“Craft Beer Destination” at Yankee Stadium Puts the “Crap” in “Craft”

Courtesy of (you know, stolen from) Amanda's World on Tumblr: http://amandarykoff.tumblr.com/

Courtesy of (you know, stolen from) Amanda’s World on Tumblr: http://amandarykoff.tumblr.com/

How do you spell “crap” at Yankee Stadium? Apparently you keep the “cra,” but replace the “p’ with an “ft.”

This might be the only way to explain how the Bronx Bombers could justify selling three beers and a cider made by MillerCoors in their “Craft Beer Destination,” a new addition to the Great Hall that was first called out by Yankees follower Amanda Rykoff on her Tumblr blog, and then picked up by Deadspin.

The stand offers Blue Moon, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, Crispin Cider, and Batch 19 Prohibition Lager, and nary a one of them qualify as “craft” anything, at least according to the Brewers Association definition of the word.  Of course, they could certainly qualify as “crap,” depending on who you ask. 

Before you call me a beer snob (which I am, but at least let me finish before you say it), what frosts my flakes about this isn’t the quality of the beer – it’s well documented that I enjoy a Summer Shandy or two when the weather gets warm.

There - all fixed!

There – all fixed!

It’s that this is another glaring example of the big brewers, who are seeing their marketplace dominance slowly eroded by the little guys (and gals) who go through the effort and expense to make truly awesome beer, trying to create consumer confusion and pass their mass-produced wares off as “craft.”

These beers are about as crafty as TOSTITOS Artisan Recipe chips or as natural as “real” chicken nuggets, and as a fan of “craft” beer, I think they degrade the meaning of the word, even if I like Summer Shandy (not to mention “artisan” snacks and pre-formed “chicken” pieces).

Bottom line: Label your mass-produced products honestly, Big Beer, and let the chips (TOSTITOS or not) fall where they may.

By the way, I blame the Yankees here, 100%.

I don’t care about baseball, but if I did, I’d loathe the Yankees.  There’s something about this team, like the Dallas Cowboys and the Boston Celtics and Notre Dame football, that draws front-running fans out of the woodwork. It’s easy to hitch yourself to wagon of a perennial winner, but it takes a real man to suffer with a team that you know will always find fresh ways to disappoint you.

The only professional sports organization I bear any allegiance to is the New York Jets, a team that has managed to sustainably suck for decades, even as they’ve made two AFC Championship Game appearances in the past handful of years.  To still suck in the face of success like that takes a special talent for screwing things up, and nobody beats my Jets at that.

Sorry – I needed to get that off of my chest!

How about your favorite ball team?  Are they doing it right at the stadium, or do they only offer “Craftp” beer as well?  As always, let us know below!

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Categories: Beer, News

Author:Jim

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

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48 Comments on ““Craft Beer Destination” at Yankee Stadium Puts the “Crap” in “Craft””

  1. April 2, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    Was at the Mets game yesterday. Citifield does similar tomfoolery by lumping in Third Shift and Blue Moon and Shock Top under the “Craft Beer” banner, but at least they also have the decency to offer 16 oz cans of Sixpoint Sweet Action and Bengali Tiger, as well as Bluepoint Lager on draught at the Catch of the Day stand.

    And the cans cost $8.75 each….not cheap, but reasonable for 16ozs of a 6.4% IPA at a ballpark. (Beats the hell out of $12)

    • April 2, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

      Yeah, I forgot to mention the price of these “craft” beers at Yankee Stadium – $12 indeed! I’d take a tallboy of Sixpoint in an instant over that!

  2. April 2, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    I’m a diehard Philadelphia Eagles fan, but I’ve never been to a game at Lincoln Financial Field, so I don’t know what they serve. Coors Field, here in Denver, has a few places where you can pick up a Dale’s Pale Ale or a Boulder Hazed and Infused. They also have their own Coors-owned Sandlot Brewery, which makes some decent seasonal beers.

    I have a friend who works at Coors Field in their Events department, and she says that Budweiser actually controls the beer distribution at Coors Field, which I find hilarious.

    • April 2, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

      That is funny – it’s like GM running the company car program at Chrysler…

    • April 2, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

      The Linc is no better, but I’ve been throughly impressed with Citizen Bank Park’s beer list the past two seasons. Hopefully they keep it up when the stadium opens this year.

    • April 3, 2013 at 10:57 am #

      I sadly knew about AB ruling the roost at Coors Field. The first year they took over, there was only one section where you could get anything other than Bud. Since then it’s evened out a bit, I think fans complaining may have had a little to do with it.

      Breckenridge just posted the other day that they’ll be carried at World of Beer kiosks in three or four sections, so at least it’s a step in the right direction. It’ll still cost you an arm and a leg though.

