Fake Me Out at the Ballgame: “Craft Beer Night” Sponsored by MillerCoors

USCF

It seems there’s something foul going on at baseball stadiums across America, and it has nothing to do with balls.

He-he, I said balls! :D

First there was the “craft beer destination” at Yankee Stadium that was serving Blue Moon, Leinenkugel’s and Crispin Cider, three beverages that aren’t craft beer, at least according to the Brewers Association.  Hell, one of ‘em’s not even a beer at all!

Now it’s “Craft Beer Night” at U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox, where they’ll be serving…wait for it…Blue Moon, Leinenkugel’s and Crispin Cider.  That’s right, their “craft” beer night features exactly zero craft beers. 

The event is presented by MillerCoors, the same mega-brewer that tried to mislead Yankee fans into believing that this bunch of brews qualify for the “craft” designation.

Here’s how “Craft Beer Night presented by MillerCoors” is described on MLB.com:

Enjoy a variety of beers from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, Blue Moon Brewing Company, Crispin Cider Company as well as other domestic and Import beers.

Ooh, I can only guess what the other domestic beers might be.  Actually, I don’t have to guess, as there’s a clue right there on the keepsake plastic pilsner glass attendees receive.  One side is emblazoned with the White Sox logo, and the other features the Miller Lite logo, because nothing says “craft” like a “Lite” beer!

sox_pilsner

Nothing like a tasty “craft” beer in your official Miller Lite pilsner glass!

Having this misrepresentation happen once in New York could be seen as an honest gaffe, but having it happen again in Chicago indicates that there’s a clear strategy at MillerCoors to blur the line between authentic craft beers and these “crafty” lookalikes.

It makes me nuts to think that some regular Joe or Judy is going to show up at this event and knock back a Blue Moon or a Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest (or worse yet, a Miller Genuine Draft) and think they’ve experienced everything craft beer has to offer.

The good news is that U.S. Cellular Park has a “Midwest Brews” kiosk that serves a decent selection of honest-to-goodness craft beers, ranging from New Holland Mad Hatter IPA, to Bells Oberon, to Two Brothers Brewing Ebel’s Weiss, just to name a few.  Of course none of these come with a stylish commemorative glass, but I imagine beer geeks wouldn’t want a plastic Miller Lite memento cluttering up their cupboard anyway.

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Categories: Beer, News

Author:Jim Galligan

Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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37 Comments on “Fake Me Out at the Ballgame: “Craft Beer Night” Sponsored by MillerCoors”

  1. September 16, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    MC you keep using the term craft beer, but I do not think it means what you think it does.

    • September 16, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

      Oh, they know exactly what it means – they’re just hoping that you don’t!

      • September 16, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

        lol be quiet and drink your Blue Moon!

        • September 16, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

          Right after I finish up this excellent Budweiser Black Crown. PRE-MEE-YUM!!

        • September 16, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

          Batch 19 you mean. I think that is being sold as a top shelf along with SN’s Pale.

          I was at a clam fest and the “craft” ie dollar more a cup beers were Sam Adams Summer and Blue Moon.. like really? Regular beers were Yuengling (sold out already real shock there) and Coors Light..

        • September 16, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

          At least Sam Adams is a leader in the craft beer culture in America – I’d pay an extra clam for their summer beer!

        • September 16, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

          exactly until i found out they had the keg chilled to the same temp they needed to have Coors light at – Feel bad that i could not taste it at all. and it gave me an ice cream headache!

        • September 16, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

          You know you can wait and that’ll fix itself.

          But who has the time?! :)

        • September 16, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

          was only allowed to drink in a roped off area and I wanted to get back to my family.. had i known either i would never have bothered.

  2. September 16, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    Curious which one of those first three you consider to not be a beer. Maybe I just can’t count.

    • September 16, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

      The one’s that’s cider…

      • September 16, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

        Blue Moon ain’t exactly what I’d consider a beer, either.

        • September 16, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

          True, but at least it isn’t made from fruit.

  3. September 16, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    Oh PS our minor league stadium has Dale’s and a few other local crafts.

    • September 16, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

      As it should be!

  4. September 16, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    As long as its the Sox, mehhh. Now if the Cubbies or the Hawks start passing MC’s stuff off as craft, I’m gonna get mad!

    • September 16, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

      I bet they’re doing it all over, Wayne – these are just the ones being documented!

    • Kid Carboy Jr.
      September 16, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

      Ummm…the “Cubbies” have zero craft beer available, massugu.

      • September 16, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

        Yeah, the article I found that listed the beers at U.S. Cellular Field was all about how much better it was than Wrigley (and it ain’t that great!).

        • September 16, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

          Wrigley has these “specialty beer” places where they serve Corona, Heineken, Amstel, XX but they don’t call it craft. It’s a miserable beer situation so I just consider it my duty to drink Old Style when I am there.

      • September 20, 2013 at 8:42 am #

        Yeah, but are they lyin’ about it or just servin’ the Old Style?

