Expert. I’m merely a Snob-In-Training, a Beer Scout, trying to earn my stripes. But I am from California, for which I am quite proud, and so my state heritage is fermented with beery tradition. Does this alone give me any authority over the next beer-drinking guy? No. But do I appreciate, covet, even demand, local brews? It goes without saying. Dana, also Californian, and Pro-Local, shared my sentiments:
“With the pride of New York so entrenched in this team, Yankee Stadium could stand to add some local craft breweries to their selection. They could serve Brooklyn Lager, Summer Ale or Pilsner, Sixpoint’s The Crisp, or Blue Point’s Toasted Lager or Summer Ale. A golden opportunity, however, is right around the corner with Bronx Brewery having just opened this summer and their flagship Pale Ale soon to be distributed in New York.”
What about the beer prices? As a college student, my paychecks are divided between money for textbooks, and money for beer. (Ok, not exactly.) But the beer prices at Yankee Stadium certainly did not fit my budget. Dana summed it up:
“As for price, it’s completely outrageous to pay $9 for a bottle or $12 for not even a pint of draft beer. I could buy a six pack of Yuengling bottles for $9.”
So there you have it. Yankee Stadium may boast a wide beer selection, but at closer look, there’s really nothing special about it. Nothing you cannot find at your local bodega (and probably even less than that). No local brews to enrich a proud and true New York Experience, unless of course, according to my theory, they keep the Good Beer away from us peasants and serfs. Perhaps someday Dana and I can finagle our way into getting special Beer Press Passes for the ballpark, and maybe even Food Network will give us our own show! Hey, girls can dream.
And now, for your final Moment of Zen:
“…People are at a baseball game and want to drink beer. If you have it, they will pay.”
Stay tuned for a Beer Tour of Citi Field!
If this article leaves you thirsty for more, be sure to check out Dana’s beer blog, Drink Local, where you can discover amazing craft beer in your own backyard! (Well, practically.) Also, you can follow her frothy tweets @DrinkLocal.