    • April 3, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

      I’m with you (on all counts). E*A*G*L*E*S EAGLES! Only visited the Linc twice and it’s Big Beer only. Citizens Bank Park, on the other hand, is at the other end of the Spectrum (how about that nifty wordsmithing?). Some solid and fresh offerings from Flying Fish & Yards and a couple from PBC (though I’m not a fan).

    • April 3, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

      I’d have thought they would have featured some of Yard’s brews at any game in Philly. I’ll have to ask my buddy.

  3. April 2, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    Well, the Sacramento River Cats “offer 16 drafts, mostly craft brews from Northern California breweries.” http://blogs.sacbee.com/dining/archives/2012/04/whats-on-the-ra.html

    And, at the SF Giants (not that they are my favorite team, but it’s a damn nice ballpark) games they have Anchor Steam beer on tap.

    You’re just on the wrong coast, Jim.

    • April 2, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

      Eh, I’m usually on the wrong side of everything, Norm. Why not the country? 🙂

  4. April 2, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    And this is how Big Beer sneaks in under the ‘craft’ umbrella. Hopefully this one will go viral.

    As for my favorite ballteam, its the Frederick Keys (an O’s farm team). They’ve got a great little arena–Harry Grove Stadium—-easily accessible parking, good prices, nice seating and they feature many of Frederick’s great draft brews from Flying Dog and Brewer’s Alley.

    Unlike w/ the O’s at Camden Yards, you don’t need to take a train or bus, the concession prices are actually low enough that you can afford to buy your kids a dog and some popcorn (its very family-friendly), and you’ve got great visibility from everywhere. I love this park!

    • April 2, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

      I saw the Keys some twenty years ago (damn how time flies) and loved the park and the team too. The Keys players all stayed after and signed autographs for all the kids who wanted them.

      • April 2, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

        Its still the same today–and you get to see many of the O’s current players and up-and-comers. I took my wife’s cuz, who was up from Auburn, AL, to a game last summer. He’s a real baseball freak and knew more about the players then I did–he loved it.

        He appreciated the beer too–the beer scene around Auburn U. (where he teaches) is apparently a bit bleak, so I almost always try to schedule some kind of beer-oriented event when he’s here–our evening at the Judge’s Bench in Ellicott City was great fun.

        • April 2, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

          I’m glad they still keep the friendliness of the team. Flying Dog is in that neighborhood, isn’t it?

          Ellicott City is close to my in laws (Elkridge). I’ll have to check out the Judge’s Bench.

        • April 3, 2013 at 8:58 am #

          Yes it is-well worth the tour btw. The Judge’s Bench is “da bomb!”

    • April 2, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

      I find I like small-time stuff bigger than big-time stuff because you’re not being crawled all over by others or gouged every time you open your wallet.

      i was in New York City with friends yesterday, explaining why Milwaukee is a better town for small families. 🙂

      • April 2, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

        Even tho I was b. & raised in Chi-town, B’more is about as big as I want to handle–I avoid DC like the plague–but even B’more is a pain to drive in. The Keys’ ballpark is a straight shot off of Rte 70, which is, in turn, about 3 miles from my house. Easy-peasy!

        • April 2, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

          My folks used to live in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, a burb on the western edge of Milwaukee. They were five minutes from the Brewers ballpark, five minutes from the Milwaukee Zoo (a nice one!) and five minutes from the State Fair Grounds.

          I’m in New Jersey and 35 minutes plus traffic and tolls to one of the greatest cities on Earth, and I never go because it’s a huge pain in the ass.

          Accessibility matters, at least to me!

  5. April 2, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    The Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Rockies triple A team) have a great little ball park here, where they sell true craft beer from Bristol Brewery for $7/pint (not bad for a ballpark). They used to have Rocky Mountain Brewery beers too, but I haven’t seen them for a few years. They even have a Microbrew Thursday, where a specific craft beer is only $2. Awesome.

    • April 2, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

      I’d probably become a Sky Sox fan if I was local.

      “Let’s go to the ballpark kids – the Sky Sox are playing. You’re driving, honey…”

      🙂

    • April 3, 2013 at 11:01 am #

      Bristol’s beers are great! I sometimes wished I lived in the Springs since you can now get Bristol’s beers at the airport there as well. Having one of their beers at ball game would be awesome.

      • April 3, 2013 at 11:05 am #

        And going to a ball game beats the crap out of going to an airport.

  6. Korryn
    April 2, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

    Pittsburgh Pirates offer multiple Penn Brewery beers on tap (approx $8-9) and offer Magic Hat, Brooklyn, etc. around the ball park.

    • April 2, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

      I’d probably walk around the whole game and call it a pub crawl…

  7. April 2, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

    Not sure what else the Phillies will have on tap this season but know that we’ll at least be able to taste Victory at Citizens Bank Park http://www.victorybeer.com/victory-and-phillies/

    • April 2, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

      Citizens also has an exclusive variety of beer in the new Sly Fox can where the whole top comes off – their Pikeland Pils.