  5. September 16, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

    This specific promotion is dumb, but as you said, The White Sox U.S. Cellular Field actually does have a pretty good craft beer selection. Last time I was there, you could get beer from Founders, Bells, Barley Island, Great Lakes, Two Brothers and more. Compared to plenty of other parks, that’s doing pretty good.

    Just go across town to Wrigley, for instance. All they’ve got is Anheuser products and Old Style, and they’re trying to get rid of the Old Style.

    • September 16, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

      This is why god invented television and beer fridges!

  6. September 16, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    I see a another craft beer vs. crafty big beer tactics conflict brewing (unabashedly transparent pun intended). Where is our Putin when we need him? An honest arbiter with a calming and beneficent hand…..

    So, I’m beginning to twitch – which may explain some, but not all – of the spelling errors which I assume will scar this diatribe. I’m twitching because I’ve long focused most of my Big Beer hatred at the King of Swillionaires, AB-InBev. More recently; however, I feel as though MillerCoors may be taking on the role of Nastiest Nate on the block. Not sure I have enough hatred to obsess over both of them at the same time.

    Wait – what? Of course I do.

    Oh, and despite the afformentioned AB-InBev bullies dominance of beer-related advertising at Citizens Bank Park (Philly), there are more than 2 dozen legit craft beer selections available all over the stadium.

    Cheers!

    • September 16, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

      I have plenty of energy to push back at anyone who tries to muddy the water and confuse consumers as to what’s a craft beer and what’s not. Honestly, I don’t care if they pump out Light/Lite beers by the tankful, as long as they don’t infiltrate and undermine the burgeoning craft beer scene in America. Stay the hell out of it, BMC – we’re doing great without you!!

  7. September 16, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    I work for a distributor in Dallas and we got this out the Rangers’ Ballpark in Arlington:

    Thoughts?

    • September 16, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

      That’ll do!

    • September 16, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

      Ooh.. Santo. Only thing missing is a Live oak Hef.

  8. Diss Content
    September 16, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

    Of course the goal is to obfuscate the ‘Craft Beer’ moniker into the lexicon meaning ‘Any Alcoholic Beverage’. The big boys know they can’t actually compete by nature, so they do it by name.

    There are several other examples which have been put through similar deflective blandification techniques. Fresh squeezed orange juice is a synonym representing products from tree harvested fruit, to Tang. We have been collectively conditioned to accept that any fluid, which is orange in color, is fresh and likely hand squeezed; because our finely tuned palates won’t rise as one, and revolt against such marketing douche-baggery.

    Once the absurd has entered the pantheon of the acceptable, it becomes extremely difficult to remove. Lifetime guarantees, ‘watch your head’ signs, and ‘free’ shipping are but a few such examples. We simply quit questioning something after a while and go on to live with it, and pass it on to future generations.

    The vast majority of beer drinkers don’t think about craft beer, thus are prime candidates for conditioning. Having the big boys define what craft beer is to their customer base is a simple win/win for them. For at a sports stadium the message is 1984-Orwellian, and aided through a faux tribal war, complete with a battle cry of it being Craft Beer Night. It truly is a new dawn.

  9. September 17, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    I’m not sure that beer drinkers who are drinking Blue Moon care. There are Belgian Whites that are far, far superior to Blue Moon (Allagash White, for instance, is a world-class beer). But people heading out to the ballpark aren’t going there for the “craft” beers. It’s probably safe to say you can find a Blue Moon there any game. They’re just drawing attention to it now.

    This isn’t a bash on this article or the commenters.

    However, the White Sox organization or MillerCoors (whomever is running this thing) understand how to market these events. But my aunt isn’t coerced to to to US Cellular Park because of the “craft beer,” she’s going because they said Blue Moon. The only people mad here are craft beer fans (like me, and I guess all of us who are reading this).

  10. September 20, 2013 at 8:53 am #

    I guess I’m spoiled–the Frederick (MD) Keys always have a great selection of local craft brews for sale and at decent prices as well.

  11. Annie Johnson
    September 25, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    I think it depends on where you live and who you root for. My team’s ballpark, The Coliseum, features Blue Moon and Shocktop and Hoegaarden. Also, new seasonals from SN. You’ll find the Buds and Lites but also a stand devoted to Heineken. There is also a cervesa stand with Negro, Pacific, Corona, Tecate and Carta Blanca. There is Guinness fresh on nitro along side Harp and Smithwick’s. Then there are all the local micros, Trumer, Alameda, Drakes, BR, Lagunitas on and on.
    The only beer you won’t find is Anchor Steam because that’s Giants beer. Go A’s!

    • September 25, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

      I’d happily give up Anchor for Lagunitas!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] Fake Me Out at the Ballgame: “Craft Beer Night” Sponsored by MillerCoors (beerandwhiskeybros.com) […]

  3. Friday 5@5 – September 20, 2013 | Das Ale Haus - September 20, 2013

    […] From the Beer and Whiskey Brothers, we’ve got a look at what the White Sox are trying to pass off as a Craft Beer Night. Things like this make me appreciate the beer selection at Citizens Bank Park all that much […]

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