    • April 2, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

      I’ve been impressed with the selection at CBP the past couple years, I’m sure they’ll do us good again.

  8. April 2, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    Best park for me was Mariners at Safeco Field about 20 Craft Taps and as many WA wines by glass. As your not going to watch them win a world series

    • jf1smith
      April 2, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

      The Braves have Terrapin Rye and Sierra Nevada and Sweetwater. But only at 2 or 3 places. Most are Bud products. Sigh…

  9. April 2, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    Ha, love craft beer, hate the Yankees. I live in Florida and even the Spring Training venues have a better craft beer selection than that.

    • April 3, 2013 at 9:56 am #

      Yeah, it’s weak sauce!

  10. Chris Slaby
    April 2, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    I don’t care about baseball, but Fenway Park has pretty good options: Wachusett, Harpoon, Sam Adams, maybe some others (http://beeradvocate.com/community/threads/craft-beer-options-within-fenway-park.18646/).

    • April 3, 2013 at 9:57 am #

      I recall the Patriots also had a Sam Adams station or brewpub or something, but I think they got chased out of there, perhaps the same way the big boys squeezed Brooklyn Brewery out of Citi Field where the Mets play.

  11. April 3, 2013 at 5:32 am #

    The Detroit Lions may very well suck really really badly, but they do get it right when it comes to craft beer. One of their beer sections is completely dedicated Michigan craft beer. They sell Founders, Bell’s, New Holland, Atwater and a couple others I can’t remember off the top of my head. They may not take pride in playing football well (or even just a little well for that matter) but already they take pride in their Michigan beer!

    • April 3, 2013 at 9:59 am #

      With a team that bad, you need beer that good!

      I lived in MI from 8th grade through the end of high school and have a soft spots for the Lions, and it seems regardless of what they do, they can’t pull it together.

      I blame Millen!!

  12. Eddie Glick
    April 3, 2013 at 7:04 am #

    Fucking Yankees.

    • April 3, 2013 at 9:57 am #

      I probably should have ended the piece with this…

  13. April 3, 2013 at 8:40 am #

    Target Field in Minneapolis has a partnership with A-B, but they also feature a lot of local beers and whisky – Surly, Fulton (a very small brewery just a block from the stadium), Summit and Schell’s, not to mention local 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey.

    Also: the Celtics are hardly front-runners these days. The Lakers or Miami Heat are more of the front-runner teams.

    • April 3, 2013 at 10:01 am #

      I bet the local brews cost a little less than the big boys as well.

      I hear you on the front runners, but I’m talking about folks that don’t know anything about the sport, and the Celtics have the whole St. Paddy’s Irish allure (like Notre Dame) that people tend to gravitate toward.

      Also, I’m old, and so are my sports references! 😉

  14. April 3, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

    I know it’s opening day “season” for baseball but right now I’m locked in on the Final Four and my SU Alumni blood is coursing as bright ORANGE as ever… It’s been too long since I’ve caught a game at the Dome but I wasn’t impressed with the selections last time I was there. Nothing to pair with a Dome Dog other than some swill variant. It would be nice to see a Middle Ages brew or two served up for those of us in Otto’s Army but I doubt that’ll happen anytime soon.

    Cheers!

  15. April 3, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    I’m not a fan of baseball myself and excuse my language, but this is bullshit. Big Beer only cares about their bottom line and will screw over anyone to be king. I really hate the practice of putting all these faux craft brands into the same category as REAL craft beer. They’re confusing the consumer like crazy and stealing even more money from the people who care about what their costumers are drinking. This is a big part of the reason I will not buy GI. I don’t want even a penny going to Big Beer. (end of rant)

    • April 3, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

      Ah, but we’re sneakin up on ’em: first they put out faux craft, then they bought into craft breweries, next they brewed an authentic barley malt brew. If they don’t watch out they may actually start brewing stuff that discerning beer drinkers like.Then where will we be? (In the cat bird’s seat, that’s where.)

  16. vortec42
    April 3, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    The Tigers have a real craft beer booth. Last year they offered mostly Bells (once I saw one from Atwater) the couple times I was there. I was disappointed it was only at one location, in right field, but I guess I should be thankful I’m not a Yankees fan (not that I needed another reason).

  17. April 4, 2013 at 5:22 am #

    Please don’t lump the Celtics in with the Yankees. They can hardly be called perennial winners when they’ve won one championship since 1987. I’d say the Lakers, Bulls, or Heat are teams more likely to attract bandwagon fans.

  18. Chris
    April 6, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    They should sell some of the really good macro brands: Guinness Foreign Extra, Worthington’s White Shield, Pilsner Urquell. That stuff would really give craft a run for its money.

  19. Kid Carboy Jr.
    April 19, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    The Chicago White Sox have a pretty decent selection that includes a few brews from places like Bells, Great Lakes and Three Floyds. Of course, they’re all $8 or more.

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